Hey Everyone!

Recently I've switched from using oil paint to water mixable oil paint. Also known as water soluble paint. I really have fallen in love with this medium.  It is greener than regular oil paint and cleans up easily.  I find it is a lot like working with acrylics.

I must admit that the first time I tried water mixable paint, I didn't like them.  Most of the colors came out thick and a bit sticky.  Also, I did not buy the mediums to go with them.  I tried using a small amount of water for better flow but this only made the paint look dull and flat.

I really love the feel of oil paints so I gave up on the water solubles and went back to using my regular oils. After awhile, I again grew tired of all of the clean up involved.  I don't have a studio to work in so I must  clean up after every painting session.  I also have oil paint on most of my clothes now.

I figured I'd give the water mixables another go.  This time I bought water mixable linseed oil  and a drying medium as well.  It made a huge difference in the feel and flow of the paint.  I also read and watched videos on how to properly use them. 

I found that the oil in water mixable paint is altered to be broken down with water.  Just like cooking oil can be washed with soap and water.  Also, the water evaporates when the painting dries so that you are left with just paint and oil on canvas.  This is why their is no distinction between oil and water mixable oil paintings when sold or exhibited. 

Here is a WIP I'm working on with water soluble paints.  

I love that I can clean my brushes with water for color changes and with soap and water at the end of my painting session.

It's much better than working with all of that toxic turpentine.  The paint doesn't have much smell, only from the linseed oil; which isn't very strong.

Now my family and I, along with our pets, can breathe freely.

I highly recommend water mixable paint if you are staying away from oils due to the fumes, toxicity and messiness.  Give them a try or revisit them you may like them!

For more information you can visit my blog  Harvest Moon

Happy Painting!


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Haaa, very interesting, can you give me a name of the paints, I have never heard of this, (being a beginner). ?  Do they they longer to dry?  Will look into this. Tks for the info

Hi Destry,

Thanks for your comment.  The paint I use is Winsor Newton Water Mixable Paint.  There are other brands but this brand is what I can easily find in my area.  I've heard that Van Gogh and Holbein are good brands.  Drying time is shorter than regular oil paint.  I find it dries overnight or within two days.

Cool, I was just getting on to ask about those paints! I have young childern and aquaruims so I stop using oils, but I'm supposed to paint a portriat, I find oils much better to work with for portriats. Thanks

I'm using these paints now for a portriat. I tried mixing with a little water....yuk. Clean up with water and ivory soap, but mixing the paint with water is a bad idea...if you try it, you'll see why. I use oil to improve the flow.

I started with Winsor and Newton water soluble oil paints and I thought they were good.  I'm new with oils so I figured it was the way to go.  Then as I finished a couple of paintings I figured I was able to graduate to regular Oils.  So now that's what I'm using all the time.  I've been using paint thinner for clean-up and i like it.  It's Bob Ross odorless thinner.  After swishing the brush around in the thinner (I have a papertowel in the bottom of the canning jar because it does a great job along with thinner) I then rub it on a paper towel laid out flat and dip in to my next color.  I find this method very easy.  I also keep the lid on the canning jar even though there is no odor.  The Oils I'm using now are Daler and Rowney and they're pretty easy to work with.  I think they're much easier than the water soluble Winsor and Newton.  I found them to be really thick.  Well anyway, this is my way :)  I did however have to use my water-soluble Cadmium Red as I didn't have any in the Daler Rowney and it worked out well.  Ok, it seems I've written a book......Marg

I use the Winsor and Newton water soluables and love them.  I sometimes use acrylics.  I love the fact that I can mix these oils with any other medium including acrylic.  They layer with anything.  If you use the mediums that come with them, they work just like regular oils.  Aslo, I use them as watercolors when I mix them with water.  I have read somewhere that they expect them to last as long or longer than regualr oils as far as being correct on archivial.  I think they are amazing.  There only downfall to me is the colst... just like with all quality oils, they are expensive.  So, when I want to do a less expensive piece to sell, I use acrylics instead.

This seems strange to me...you can mix them with acrylics? Pandalana...can you paint thin layers over thick of these oils without worry they will crack? I use the linseed oil medium for these paints for thining.

thanks for the info!

I'm using these for a portriat. I already started it and I have bought a lot of this paint. I am finding that it is drying to quickly for me. I dont have a lot of time a day to paint sometimes only a few min a day. When I went back to work on the face, to blend, change the color, rewokr ect..I'm finding the paint sticky and pilly. It is rollong into little clumps in the paint. I need it to stay workable for a week or so, so I can paint a smooth blended. How can I save this portriat and still use this paint? I mix with the aqua oil should I use the regular oil for mixing? If I do can I still clean up with soap and water?

Catherine...I only used water for mixing and not oil.  Maybe that's where your problem came in? Also, if you want to mix with oils, I would only use Linseed Oil because that's what is in the paint to begin with.  I believe the linseed oil can be broken down with water and that's the reason.  Denise mentioned this.

I have never used oils but I am wondering if they are easier to blend than the acrylics?

I think these paints would work okie if you do not do a lot of blending or...you can finish your paitning in a day. It drys and becomes sticky to quickly for me, so I'm going to the regular oils for the portriat I'm doing. I plan on using the water mixables very thinly for an under painting mixed with water and paint on top with the regular.

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