4 Painting Mediums Tell Their Story that will Make You Laugh, and yet, be Informed.

Updated: Feb 23, 2020

If your art could talk, what story would it tell?

Watercolor, acrylic, oil, and mixed media each have a tale that once you read them you'll never confuse them again.

1 - Hello there, I’m oil paint

I make your nose curl up.

It’s the tang from turpentine that gives me my fragrance. Some call it perfume, others not so much. Blending the turpentine with natural pigments and linseed oil is what holds me together. When exposed to air, I dry s-l-o-w-l-y. Heavy layering, known as impasto, can take up to nine months to cure.

Yet these thick textures add depth and beauty!



I like to brag about how I’ve aged well over the years. Tracing my roots back to the 5th century in Asia, and then introduced to Europe in the 15th century by masters like da Vinci and Rembrandt. My media has style and longevity!


2 - Hey, there, I’m acrylic

I’m young when you compare me in the art world. Made commercially available in the 1950s, the era of advertising, graphic design and glossy, cosmopolitan editorials. No surprise that creators of pop art like Peter Max and Andy Warhol gave me celebrity status. My pigment, or color, is bond together with a synthetic resin. During application, I mix with water, making clean up easy. Unlike my pal, oil, I dry quickly. So fast, sometimes it can be difficult to blend colors. Kate has used me for projects like downtown Holland Pigs on Parade, Girls Weekend Photo-op bus, and most recently the Birch on a Bench.



3 - Watercolor, here

If you want my opinion, I’m the trickiest of the bunch. Hee-hee. I’m water-based, like acrylic, but that’s the only easy thing about me. My translucent (see through) quality makes it difficult to cover mistakes. It takes a refined hand to apply thin layers of color which allows underneath pigment to show through, giving the art depth. This is where the tricky part kicks in. Dried watercolor paint is always susceptible to being "reactivated" as soon as it comes into contact with water, meaning colors can mingle and get muddy quickly. Oh! And some of my dark colors stain the paper, never to be white paper again! If that's not tricky enough, other colors separate on the paper instead of staying mixed together. Lastly, I dry lighter than the color when its first applied. I'm a real trickster, filled with challenges! Besides, Kate, Nita Engle uses me exquisitely!



4 - Mixed Media, saying hi

I consider myself the life of the party. Artists create me using two or more artistic mediums into one painting. Traditional paints, pencils, and pastels can be mixed together. Some artists even use more unconventional items such as handmade papers, buttons, lace, … you name it. With me, anything goes!  Along with Kate, Kelly Rae Roberts has mastered my performance.



What story would your art tell?

Is it asking for a frame? Why are some paintings framed and not others? Click here to learn: A Simple Method: Different framing needs for different types of paintings I hope your art does tell a story. Be it ... Where your art came from and the memories it holds. Be it ... When you got it, marking a special moment, anniversary, ... Be it ... Because it makes you smile!