The Beauty of Water Soluble Oil Paints
Author: Art Shed Tom Date Posted:12 April 2016
Water-soluble oil paints seem to defy logic - we have always been taught that water and oil don't mix, but somehow it has been made possible. A great solution for those of us wanting to alleviate our studio's of smelly fumes from solvents.
How do water-soluble oils work? Simply put, the oil has undergone a special treatment to allow the oil molecules to bind to water molecules, and therefore break apart when added to water - they feel like traditional oils only with much more flexibility and versatility.
These fully water-soluble paints are thick, vibrant and slick like most traditional oil paints, but offer a range of finishes unmatched by other paint. Not only can these paints be used to supplement my current set of traditional oils and oil-based mediums, they can also be used with water-based mediums and paints like acrylic and gouache. They also work beautifully on their own with just ordinary water.
Watered down heavily, they produce something like a quick drying gouache effect which can drip, run, and bleed really well. Straight from the tube they are thick, texture-holding and buttery just like normal oil paint. While they are slow drying in this form, they are much quicker to dry than traditional oils while still allowing ample time for traditional wet-in-wet techniques. I have been able to blend and render forms obsessively, as well as layer up chucky, painterly forms with ease. However, the somewhat reduced dry time helps one move on to subsequent layers more quickly and get your work from conception to fruition more readily.
There are some subtle differences that I have noticed, having used traditional oils for several years. The H2O paints have slightly a more elastic, sticky feel straight from the tube. This feel is very appealing when working in a loose, textured manner, but can be mitigated for highly rendered works with a medium. I have also found when using non-oil based mediums or water, they tend to dry to a matte finish. I suggest using an oil based medium to maintain gloss and vibrancy.
These paints have been very easy to adjust to and incorporate into my art practise. I couldn’t be happier as I am now free to work freely with my favourite oil techniques without worrying about chemicals, fumes or messy clean-up.
Check out some of the paintings with the new Mont Marte Water mixable oils by Our amazing Staff!