Why I have a love/hate relationship with oil paint

December 11, 2018


I love, love, love the way oil paint looks. It has the ability to go on super smooth and detailed, chalky or buttery. The versatility of it is what makes it so amazing. Although acrylic paints have come a long, long, way, oil paint, in my mind, is superior for workmanship.  The real reason I LOVE (like am obsessed) with oil, so much that I would continue to use it even when it was damaging my health, was because the pigments are incredible. Acrylic just doesn't do it for me when it comes to color. And because I'm a color person, if you can't tell from my work, it is essential that I am able to get just the correct variation in my work. It can make or break a piece. 



But the more I used oil, the bigger my reaction too it was. I looked like a teenager with a growing acne like rash. I was getting headaches and just feeling lethargic after painting with it for a short period. How was I going to create my masterpieces feeling like this? My work was literally killing me. 


So, I went to my favorite art supply store and talked to my friend, Pam, who knows art supplies better than Bill Nye knows science. She said, maybe it wasn't the oil paint, maybe it was the solvents I was mixing my paints with. Well, solvents to oil are like water to acrylic. You need it, or so I thought. Luckily there are alternatives that work just as well made by Gamblin. 



Right now, I am using Gamblin Solvent-Free Fluid, Neo Megilp and Galkyd Lite. They each do different things, but so far cause me no reaction, and I don't even miss my solvents, (replaced with the solvent-free fluid and galkyd Lite) or my Liquin light gel (which has been replaced with the Neo Megilp). 


Here is a link to Gamblin's oil mediums. This is NOT a sponsored post, I just really love the product and think it's important for all my art friends to know about this! 




If you love oils, but they make you feel sick, try some different things before you just put down the brush. I think it's a common problem, and I'm not surprised after reading what is in solvents and Liquins. 


Even if you don't have a reaction, using alternatives is probably better for your health long term. So now, I'm back to loving my oils. Just wish I could get them to dry a bit faster! 



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