You probably have a rough idea of what effects certain mediums create; watercolour is delicate and sheer, oil is bold and thick. Here are some works by skilled artists on The Commissioned that will change your mind and expectations regarding some common art mediums.


We often think of it as sheer and delicate, a light wash of colour over paper. Argentinian artist Daniela Arias’ fantastical piece (below) is a study in this soft, blooming effect of watercolour, but Leilu by Mary Flock-Lempa manages to achieve a completely different style with the use of watercolour. It looks more like ink, a little reminiscent of classic comic book illustration, with its vibrant and solid colors.

From Top: Lobosque by Daniela Arias, and Leilu by Mary Flock-Lempa

Oil Pastels

Renowned impressionist painter Edgar Degas, famous for his oil paintings of ballerinas, demonstrates the classic effect of oil pastels; feathery strokes that produce a soft-focus effect. Doesn’t The Commissioned artist Paula Vrinceanu’s artwork look like photography? Think again! She expertly manipulates the medium of oil pastels to produce a wholly unexpected photorealistic effect, complete with the illusion of a glossy reflection.

From left: Portraits at the Stock Exchange by Edgar Degas (image credit), and The Multiverse Within (Part 1) by Paula Vrinceanu


We’ve grown accustomed to seeing ink in the form of printed words, or illustrations in books. Either way, it’s always strongly defined with clear contrasts. Australian artist Sona Babajanyan’s quirky illustration is a classic ink drawing in black and white. In comparison, Clare Brownlow’s Fighting Cock Pheasants have well-blended hues that call to mind quick brushstrokes using oil paint, instead of the pen and ink medium it’s really created from. Another fresh look using pen and ink is Whirring by Henrik Soderstrom which shows how this technique can embody effects similar in oil paintings - the soft mixture of different colors blended in a smooth manner.

*From left, clockwise: Mary Poppins and the Match Man by Sona Babajanyan, Fighting Cock Pheasants by Clare Brownlow, and Whirring by Henrik Soderstrom *


Acrylic is known for its ability to layer different colors on each other due to the quick speed at which it dries. It is seen as more opaque and blendable, similar to the painting titled Autumn Blossoms by Sumei Chew. A piece that moves away from the traditional type of acrylic painting would be Billy Goat Ethan by Rosie Parsonson. The paint is smooth and more translucent than most acrylic mimicking water color, and distinct lines similar to graphite pieces are also seen. Another piece that strays away from the conventional feel of acrylic paintings is Bodegón by Patricia Merchán that looks like it was made of chalk. There seems to be one smooth layer encompassing all the objects and similar shades of the same color blended together.

From left, clockwise: Billy Goat Ethan by Rosie Parsonson, Bodegón by Patricia Merchán, and Autumn Blossoms by Sumei Chew.