Illustrating with Oils

Future Workshops


Date:  August 1st and 2nd

Time: Saturday 9.00AM to 4.00PM  and Sunday 9.00AM to 4.00PM

Cost: $160.00

Audience: Adults (18 and older)

Level: Beginner / Intermediate

Requirement: Basic drawing skills and fundamentals of anatomy 


Join illustrious instructor Thomas Gianni at the International School of Comics with his new class; Illustrating with Oils! This course will introduce step-by-step processes of materials and techniques used in creating oil paintings from start to finish. From the mechanics of oil mediums, to which brushes to use, to how color and light is used for creating dramatic visual effects will be covered. This course is intended for not only artists interested in fantasy and sci-fi but also those who simply want to tell a story.


Both Saturday and Sunday will be held from 9.00AM – 4.00PM with a one hour break for lunch, so each day will have a total of 6 hours class time.


Saturday morning will be introduction involving information about materials and how to use them. A slide lecture of great fantasy oil paintings by the likes of Frank Frazetta, the great pulp painters like Walter Baumhofer and some step by step images of how a painting is produced. Then there will be a painting demo by the instructor. Saturday afternoon involves hands on techniques for students using oils wash technique and a limited  color palette.


Sunday the class will apply the technique of wet on wet opaque painting technique using full color palette. There will be a short lecture and demo in the morning session on color theory and application. Students will have two to three paintings done by the end of the two days. This will be a basic introduction and students will be encouraged to continue in a full ten week painting class in the fall of 2015. Books on the subject will be recommended.


Your sensational teacher has worked in advertising as a storyboard artist and product renderer, in animation as a background painter, in editorial and book illustration, in portraiture, in collectible card game art for Magic the Gathering and the Harry Potter game. He illustrated a series of Robert E. Howard books for the REH Foundation. For his work on the Howard books, the REH Foundation awarded him the Rankin Award for Artistic Achievement. Currently, when Thomas isn’t instructing the talented artists of Chicago, he is the courtroom sketch artist for the WGN, NBC, and CNN television networks.


Photo references for what you would like to paint, for example, Any super Hero from any movie made in the last twenty years. Photo reference of dragons from Game of Thrones, Dragonheart and so on. Characters from Lord of the Rings, etc, etc. You can find all this on the internet in Google images. Please make sure that the images you choose are 400 dpi or larger. Have several photos printed out in color and ready to go on the first day.


Bristle and synthetic sable brushes; recommended types of brushes- Filberts #3 and #8,  Flats #2 and #12, Rounds #6 and #10.


Oil Paints; titanium white, burnt sienna, burnt umber, ultra marine blue, lamp black, terra verge green, naples yellow, yellow ochre, alizarin crimson, cadmium hue, yellow, red and orange, ( make sure to get the cadmium HUE paints, they

are much cheaper and safer). Some optional colors; cobalt blue, (somewhat expensive) monochrome tint warm, (only available in Holbein brand, but very nice greyed color). The brands I recommend for brushes and paints are Holbein, Windsor Newton, Grumbacher, Golden, Gamblin.


Three or four canvas boards, sizes 11 x 14 to 16 x 20


  • Odorless Turpenoid.
  • Small bottle of linseed oil
  • Paint cups’. These are two attached metal cups with a clip on the bottom used for holding painting media and mineral spirits.
  • Palette knife.
  • Glass jar with screw-on lid, like  a peanut butter jar.
  • Roll of paper towels.
  • Disposable paper palette pad.
  • Plastic trash bag for disposing of oily rags and used paper palettes.


Optional items – painting smock or apron, small bottle of Windsor Newton Liquin painting medium, (this is a quick drying medium) Hand and brush cleaner, Savvy is a great brand. Rubber gloves to avoid getting paint on your hands. Any additional colors that the students wants to add to their palette as well are welcomed.

Interested? Questions? RSVP at, or call us at 312.624.8521