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Digital Subscriptions > The Artist > August 2018 > The advantages of water-mixable oils

The advantages of water-mixable oils

Having experimented with water-mixable oils, Paul Riley shares his findings and offers some tips and suggestions for painting with this medium


Fields over Coombe, water-mixable oils on Saunders Waterford 300gsm HP paper, 11x221⁄2in (38x57cm).

The paper was primed with an acrylic gesso to compare with unsized paper. This procedure eliminates sinking into the tooth of the paper by providing a better grip for impasto paint. The process worked well. The vibrant spring grass was an exciting subject to explore as I discovered the variety of greens

Water-mixable oils have been around for some time now and have gained a reputation for being just as good as oil paints, with the added benefits of being a lot less toxic. I was never certain they could be better than oils or any different to acrylics, an attitude I still maintain to a degree. However, I decided to experiment, make mistakes and see if anything innovative could be produced.

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About The Artist

Welcome to our August issue packed with practical, how-to articles and demonstrations to help inspire and guide your drawing and painting over the summer months. Our top team of professional artists and tutors are passionate about sharing their ideas and technical skills to help you learn from their experience. The issue is brimming over with features covering all media and subject matter, including advice from Paul Riley on the advantages and benefits of using water-mixable oils and Robert Dutton on how to incorporate the use of acrylic spray paints to great effect in your mixed-media work. Watercolourists will love the different approaches and ideas shared by Vivienne Cawson (flowers), Amanda Hyatt (tonal impressions), Geoff Hunt (working en plein air), Robert Brindley (street scenes) and Julie Collins, who offers some great ideas about colours and colour combinations for painting trees. All this and more, plus look out for the 'swipe for more images' and hand logo to see even more images from our wonderful artists. And don't forget to enter the last of our summer sketching competition challenges set by Adebanji Alade, with prizes up for grabs from GreatArt!