Switching from Oils to Acrylics

I painted with oils for over 20 years and my paintings won lots of awards – from local to international. Logically, I should know how to paint. So, switching from oils to acrylics should be super simple?

Not so!

Oil paint and acrylic paint are completely different animals! Switching to acrylics means learning how to paint all over again. Painting Hawk was an exercise in pure frustration. Each of the 10 (or more) layers of acrylic paint on this canvas is hiding an oil painting technique that didn’t work with acrylics.


Making mistakes is an amazing teacher. My next painting subject is a Mandrill. Wish me luck!

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About Brenda Hoddinott
Award-winning artist and author; illustrator, art educator, curriculum designer, co-owner of Drawspace.com, owner of Drawspace Publishing, and retired forensic artist Brenda has developed art curricula and taught multidisciplinary arts since 1980. During her 25-year career as a forensic artist, Brenda worked with diverse criminal investigative agencies including the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Canadian Department of National Defense, private investigative agencies, and municipal police departments. Brenda and her partner John live in the suburbs of Halifax, Nova Scotia with their two SPCA rescue dogs: Timber the Huskador and Katie the Pitweiler. Their blended human family includes five adult children and two grandchildren. Books by Brenda Hoddinott include: 2012: Introduction to Contour Lines (Drawspace Publishing) 2012: Introduction to Drawing (Drawspace Publishing) 2011: Illustrated Dictionary of Art-Related Terms (Drawspace Publishing) 2010: Getting Started with Drawing (Drawspace Publishing) 2004: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Drawing People Illustrated (Alpha Books) 2003: Drawing for Dummies (Wiley Publishing, Inc.)

4 Responses to Switching from Oils to Acrylics

  1. tr1c says:

    no different to make a stencil and to connect the dots


    • So sorry, but I don’t understand your comment. May I ask for an explanation? Thank you.


      • tr1c says:

        I have been drawing reference buildings from the pictures I took offline and practicing how to draw. I took a picture that I took offline as for a reference and cut the windows out and made a stencil from the picture and drew it on the paper and what I did.


  2. Sounds like a very clever technique for drawing a building accurately! :)


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