Sci-Fi & Fantasy Oil Painting Masterclass by Patrick J. Jones (book review).

The success of ‘Sci-Fi & Fantasy Oil Painting Techniques’, has ensured Irish-born artist Patrick J. Jones to do this sequel, ‘Sci-Fi & Fantasy Oil Painting Masterclass’. Don’t think this is more of the same. He’s realised the flammable properties of methylated spirit, Jones has moved towards safer choices with linseed oil and liquin for his glazes. He also thins his oil paints down to ensure he gets a translucent effect. As an acrylic painter, I do wonder how I close I can match this in my own medium and think choosing a darker palate might get away with it. Interestingly, he likes Liquitex’s acrylic Gel Medium to prepare his canvas.

Sci-Fi & Fantasy Oil Painting Masterclass by Patrick J. Jones
pub: Korero Press, 2020 © Patrick J. Jones 2020

There are plenty of examples here, showing how Jones builds up his paintings and choice of colours. He makes a very good point that the translucent skin should reflect the light and colours about it. I can base an example on that. Look at the back of your hand. Your knuckles and backs of your untanned fingertips are pinker, but the reflections come from your nails. There are a lot of greys, most notable with the blood vessels showing and darker on one side showing how raised they are. The skin itself is more a puce with a touch of bisque or ochre. That’ll get some of you looking up what those three colours look like, assuming you can match name to colour.

Sci-Fi & Fantasy Oil Painting Masterclass by Patrick J. Jones
pub: Korero Press, 2020 © Patrick J. Jones 2020

Something that rarely comes up with artist books is the philosophical element and mental frame to work in. I suspect much of the time, many of us wait for the right time or right muse to continue a painting. If you’re a professional painter, you don’t have that luxury. I did have a yap with artist Dave Hardy about this a couple years back and we both get a move on when it comes to commissions but tend to get a little lax when it comes to painting for ourselves. Of course, the best way is to give yourself a set time each week to paint or draw. Something I must get back into the habit of doing this winter.

Sci-Fi & Fantasy Oil Painting Masterclass by Patrick J. Jones
pub: Korero Press, 2020 © Patrick J. Jones 2020

 

Jones makes a good argument to using the best paints and I think that applies to any medium. Student paints tend to have impurities which tend to reveal themselves in blending. I like the way Jones points out that pro-paints tend to last a lot longer. Looking at how he builds up muscle shapes for dimensionality is useful for any medium and Jones places some emphasis on understanding anatomy so you know what you’re painting.

Sci-Fi & Fantasy Oil Painting Masterclass by Patrick J. Jones
pub: Korero Press, 2020 © Patrick J. Jones 2020

 

There are a lot of good points here for all things in oil that can be applied to other mediums. Some things, like using the same blends on all things metal, makes sense. I agree with him you can paint with a limited palatte but the whole point of having more colours is to reduce the time it takes to blend a particular colour to the right tone. If you don’t learn anything else from this book then it’s not to depend on one brush when painting. About the only thing wrong with this book is the title as there are no SF elements. If you paint or like to see how its done or just admire the art, this book should be on your buy list.

GF Willmetts

October 2020

(pub: Korero Press, 2020. 157 page illustrated softcover. Price: £22.00 (UK), $36.95 (US), $ 49.95 (CAN). ISBN: 978-1-912740-10-9)

check out websites: www.koreropress.com and www.pjartworks.com/

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