Art Supplies Different Types of Paint Used in Art

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Art supply stores have a wide selection of art paints. Artist paints have different properties and are used in various ways according to the needs of each artist. How do you know which paint to choose? Oils, watercolors and other types of artist's paints

Oil paint is pigment mixed with a linseed oil binder. Oil paint is thinned with turpentine or a mixture of turpentine, linseed oil or sometimes mineral oil. Oil paintings are known for their deep rich tones and are a classic medium used for centuries. Oils take weeks to dry and should be sealed with a varnish after several months. Some artists do not varnish their paintings for a year. Clean up is with turpentine. Many art supply stores are now carrying water based oils as well as traditional oil paint. 

Watercolor is a popular paint for its easy clean up and beautiful translucent colors. Pigments are water based and mixed with gum Arabic as a binder. There are many techniques used to gain interesting effects. Watercolor paints can be blotted and easily lifted from the paper. Watercolor is most often done on archival paper with soft brushes. Paintings can be approached with a loose transparent method or a tight illustration or graphic style. It is common to layer several washes to gain a deeper, richer look. Watercolors come in blocks and tubes and are also great for children. Art supply stores have watercolor sets for the beginner that will include all the supplies that you need to create a painting. This makes for a good purchase for artists who want to try it before purchasing more expensive products. 

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