The latest option to come around in oil painting is water soluble oil paints. It is surprising that they are not being more widely used by artists everywhere.
Water Soluble Oil Paints are just like traditional oil paints, only they do not require the use of turpentine or mineral spirits for clean-up. Water soluble oil paints are mixed with detergent to make them water soluble. They mimick the consistency of traditional oil paints, only they have the added benefit of being water soluble, i.e., you can clean your brushes and painting supplies with regular soap and water. This prevents the unhealthy inhalation of toxic turpentines and is a preventive measure that painters can take to protect their health.
Some painters use acrylic paints because they wish to avoid the toxicity of traditional oils, yet they are unhappy with the resulting flatness of their paintings. Water-soluble oil paints are the answer. They retain the richness of traditional oil paint without the need to use toxic substances to work with them. There is a slight smell which is experienced by most painters as not unpleasant. It is wise to use paint in properly ventilated areas whether using traditional or non-traditional oil paints.
Painters will find water soluble oil paints are easy to work with and easy to rub out and re-work. Additionally, they take longer to dry than acrylic paints, thus providing more flexibility. At the same time, they do not take as long to dry as traditional oils do.
The best brushes to use with water soluble oil paint are hog bristle brushes. They can be purchased at any art supply store.
Most manufactures of traditional oil paints now make water soluble oil paints in addition to traditional oil paints. Windsor & Newton, Van Gogh H20, and Holbein are brand names of some water soluble oil paints. Most art supply stores sell at least one brand of water soluble oil paints.
Vincent Van Gogh went insane and some writers hypothesize that toxic materials related to his use of turpentine, lead and other minerals in the paint supplies he used contributed to his demise. Currently, many eco-conscious painters and artists advocate the use of non-toxic materials.
Traditional oil paints are so popular that many painters choose to expose themselves to their toxic effects rather than give up the pleasurable results they achieve with this medium. Water-soluble oil paints provide a viable alternative, although artists may be slow to embrace them. They are worth a try.