End of 2017 I quite suddenly wanted to paint again with pigments, with materials. Didn't know exactly why, during the darkest days of the year it is not quite logic. But for some time I got eye troubles and that is gone now. Reason enough for this change. I painted digitally for some years. Although I started with 3D constructions, I preferred the electronic drawing tablet at the end.
I don't want to evaluate digital painting or material painting, for me all these are just mediums: oil, watercolour, pastel, acrylic, digital... I don't believe in superior mediums, a pencil drawing or digital painting can be as good as an oil.
I stopped to paint with oil years ago because I got sick from the damps of terpentine. Shame, I did like the oil smell a lot. It got worse since it became very difficult to obtain natural terpentine. The synthetic version is very bad, really poisonous to me. Another disaster was the disappearence of my favorite colour, lead white, I used a lot of it and loved it, and never fell unwell from it. Other whites are no replacement, they are so opaque. Zinc white is in between, but has proved to jump of the canvas after years. I also got annoyed by the intensive cleaning after oil painting and I do not have a separate room or studio for oil painting. Since I did work with mussini without drying additions I had to whait for a month before I could start with the next layer. Finishing an oil painting took me a year so I did make several ones at the same time.
With digital painting I was so happy to have no cleaning nor whaiting anymore. But of coarse, computers also need a lot of care and time, and digital painting is shurely not cheaper compared to artist's paints, if you consider the cost of the computer and the programs.
Acrylic paint attracted me because of the iridescent and refracting colours, witch one cannot see on a computer screen. I also wanted to enjoy the pure pigments, their colour intensity is not the same as what radiates from the computer screen, although that has it's own attraction. Moreover I wanted to have something new of my own to hang on the walls without having to let my work be printed. (But the advantage of digital painting is that one does not make stacks...) Half transparent white in acrylics is possible by mixing titanium white with gel.
I didn't intend to quit with digital painting, but the acrylics turned to be a very difficult medium so I need to go on with it every day. I did choose for Old Holland colours and not to use drying retarders. The iridescent and refracting colours prooved to be a real challenge in the way I prefer to work, I have to watch the result from different points of view all the time while painting. Acrylics prove to be very transparant so I work in several layers, each time repainting the work. So it takes quite some time, but it is far more meditating and relaxing at the same time. The biggest challenge is the quick drying time, which still makes me longing for oils! But the advantage is that I can paint on the same canvas for nearly everyday! Far better for seeing it evolving and growing and holding the concept.