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What Are The Various Types Of Paints Used By Modern Artists?

Paint can come in variety of forms these days. As an artist, it is important to get familiar with the various types of paint in existence, as it helps you to develop your own style and master different techniques. If you are an artist looking to inform yourself about the different types of artist paints, be sure to read our overview below.

When Should I Use Oil Paint?

One of the best-known types of paint among artists is undoubtedly oil paint. As the name of this paint suggests, oil paint contains coloured pigments in an oil medium. Since there are various types of oil available these days, this oil can be anything from sunflower oil to linseed oil.

Because of the presence of oil in the paint blend, oil paint is notoriously slow to dry. While this may sound like a disadvantage, oil paints can be beneficial for beginners as well as experienced artists, as it allows you to change your work before it dries.

When you decide to use oil, you have to consider that oil can change its colour over the course of time, this because the oil interacts with natural light. On the other hand, if you can avoid light contacting your oil painting, the paint can change colour too, as it becomes darker without light contact.

Oil paint is still a popular medium today, but it has been around for centuries. In fact, some of the greatest painters in history used oil paint. So, if you are in doubt about the type of paint you will be using, oil paint is the most obvious choice.

When Should I Use Acrylic Paint?

Since oil paint can be a little bit of an investment, some artists look for something a little more affordable in the long run. As a beginner, cost-effectiveness is important as you need to practice regularly. There are many alternatives you could consider, but one of the most popular is undoubtedly acrylic paint.

Contrary to oil paint, acrylic paint can dry considerably quick. Acrylic paint does not include any oil either, as the colour pigments are put inside an acryl emulsion that is water-based. Because of the absence of oil, acrylic paintings are less prone to get damaged by moisture, temperature fluctuations, and light exposure.

One of the downsides of acrylic paint is that you have to pay more attention to paintbrush maintenance. Once the paint is allowed to dry, it can make the bristles of your paintbrush exceptionally stiff. So, if any paint remains, it could ruin your brush.

If you intend on selling your paintings, do consider that the quality of your acrylics can have an influence on the overall price of your painting. Of course, if you are just practicing, quality becomes less important, unless you want your practice pieces to stand the test of time.

When Should I Use Watercolour Paint?

Watercolour paintings are often referred to as aquarelles, this is no surprise, considering the paint is bound with water. You can recognise a watercolour painting by its transparency, so this unique look certain speaks to a lot of artists.

Since you will be working with a rather transparent paint, you must pay special attention to the paper you use. The paper you use will be visible through the paint, so always choose a high-quality paper option if you work with watercolours.

When Should I Use Gouache Paint?

Watercolour, acrylic, and oil paint is relatively known by everyone, while gouache paint is not. However, it is still a paint you want to consider, as it shares properties with watercolour as well as acrylic paint.

There is also something quite unique about Gouache paint, as this paint type actually contains chalk, making it heavier and somewhat reflective. On the flipside, Gouache paint is water-based, this means that the paint is still susceptible to water. To avoid this particular problem, you should always apply a layer of varnish to finish your masterpiece.

When you choose Gouache paint, you can also select from a large range of colours. Because of the colour diversity, artists do not solely use this paint for painting, but also for the creation of fun posters and even comic books!



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