What is the Difference Between Oil Painting And Watercolor Painting?

Oil painting is known for its bold and vibrant colors, while watercolor painting is known for its delicate and transparent washes.

The permanence of oil painting makes it a great choice for painting large-scale works and for preserving artwork. While watercolors can be less forgiving, they can produce beautiful and unique works of art that can be used for fine art and illustration.

Oil and watercolor painting are two of the most popular mediums used by professional and amateur artists. These two mediums have many differences in terms of application technique, color, texture, and permanence.

Let’s take a closer look at the differences between oil painting and watercolor painting to help you decide which is right.

What is the Difference between Oil Painting And Watercolor Painting

The Major Difference between Oil Painting And Watercolor Paintings

There are two main types of paintings: oil painting and watercolor painting. Both have their own unique features, benefits, and drawbacks. So, what is the major difference between these two types of paintings?

Here’s a quick overview


  • Oil paintings have been around for centuries and are known for their rich, deep colors and ability to capture complex details.
  • On the other hand, watercolor paintings are more delicate and often have a softer, dreamier look.


  • Oil paintings are more durable than watercolor paintings as they are usually done on canvas or wood panels, and oil paint has a greater resistance to fading over time.
  • Watercolor paintings are much more susceptible to fading and damage from moisture.


  • Oil paintings have a thick, lush texture that is often difficult to replicate with other mediums.
  • Watercolor paintings often have a softer, more subtle texture that is achieved by blending the pigments together and creating a wash.


  • Oil paintings usually take longer to complete than watercolor paintings as the paints take longer to dry.
  • Watercolor paintings can be completed more quickly as the paints dry quickly and do not require multiple layers like oil paintings.


  • Oil painting requires a more precise technique, as the paints can be blended and layered for a realistic effect.
  • Watercolor painting is often done in a more spontaneous, sketchy style as the paints blend together more quickly, and the artist can build up the details with multiple layers.


  • Oil paintings are renowned for their ability to capture intricate details that are difficult to achieve with other mediums.
  • Watercolor paintings usually have more of a softer, dreamy look, and the details are often more subtle and abstract.


  • Oil painting usually requires more expensive materials and can be more expensive to purchase than watercolor paintings.
  • Watercolor paintings are generally more affordable and require fewer supplies.

Overall, oil and watercolor painting have unique benefits and drawbacks. Depending on your preferences and the type of painting you want to create, either one can be a perfect choice.

Which is More Difficult, Watercolor Or Oil Painting?

When it comes to painting, it can be difficult to determine which medium is more difficult, oil or watercolor. Both have their own unique properties and techniques, making it difficult to decide which is more difficult.

Watercolor is considered more challenging because it requires a great deal of control. The watercolor paint is transparent, so it’s difficult to cover up mistakes. You also need to be precise with your brush strokes and be aware of the amount of water you are using. It’s also important to be aware of how long you let your paints dry, as this can affect the outcome of your painting.

On the other hand, oil painting is considered less difficult because you have more control over the paint. You can apply many layers of paint and mix colors to create the desired effect. You can also easily cover up mistakes if you make any. However, oil painting is more time-consuming and requires patience and a steady hand for accurate brush strokes.

Overall, it’s difficult to determine which is more difficult between, watercolor or oil painting. Both have their own unique properties and techniques, so it comes down to personal preference. If you’re just starting out, it may be easier to start with watercolor as it requires fewer supplies and is a bit less daunting. But if you’re willing to put in the time and effort, oil painting can be a great way to create beautiful art.

Why are Oil Paintings More Expensive Than Watercolors?

Oil paintings have been the preferred medium for artists of all skill levels for centuries. Oil paints are renowned for their versatility and ability to create stunning works of art, from detailed realism to dreamy abstracts. However, this versatility comes at a cost, and oil paintings are often more expensive than watercolor paintings. Here are the reasons why they are more costly than watercolor paintings:


One of the main reasons oil paintings cost more than watercolor paintings is their durability. Oil paintings are known for their longevity and can last centuries if properly cared for.

On the other hand, watercolor paintings are much more delicate and can be easily damaged over time. As a result, they are not as valuable or long-lasting as oil paintings.


Another factor contributing to the cost of oil paintings is the materials used. Oil paints are made of high-quality pigments and binders, which are costly.

Watercolor paints are made of less expensive pigments and binders, which are not as durable or vivid. Additionally, oil paintings require various other materials, such as solvents and varnishes, which further increase the cost.


The availability of oil paints and watercolor paints is another contributing factor to the cost of oil paintings.

Oil paints are widely available, while watercolor paints are more difficult to find and often more expensive. This makes it difficult for artists to find the right materials, and this scarcity can add to the cost of an oil painting.


The amount of time it takes to create an oil painting is another factor that contributes to its cost. Oil paintings often take much longer to complete than watercolor paintings, as the artist has to mix, blend, and layer the paints in order to achieve the desired effect. This extra time and effort can add to the cost of the painting.

Oil paintings are often more expensive than watercolor paintings due to their durability, materials, availability, and time requirements. Although oil paintings can be more costly, they are worth the investment, as they can last centuries and add a beautiful touch to any home.

Is Watercolor Good for Beginners

Watercolor is a great medium for beginners because it is relatively inexpensive and easy to find supplies. It is also a forgiving medium, meaning mistakes are easily corrected with a wet brush or a little water. One of the biggest benefits of watercolor is that it forces you to be loose and spontaneous with your painting.

This can be liberating for beginners who tend to overthink their paintings. Watercolor also has a beautiful transparency that allows light to shine through the layers, creating luminous effects. If you are thinking about trying watercolor, start by doing some research on different techniques.

Then, gather some basic supplies like paper, paintbrushes, and paints. Experiment with different techniques and have fun!

Watercolor Vs. Oil Paint Pros And Cons

Can I Use Afm Sealer on Watercolor Paint?

Using afm sealer on oil paint can help protect the artwork from potential damage. However, when it comes to watercolor paint, it is not recommended to use Afm sealer. Watercolor paintings are transparent and fragile, and applying a sealer can alter their appearance and affect their archival quality. It is best to use alternative methods to protect watercolor artworks, such as framing them behind glass or using a fixative spray.


Oil and watercolor painting are two distinct styles of painting that have advantages and disadvantages. Oil painting is great for creating detailed and vivid works of art due to its range of colors, textures, and viscosity. On the other hand, watercolor painting is great for creating lighter, more transparent pieces of art.

As far as which is more difficult or which is more expensive, it depends on the type of artwork you are trying to create and the materials you will need to do it. Regardless, oil and watercolor painting are great options for any artist.

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