What is the Difference Between Oil and Acrylic Painting?

Are you an Art lover? Then you must be aware of the most common question of all the time to be asked from artists and is also our hot topic of discussion today.

You must be thinking: How to recognize what is the difference between oil and acrylic painting?

Before moving any further the first things you guys should know are our keywords Oil and Acrylic. Come on let’s get into the detail….

What is Oil Paint: Oil paint is nothing but a slow drying paint consisting particles of pigment suspend in drying oil commonly linseed oil. We can increase the thickness by adding white spirit and glossiness can also be improved by adding varnish.

What is Acrylic Paint: Acrylic paint is opposite to oil paint is a fast drying paint made of a pigment suspend in acrylic polymer emulsion. It is water soluble and become water resistant when get dry. It is resembling with oil paint.


You definitely get to know the basic and main difference between oil and acrylic painting is that oil is slow drying paint and acrylic is fast drying paint but when both get dry again a big confusion is created and becomes unrecognizable. So let’s get step by step and make it more clearly for you guys.

Note: Not taking into consideration the quick drying oils ‘Alkyds’ or ‘Open’ acrylics.

Here’s the kicker:

If you are ready with all the materials with an amazing masterpiece then start by using an eagle eye J and you will get a perfect idea which painting type is that.


How to use a Canvas is the first thing to keep in the painting kit on which your masterpiece is displayed really well. If the canvas is rough or you can say raw then it is oil painting or if the canvas paper for acrylic painting or fabric is coated with the layer of base or white paint for sure.
Now Canvas can give you the basic idea.


Now comes the examination of the color, two things to keep in mind its edges and the clarity. If the edges are sharp and crisp, the colors also tend to be more vibrant due to its fast drying time

Then it is an acrylic painting. If the edges on the other hand are softer due its ability to blend and long drying time, then it will be oil paint colors. Also the colors will be darker.


The texture of paint is another characteristic to keep in mind while making a difference between the two types. Do one thing hold the painting at a certain side angle where your eye can see it more clearly. Now look at the paint texture, if the texture is high and more layered then it is likely to be oil painting. And on the other hand if the painting is rubbery look and smooth then it is an acrylic one unless an additive is used to give it more thick look.


Now if you look at the shine of the paint it seems to be glossy then it is surely an oil paint art. The Acrylic painting on the other hand is not glossy but more likely to be a matte texture.


The oil painting will get yellowish look as soon as it gets old and also cracks start appearing in it but acrylic painting on the other hand will remain as it is without any change.

What’s the bottom line?

After reading this Hope you get to know more about both the paintings and the difference between them. Very easy tips to apply and check. But if you want to get more clear knowledge of what is the difference between Oil and Acrylic Painting? , why don’t you have your oil paint set and acrylic paint set to create your own masterpieces and observe them and seek out your favorite style.

Let us know in the comment section Which is better acrylic or oil paint?

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