Each type of paint has advantages however when it comes to blending paint, oil paint speeds up the blending results and it’s much easier to handle.
Although excellent blending effects can be achieved with both acrylic or oil paints, it’s much easier to blend with oil paints because they stay open for longer, even days, where as acrylics dry very quickly, usually in less than 15 minutes narrowing the window of time to move the pigment around to achieve a good blend .
Many of newbie painters struggle to blend acrylics well which can be an issue when creating three dimensional looking volumes on the canvas.
It can be frustrating to find that when a second colour is added to the paint on the canvas that the first colour has already dried out.
When wet paint is added to dry paint it can cause ‘skid marks’ where the new paint drags on the dry surface of the painting and cannot integrate with the previous colour. The results are unattractive and creates unwelcome texture where you do not want it and colours that don’t merge.
Of course mastering blending with acrylics is to master painting and I love teaching my students how to do that with a whole range of techniques and building awareness of paint handling in my Blooms Online Programs and Blooms live workshops.
Acrylics are well worth persevering with because they are portable as they dry very quickly and have the advantage of having no fumes.
This is ideal for the home painter.
Basic tips for acrylics; Use a very fine water spray to keep paint surface moist and acrylic gloss medium.
Oil paint wins hands down for blending because it’s lovely and buttery in texture and the paint glides onto the surface of the canvas.
Oils remain open longer, for at least 24 hours as opposed to approximately 15 minutes for acrylics narrowing the window of time to move the pigment around to achieve a good blend .
Combined with an oil painting medium it’s a delight to colour mix with blending on the canvas and to constantly tweak the colours over hours till it’s to your liking.
With oils the paintings are less portable as they are wet for longer. It takes time for an oil painting to oxidise or set.
Although excellent blending effects can be achieved with both acrylic or oil paints, the oils whether water based oils or traditional oils is the easiest for blending paint colours.
My advice is become great at blending with both paint types as they each have their advantages.