This painting is from the publicity poster for the 1921 silent film "The Kid," written, directed and starring Charlie Chaplin. The painting is 11.5 x 45.5 on canvas primed several times with gesso and tinted with a gesso/cobalt blue as the final coat. I then used layers of Prussian blue to paint the image. I utilized a watercolor effect with liquid acrylic and water mixed with the blue.
Oil paints tend to require the addition of a toxic solvent, such as mineral spirits or turpentine to thin the paints and clean up tools, though relatively recently water soluble oil paints have been developed for artist use. Secondly, oil paint films become increasing yellow and brittle, and will lose their flexibility in a few decades. Acrylics can be used on many surfaces without a medium- layer. They allow sharp brush-strokes but also a more delicate shading, although it is more difficult to create a smooth change between different shades. They are usually very bright. Although the permanency of acrylics is sometimes debated by conservators, they appear more stable than oil paints.
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