Using Acrylics as underpainting layers for oil painting

acrylics as underpainting
When acrylic colours first became widely available in the 1950’s and 60’s, there was a reluctance to recommend overpainting them with oil colours because of suggestions that this might be unsound – notably the fact that the acrylic colour does not become brittle with age like oil colour, so an inflexible oil colour film over a flexible acrylic film could lead to cracking.
In practice these fears have not been confirmed and at Winsor & Newton we are not aware of a single case of cracking caused by painting in oil colour over acrylic, either as a complaint from a customer or in laboratory tests.

However, it is recommended that if you are overpainting acrylics with oil then keep the acrylic layer thin, absorbent and fairly “lean” to limit its flexibility. It is still not recommended to paint with oil colour over thick impasto layers of acrylics, due to the flexibility differences in the layers during the drying process.

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