As a public service announcement I would like to Impart some wisdom and advice to parents who’s kids want to do a painting/art project.
Last week I was in the art supply store getting some brushes. The next isle behind me I hear a young daughter telling her mother, “I need to use oil paint for my painting because they are the best!” The mom seemed to be deferring to the girl since she didn’t seem to know about paints or art supplies. An alarm went off in my head; NOOOOOOO! I was just about to run to the other isle flash my professional artist badge and tell everyone to freeze! When I heard a sales person intervene.
This Mom was one of the lucky ones.
If your child wants to try painting do not start with oil paints!
Here is the horrifying truth about oil paint:
1 They take forever to dry, “forever” being relative to your kids point of view, when I say forever I mean days. Some colors take longer then others.
2 Tubes of Oil Paint are expensive relative to other types of art paint.
3 Cleaning up. We know how much kids like to clean up, oil paint is cleaned up with Turpentine, mineral spirits, and other smelly toxic chemicals. Personally I love the smell of turpentine but I would not like it for the general aroma for my home. One session of this kind of clean up they will be done with paining forever.
Here is another scenario that will occur with oil paint; You will notice a smear of blue paint on your dinning room chair, “Oh crap where did that come from?” then you will notice a smear on the wall, and like a character in a Hitchcock movie coming to the realization there has been a murder, you will then see the paint splotches everywhere. And the murderer is in your house!
Someone sat in a blob of oil paint and since it won’t dry for a week is unknowingly transferring it everywhere.
Now, I don’t want to discourage anyones artist endeavors, and if you are an adult or teen who wants to try oils, they are versatile great for blending an excellent medium, and there are so many resources for instruction on oil paining you will probably have a great time. There are other paints that are much more suited for the first timer.
Acrylic paint is so much better for the first time painter, Tempera is also good it just doesn’t have the permanence unless you add egg whites to it then it “Egg Tempera” is very durable, and has a place in art history just like oil paint. Water color paint is also good.
Acrylic is cleaned up with water and soap, thinned with water, and drys very quickly instant gratification. It will be much easier clean up for the parent.