hit counter

Converting Oils to Acrylics

Posted by Neadeen Masters on 4th Jun 2019

For those who enquired about converting oils to acrylics, here are my suggestions for your conversions.

If you’re interested in using designs and oil patterns with your acrylic paints, simply do a pigment match. Most brands use standard pigments that represent the basic individual colour families of the 12 colour wheel. If not the same, they are similar in hue and temperature, (warm or cool).

Look to see what the individual Artists uses to represent ‘their’ preferred 12 colour wheel. (That’s ‘their’ personal colour palette)

For example, if an oil colour is a magenta hue which we know is in the red violet family, we can look to see the closest colour match in our Traditions acrylics, or your preferred acrylic pure pigments. ( not mixes) i.e. red violet. If an oil colour is in the blue green family...a good conversion would be a phthalo green - blue or similar.

Look to see if it’s bright or dull, or leans closer to blue or to green. (Its neighbours on the colour wheel)

Earth pigment conversions can be straight across. Burnt Umber = burnt umber.

Yellows, blues and reds are usually either warm or cool, bright or dull. For example, is the yellow closer to the outer areas of the pigment wheel or closer to the duller Centre?

And as well, remember pigment colours will also lean to one side or the other on the colour wheel. Does a yellow lean towards green or towards yellow orange? See? This will really make it easier when you choose a substitute.

Once you wrap your head around the basic 12 colour families, it’s usually pretty straightforward. We are very Lucky that Traditions Acrylics are mostly pure pigments, and fully loaded so they are rich in hue like professional oil paints. We also know if they represent warm or cool, bright or dull by reading their labels.

If you are thinking about converting Gary and Kathwren Jenkins e-patterns, note that both the Jenkins styles are pretty loose and they work mostly wet in wet, brush mixing as they go. So visual colour matching is much easier and lends to higher success. As long as you understand the differences between the 12 colour families on the basic colour wheel, you will have greater success when choosing your acrylic conversions.

Get the latest updates on new products and upcoming sales