The Canadian artist Robert Genn is discussing the use of acrylic paints in his latest newsletter, and how some people look down on them. He mentions that it is artists that use oils that do most of the criticizing.
I personally wish I did like acrylic paints as they are so much more convenient, but they just don’t excite me. Maybe I just haven’t spent enough time with them, but any acrylic paintings I have done have come out flat and lifeless.
The biggest issue I have with acrylics is that I love texture, but it just doesn’t come out the same as oils. The drying time between layers also suites my way of working, as I like to slowly build up a bunch of paintings at once.
And perhaps the history of oils plays a small part of my love of oils. Even the smell of oils is comforting..
“Most of the bad attitude you hear about acrylics comes not from collectors, but from other artists. This is unfortunate because the same narrow views can work against other media–watercolor for one. As an acrylic painter myself, I get around the problem by praising oils. I’m on solid ground here–I worked in oils for thirty years. I tell folks that nothing will ever beat them for texture and workability. Only occasionally do I mention oil-based problems: darkening, yellowing, oxidizing and sinking in, etc. It’s not the pigments, it’s the medium–traditional thinners, drying oils.. particularly linseed oil. Also, because of technical ignorance and creeping amateurism, oils can require early restoration–some after only a few years. Interestingly, decaying oils these days are restored with acrylic.” Acrylic Snobs
See more of Robert’s newsletter archives over at Painter’s Keys.