Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Rather Sinister Individual

by Justin Gerard

I am currently in the middle of a brawl with a troop of apes disguised as TSA agents at the airport. They are after my beard.
So today's post is going to be a quickie...

The above is a tiny 4"x4"oil painting on linen I finished recently WHICH DIDN'T KILL ME.  
This is exciting because many of my previous adventures in oil have ended badly. I would paint, my body would have some terrible reaction to the materials, I would grow fangs, claws and unsightly hair, and then try to eat my neighbors.

After the restraining order I did a lot of research into studio safety. From this I found a number of solutions THAT ACTUALLY WORKED and allowed me to finish a painting in oil without any of the usual side effects. So next week, after I have escaped the clutches of these baboons with all their wands and plastic gloves, I plan to share this with everyone.


  1. Luminous! Oils are really indispensable when aiming for that 'light emerging from dark' effect.

    And, please do share! Each time I try to paint with oils it ends up being a massively painful affair, and my lungs threaten to walk off on their own.

  2. Can't wait! Wonderful portrait.
    The "TSA gate party" -I think there's a New Yorker cartoon in there with the caption "BYOL- bring your own lube". Sigh.

  3. Justin.. I love your posts. They make me happy.

  4. "wands and plastic gloves" you say... If they ask to surch you with their gloves on RUN as hell, dude, trust me, better spend a night in jail then getting "surched" :D

  5. Run, I tell you! Run!

    Nice paintingthough. He looks like he eats babies.

  6. I'm excited to read about this painting (which looks like it was painted by some guy named Rembrandt)... Because I've been doing a lot of learning about oils & the process of using them. I recently took an oil painting class at a local art supply store just to get some practical advice on materials. One thing they advised me of is the toxicity of some paints - after I had gotten them all over my hands! I also have been reading through James Gurneys book "Color & Light" which has a great deal to say on oil painting, the materials, and color mixing & theory. Anyway, I'm really searching for easy and idiot proof methods to working in oils so I'm eager to see what new ideas you've discovered!
    Have a safe trip, and be careful - the baboons are everywhere!

  7. Cool painting... but is that Stanley Kubrick?

  8. Paint with turpanoid, imitation turpentine, much less odor.

    1. Turpenoid is better than turpentine for some things like odor and it has a slower evaporation rate, but it's not exactly "healthy" for you either. Plus, it can't dissolve some medium ingredients like Dhamar Varnish.

      (Not saying it's a bad idea, just that people sometimes overestimate the difference between the two)

    2. good to know, all I've done with oil is take a community college class on painting with them, but we used them exclusively.

  9. Wow that's a great painting Justin!

  10. Mr Gerard...Would love to hear what you have to share as a beginner with a limited space but Loooove Oil painting, I am looking forward to your discovery and wisdom thanks for sharing, safe journey and lovely picture!!...

  11. When I was in art school I enjoyed learning how to draw in pastel. As we would draw we'd periodically tip the drawings forward and tap the excess pastel dust off so we could build up more pastel on the paper -- then some of that pastel dust landed on my wrists, which literally started to bubble up and turn red. It was less than cool. I don't do pastel anymore but I can empathize with caustic material reactions.

  12. WARNING: Flax oil, ground earth, and tree resin. DANGEROUS


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