Watercolor vs. Oil Paint? How to Choose When Ordering a Pet Portrait.

Watercolor vs. Oil Paint?  

How to Choose When Ordering a Pet Portrait.


  Art medium refers to the material an artist uses to create.  The plural of medium is media.  Ex. mixed media 

What Art Medium to Choose?

I work in several different mediums which may be different than some artists.  I offer pet portraits in oils, watercolor, and pastels/colored pencils.  To assist people in making a choice, I wrote this article.  Some of the information below pertains to me specifically and some pertain to the medium in general.  

Also, please be assured- if going thru this feels overwhelming, the process to order a pet portrait can be greatly simplified by just telling me you want one and sending me some photos.  :)  I offer this more detailed description for those who desire it.  

My Watercolor attributes:

Generally more:
·         detailed
·         realistic
·         light and airy, transparent color
·         less expensive for a custom portrait
Framing needs:
·         must be framed under glass
·         generally are framed with a ‘mat’ or border
·         artwork is shipped with insurance, unmated and unframed
·         easier and less expensive to ship

cons: The framing issue used to be a bit of an obstacle for some but now there are watercolor 'canvas' or cradleboards that allow the painting to be hung without the extra cost of framing.  

Rainbow Horse by Sue Steiner 

Watercolor of a wild horse from the Outer Banks, NC by Sue Steiner

Arabian horse watercolor by Sue Steiner of Free Rein Art Studio

Work in Progress watercolor painting of a lab by Sue Steiner

Chihuahua watercolor painting by Sue Steiner

Equine Art by Sue Steiner

My Oil Painting Attributes

·         more style options- from detailed to abstract, palette knife
·         more sizing options- 8 x 10 to Life-sized
·         the richness in color and texture from oil paint- exceeds anything else!
·         sturdy – can be painted on a variety of surfaces
·         can be painted on gallery wrapped canvas which does not require framing

cons: longer drying time which can be problematic for rushed orders or during the holidays when I get booked.

Equine Art by Sue Steiner
Pet Portrait by Sue Steiner

Pet Portrait by Sue Steiner
Pet Portrait work in Progress by Sue Steiner

Yellow Peep in oils by Sue Steiner

Cat Oil Painting by Sue Steiner

'Stride By', 18 x 24 in oils by Sue Steiner
work in progress slide show of large horse oil painting by Sue Steiner

My Pastel/ Colored Pencil Attributes

  • colorful, often playful, realistic
  • detailed
  • limited sizing options- usually 8 x 10 to 11 x 14 
  • framed and matted under glass (which a spacer so glass doesn't sit on top of artwork)
  • easy to ship
  • no drying time
con: can be a bit more fragile to ship- special handling required under framed

Colorful Cows Mixed Media by Sue Steiner

Three Pigs by Sue Steiner

Horse in Mixed Media by Sue Steiner
Bull Terrier Pet Portrait by Sue Steiner

Pet Portrait by Sue Steiner

Thank you for stopping by!! 

Some ways to connect with me are below. 

If you, are anyone you know, are interested in a pet portrait or painting of your horse, please take a look at my artwork and website. I would love to talk about what you have in mind. I specialize in dogs, cats, horses, horse and rider, pet and owner, farm animal and wildlife paintings. I work from small custom stall signs to Life-Sized! 

Find me on 

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/FreeReinArtStudio/ 
Etsy https://www.etsy.com/shop/FreeReinArtStudio 
Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/sue_steiner/ 
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/freereinart/ 
Twitter https://twitter.com/saveaface 
Website: https://www.horseartonline.com 


Clipping Path said…
Thanks for sharing your photos and nice info.

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