I have a query for Richard and anyone else who might like to comment.

Richard, I notice that you recommend Archival Oils by Chroma but that you regularly use water soluble oils when making the online demonstration videos.  Do you now prefer water soluble oils to the traditional oils?  

I'm fairly new to oil painting having painted mostly in watercolour and acrylic in the past.  I have bought a number of tubes of traditional oils but I'm now wondering whether I should have bought water soluble oils for more convenience.  It seems that they might dry quicker?  or are they easier to handle? and easier to clean up? I would like to hear the pros and cons on each please.  Thank you.

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Hi Colleen...I just joined a few days ago....I'm sure by now you already have your preferred medium. I've been using Winsor & Newton Artisan water soluble oil paints- esp for #pleinairpainting and mix with Amsterdam heavy gel medium, it gives a lot of texture and dries in a few minutes, rinses out with water too. When I get home I clean my brushes with baking soda then Murphy's oil soap. I finish my paintings using real oil paint because I loooooove the smell of linseed! Hope this still helps.

Hi Lori, Thank you for your reply and welcome to the site!  I mostly use acrylics and watercolours these days but am thinking of doing some plein air painting and I find the acrylics dry very quickly - especially in the hot weather where I live.  Do you find that the Winsor & Newton Artisan water soluble oil paints feel like oil paints when painting?  And are you able to keep them moist for as long as you want?

Thanks Colleen...yes, the same feel as traditional oils...but don't smell as gooooood! I keep them moist by simply spritzing with water. I always carry a small spray bottle with me. Some colors like Prussian blue and some browns dry up 2 to 3 days. The painting dries with a matte look, that's why I finish off with traditional oils, then the gloss is just right. Attached is what I finished in plein air using water as a medium, then just finished off with very mnimal water.  The Cobra are much creamier but seems thin without that "bite". As if it slides off when working wet into wet. Go to Lori Mcnee's website she uses Cobra a lot. Enjoy!

Hi Colleen, I have been using Both the Artisan and Croma WS/Oils I find the Croma is a bit more fluid the drying time is about the same for both, I would suggest that the Artisan product would enable more texture however they are both pretty good. The lack of smell is a big thing for me and the clean up is easy I have been using a liquid product called sugar soap but it would be a lot more expensive than baking soda so I will try that (thanks Loi)

Hello Colleen

I'm not an expert in any medium, but I've tried both kind of oils. Today, I only use the water soluble kind. I do not notice any critical difference in the handling, but the fact that I only need water to use them is a big advantage both in painting, especially plein air, and cleaning. The no smell aspect is critical for me.

Happy painting

Jorge Russo



Hi Ian and Jorge, 

Thank you both for your helpful replies.  I think I would like to give the water based oils a go and will buy a couple of tubes at the next opportunity.  I appreciate your help.

You are very welcome Colleen,

I tried the water soluble oils as I use oils in plein air, with a very limited palette, so you will only need to spend, lets say, four tubes to give it a try.

Happy painting

Jorge Russo




Thank you Jorge. I think it's worth a try, and yes, probably only four tubes initially. Thank you again for your help.

I've had a little experience with water soluble oils.  I think it really depends on what suits you. They are thick and buttery, in fact really nice for direct painting, that is one shot down of the paint. They don't suit my classical way of painting portraits in thinnish layers. I always found oils a messy business, as much as I preferred them. I think water soluble paints will be better. I'm finding acrylics a cleaner business and I don't seem to get them on my clothes.

Thank you very much for your comments Mike.  I haven't yet bought any water soluble oils but I might still give them a go in the future.  Meanwhile I'll stick with the acrylics and/or traditional oils for a while.  I know what you mean about acrylics being cleaner!  It's clear that they all come with their own problems or idiosyncrasies!  I appreciate your help.

Hi Colleen!  I've attempted two paintings now in water soluble oils.  Used them for one of my Challenge 41 paintings (the other I did in watercolor). With both of the W.S. Oils I used Cobra Painting Medium....they take a long time to dry.  Lots easier clean up than oils, but not as easy as watercolors!  I haven't painted with oils in years, but when I did...painted differently.  I always did an under painting and then layers of glazes, so difficult to compare.  I have read that Richard uses walnut oil, going to try that, and will also try just with water.  Would like to learn more about them myself...so will keep my eye on this forum, and let you know my feelings on the water and walnut oil!  

Liking the reminder about Murphy's Oil Soap, that does wonders to restore brushes!

Hi all, I am new to painting and may fellow artists told me that since I never tried traditional oils, to try the waterbase oils... W/N Artesian WB oils are limited palette, but there are other brands that are waterbase that work well together.. I use Artsian painting medium to thin it out instead of water, Liquin or any other oil medium will work also.. Water thins out the hue too much and is harder to work well with wet/wet technique or alla prima technique...
Using turpentine/Turpenoid or any other thinner to clean your brushes between color changes works great....cleaning brushes at end of painting I use Dove dish washing liquid.......
Drying time is a bit quicker than traditional oils, but not as quick as acrylics..to fully dry a painting can take weeks...depending on how much paint is there.. One can let it dry for a day and repainted ok.. Wet on wet only works the day you paint... Hope my experience helps everyone....I like them cause the cleanup is great....

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