Friday, September 21, 2012

Cyclops Bookworm

Now, I know what you're thinking...when are you going to start posting those oils you've been promising? Well, how about now mutha trucka! I spent all this time thinking that since I was struggling so much with acrylics, that I'd be having nightmares once I switched to oils. Not only that, I was having all sorts of financial difficulties due to a tanking engineering market and was losing pretty much, credit, sanity [not much to lose there :) ]. With the thousands I'd invested in acrylics, it didn't make sense to plunge into something I might fail epically at.

Of course, those were all just excuses. And so I put it off and put it off, but finally in the second half of 2011 I decided to take the plunge. I forked out some serious coin to pick up oil paints, additives, brushes, and some more canvas to start working on this beast.

Come to find out, I was born to be using this medium! Not that I'm a Waterhouse, Rembrandt, or Raphael by any measure, I just found oils ten million times easier than acrylics. The paint flowed easier, I could lag all I want and still have workable paint. Plus I could get high off paint fumes and pass out.

No, not really! If you know me, you probably know that is a joke, but if not, there are some very dangerous chemicals, fumes, and powders used in oil painting and it is critical that you take extra safety precautions. I currently use pigment, which is largely various types of metals, and you can easily get heavy metal toxicity. Not good! I cannot stress this enough! That means you need a high level of ventilation, and sometimes even gloves and a vapor-grade respirator. Any respirator designed for microbes or dust will not work...vapor grade. I joke about lagging so much in starting using oils, but the main obstacle I had to overcome was always ventilation, so keep that in mind if you want to pursue it as a hobby. You can't just do it in your bedroom...unless you want to use that 'safer' non-toxic crap that doesn't work....just sayin!

Anyway, this was the first oil. It was highly experimental, but it used a character I'd been wanting to paint for a while, but could never fit him in a piece before. No, seriously, he was too big. The basic concept was this giant, muscular cyclops nerd. He is the inspiration for the titles of this blog, and is one of my favorite creations.

This painting only includes standard, premixed paints thinned with linseed oil...that's it! no additional additives (I didn't even know the proper use of paint thinner yet. Haha, rookie!) It includes just the bookworm reading on his porch in the evening. The flowerbed was a last-minute thing becasue the path was looking dull. It is basically just sweet alyssum. Super easy to draw...just stipple on top of wet paint.

This painting did include many growing pains in switching from acrylic to oil. First being the 'thin to fat' concept, the 'monochrome to color' concept, use of additives, etc. I was pretty happy with this guy, and even have another painting of him coming up in the near future with his sidekick, cyclops sharkie!

Cyclops Bookworm
Oil on Canvas, 14x18
Original: $300

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