The differences between paints


Acrylic painting by Hope Richards. (Picture taken by Hope Richards)

Hope Richards, Staff Writer

Painting! Specifically acrylic, watercolor and oil painting. There are more types of paint, but these are the most common paints used among artists and even common people who do DIY’s.  There is a big difference between these paints and they have different uses.


Starting off with acrylic paint, acrylic paint is the most common of the three to be used. Acrylic is pretty cheap: an 8oz bottle at Walmart is 50 cents. It can be used on almost all surfaces. Depending what brand you buy, the paint dries pretty fast.


Mrs. McCafferty, one of the art teachers at Madison-Plains, says out of the three that acrylic paint is her favorite and oil paint is her least favorite. 


I asked McCafferty what’s your favorite thing to paint with acrylic paint and she said “Gosh, let me think about it, almost everything, but especially portraits and abstract art.”

Watercolor painting by Izabella Richards. (Picture taken by Izabella Richards.)


Next up, watercolor paint: watercolor and acrylic paint are both really easy to use but they have different uses, looks and textures.


Watercolor can be bought in two forms. One form is the watercolor cakes which are most often found, the other form is in a tube like how you would find oil and acrylic paints. Out of the two forms the cakes are the cheaper one and most commonly found.


In art class Mrs. McCafferty uses the cakes instead of the tubes because they are cheaper, but she prefers the tubes. Both forms are very easy to use, and they both have almost the same outcome.


For the use of watercolor McCafferty said “Watercolor is best for a starter and if [you want]wanted different washes.” It is also great for backgrounds of calligraphy writing. It’s better for beginners because it’s easy to use, it doesn’t take much of an effort and it is not time consuming.

Oil painting by Hope Richards. (Picture taken by Hope Richards.)


Oil painting. The hardest paint to use. This paint has the most vivid color out of the three. Oil paint is also the thickest, but it is the worst paint to paint with. 


Oil paint is very time consuming but has a pretty outcome. I would not suggest using the same paint brushes for oil paint as you would acrylic or watercolor. The paint brushes are very oily and hard to clean.


Mrs. McCafferty says that oil paint is her least favorite paint. The paint is so hard to clean up and get out of the brushes. It’s just a pain in the rear end.