I know there is a snobbery about oils vs acrylics. I first tried acrylics when I was a kid and Liquitex was the only brand and had a limited palette. I didn’t really like them and worked in oils like my grandfather taught me all through college. But the new millennium brought a new attitude towards acrylics for me. All the sudden there were several brands and a rainbow palette. I found myself loving the quick drying feature of acrylics. There was no turning back for me.
Then I heard a lot of poo-pooing about acrylics. They weren’t valued the same as oils. But the educated art buyer knows better. A lot of well-known artists whose work sells for big money work in acrylics. Yes, you read that right.
- Ever heard of Robert Motherwell? Check out his “Elegy to the Spanish Republic.”
- How about Roy Lichtenstein? He used acrylics a lot, including for his best known work, “Drowning Girl.”
- Mark Rothko? Oh yeah. “No. 13 (White, Red on Yellow).”
- Thomas Hart Benton. I’m not making this up. He created several studies of “The Bicyclist” in oil and watercolor but the final was in (oh yeah) acrylics.
- David Hockney painted several California swimming pools in acrylic.
- That rebel Andy Warhol painted his soup cans in acrylics.