OIL BE BACK Fan­tasy il­lus­tra­tor Jeff Mira­cola fol­lows up his DVD on acrylics by tack­ling the most chal­leng­ing me­dia of them all…

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Pub­lisher Three Points Pub­lish­ing Price $50 For­mat DVD/down­load Web www.three­p­ointspub­lish­

Any­one who’s thought about try­ing tra­di­tional paint me­dia will have a view about oil paint­ing. In the fol­low-up to his DVD on paint­ing with acrylics (re­viewed in is­sue 142), Jeff Mira­cola sets out to make get­ting into oil paint­ing as sim­ple as pos­si­ble. And if that doesn’t tempt you, how about this lovely dragon…?

Im­pres­sive as Jeff’s dragon is, it’s just there for him to guide you through ev­ery stage of cre­at­ing a fin­ished oils piece. It soon be­comes clear that it’s a long process, with much pa­tience re­quired. Jeff ad­mits there’s al­ways a stage where the paint­ing looks wrong, but you have to re­mem­ber you’re lay­ing the foun­da­tions for suc­cess to come later. In­deed, his pa­tient lay­er­ing of ef­fects over each el­e­ment in the paint­ing even­tu­ally pays off.

Con­tin­u­ing the for­mat from Jeff’s first Fan­tasy Art Work­shop, his walk- through of the paint­ing stages is punc­tu­ated with short prac­ti­cal guides. These are es­sen­tial to watch in the case of oils be­cause of the safety is­sues: Jeff does a great job of ex­plain­ing the risks of us­ing sol­vents and oil-based me­dia while show­ing how sim­ple it is to con­trol those risks with straight­for­ward mea­sures. You’ll also learn about the range of brush types, other tools for paint­ing with, glaz­ing and much more.

A disc full of ex­tras adds fur­ther de­tail, in­clud­ing a valu­able sec­tion on how to pre­pare your board; but it’s the main fea­ture you’ll re­turn to re­peat­edly, as you ab­sorb all the ba­sics you need to get started on the big­gest paint­ing ad­ven­ture of your life.

The DVD ver­sion plays on your home en­ter­tain­ment sys­tem (as long as it sup­ports NTSC video play­back, which most mod­ern DVD play­ers and TVs do) or a com­puter with a DVD drive.

In his sec­ond Fan­tasy Art Work­shop, Jeff Mira­cola re­veals the ba­sics you need to start paint­ing with oils, in­clud­ing tools and tech­niques. Jeff ex­plores de­sign is­sues such as re­peat­ing mo­tifs and how the shape of dif­fer­ent el­e­ments con­veys a per­son­al­ity. Jeff gets started with his un­der­paint­ing. Note the gloves, worn to stop skin ab­sorb­ing any chem­i­cals from the paints or sol­vents.

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