In the world of art, not all paints are created equal. Oil paints are made from organic oil bases including linseed, poppy, and soy. They are known to dry slower than others, but fast-drying oil paints in tubes are available on the market. The pigments used in them, the compound in it that gives it its color, may be naturally based or synthetic, but oil paint pigments have been found to be more toxic to Mother Nature than other paints because of contents such as lead and cadmium.
In regards to the quality of oil based paints compared to others, oil based paints tend to be more water resistant than others, but they have also been shown to be more flammable than others.
Oil based paints can be purchased in different forms including tubes, sticks, and blocks. Some of them will contain the word “hue” at the end of their name, which indicates that the color was created artificially. These “hue” oil paints tend to fade more than others, so care should be taken when considering what type of project is being completed.
Due to the increased health risks involved with some of the compounds used to make oil based paints, care should be taken not to use them for crafts and projects that have an increased chance of being exposed to small children or pets. Projects to avoid using oil based paints on would include toys or furniture in homes where children or pets live or frequently visit. Oil paints work great on display pieces of art that are meant to be seen and not touched. The fact that the paint is more water resistant than others will prolong the life of the project in areas of wet climate and humid weather.
Many artists argue that acrylic paints are more versatile than oil paints but not as “watery” as water colors. Acrylic paints tend to dry faster and offer easier clean up than oil paints.
Ultimately the type of paint that an artist decides to use is a matter of personal opinion. Different paints will prove to be more useful for different projects than others. It is up to the individual artist to conduct small scale experiments with different kinds of paint to determine what type has the most useful characteristics to the artist.