Whilst putting together a price list today for the artwork I currently have hanging on my studio walls and stacked up around the edges of my dining room, I noticed the variation in different mediums used on my paintings. 

For just my canvases alone there are:

  • Oil 
  • Oil and Emulsion 
  • Emulsion 
  • Emulsion and Acrylic
  • Acrylic

And on top of these there are watercolours – always on watercolour paper. 

I always get asked which mediums my paintings are in so for this blog I’ll post some examples for each one. 

  1.  Oil – this is always on canvas.

    I love oil, it’s probably my favourite medium – the way the colours blend is so gorgeous, and the oil paints are so vibrant and bright, they seem to carry on glowing even after they are dry. The brushes can be left with paint on for several hours – so I can make a coffee or pop out without having to clean my brushes every time I stop – and the smell of turpentine wafts out of my studio for several days afterwards. Anyone else love the smell of turps or is it just me? 

On the down side – it takes a week or so for each layer to dry so is not good for a quick painting, it could take weeks or months to complete an oil. I get so far with one until I start to feel like I could smudge the parts already painted so have to leave it until it’s totally dry.

2) Oil and Emulsion
I often use emulsion if I want a plain base to start from – it can be used to match a colour scheme and is a quick and easy way to cover the background.

3) Emulsion
This is a great medium for a painting that just needs blocks of colour, no blending – particularly if it needs to match a room scheme. It’s easy to use as no mixing is required. I often use these straight out of the tester sample pots that can be bought in DIY shops. Great fun! 

4) Emulsion and Acrylic

Butterflies has a plain white emulsion background, with grey ‘Farrow and Ball’ plain butterflies. The coloured ones are  painted with acrylics.

5) Acrylic

I can’t find a recent example of a time when I have painted with only acrylic and not included an emulsion background.  My most popular paintings over the years have been dandelion clocks….although these have emulsion backgrounds in various colours, all of the fine detail of the white of the dandelions have painted in acrylic – which is perfect for this as it can be painted really thin and doesn’t smudge as it dries so quickly. 

6) Watercolours
The quickest medium – great for painting outdoors and combining with pen. On a really hot day I find it’s almost refreshing to be painting with water, however I have to work quickly with large washes to avoid them drying up half way through. All my Venice paintings were created in situ on the streets of Venice……



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