3 Differences Between an Acrylic and an Oil Live Wedding Painting

Published on 15 April 2024 at 11:41

If you are looking for a live wedding painter to paint at your special day, you may have come across the terms 'acrylic painting' or 'oil painting' and you may have wondered what the difference is between them is. This post aims to help you find out! 

1 - Acrylic Dries Quickly, Oil Dries Slowly 

As acrylic dries quickly, some painters can paint a full painting during the wedding day. This has pros and cons, as the live painting will be finished during the wedding day, but it may not have a lot of detail in it. Oil paint also has pros and cons. It dries slowly, so the live painter has more time to paint in details and change the composition before the painting dries down and becomes permanent.  If your goal is to get everything finished within the day, acrylic might be for you, but if you want a more detailed and highly rendered painting, oil painting might be your best bet. 

2 - Oil is Highly Blendable, Acrylic is Not 

As oil paint does not dry quickly, live painters who work with oil can achieve highly blended skin tones and realistic paintings. Oil paint is made from linseed oil and pure crushed up pigment, which allows the colour to be a lot deeper and bolder, and can achieve more of a wow factor in a finished piece. As acrylic paint is made from polymer plastic it has a more flat matte appearance. And as it dries so quickly, it is not possible to blend acrylics in the same way as oils. This encourages the acrylic painter to layer paint next to each other in more of an abstract style, rather than a blended realistic look that oils can produce. The style that people prefer is subjective and varies from person to person.

2 - Acrylic Painter Use Water, Oil Painter Use Painting Mediums

Acrylic paint is made fluid by mixing it with water. When you see an acrylic live painter at work at a wedding, they are likely to have a palette of paint and a large container of water to paint with. Oil paint however does not mix with water. So a live painter who paints with oil paints will have their palette of paints and also a bottle of walnut oil, or maybe a bottle of quick drying liquid, which will make the paint more fluid and can also speed up the drying time of the paint. The acrylic painter will need a water source at the wedding, to clean their water as it gets muddy, but the oil painter will not need to use anything other than the mediums they have brought with them. 

I hope this post has helped you learn the difference between the two painting mediums, and has helped you to inform your choice of which live wedding painting experience to go for!


Chloe is a live wedding painter and event painter based in the UK. To book her for your wedding or special occasion, please go to her contact page here.

Add comment


There are no comments yet.