Oil Painting Fundamentals: Skulls with Erik Gist


Registration Opens May 3rd, 2023 at 8am PST

Audit: Watch instructor warm up, demo and receive photo reference every week.

All videos will be available until two weeks after the 5 week term.


SKU: N/A Category:


This class uses footage from Term 2-21

Date : May 18th – June 15th

Length: 5 Weeks

Videos Uploaded: Thursdays at 12pm PST

Level :  Beginner

This class will function as a great precursor to portrait painting, and oil painting in general.

We will be using the skull as a subject to learn both the structure of the human head as well as the fundamental methods of oil painting.  Topics covered in this class will be basic head proportions and structure, basic painting materials,  the four key pallets of oil painting, as well as basic understanding of how to use them.   Great for beginners and artists just looking to get  better understanding of oil painting


  • Painting Surface
    • Pre-Stretched Canvas: Fredrix brand, red or green label
    • Canvas Panels: Fredrix brand
    • Sizes: 9” x 12” up to 16” by 20”
    • Brushes
    • Assortment of rounds, filberts and flats in sable and bristle


  • Solvent
    • Gamsol Odorless Mineral Spirits by Gamblin (only brand allowed at school; NO EXCEPTIONS)
    • Container for Gamsol
    • Brush Cleaner
    • Dr. Bronner’s Soap (can be found at Trader Joe’s, CVS Pharmacy or Henry’s)


  • Palette
    • Wood, plastic, or glass (Please be sure the glass is safely secure in a container.)


  • Paints
    • Level 1: Pickout
      • Burnt Umber
    • Level 2: Burnt umber direct
      • Titanium white
      • Burnt Umber
    • Level 3: Zorn
      • Titanium white
      • Yellow ochre
      • Ivory Black
      • Cad Red Light
    • Level 4: Warm/Cool
      • Titanium White
      • Cadmium Lemon
      • Cadmium yellow deep
      • Cad Red lIght
      • Alizarin Crimson permanent
      • Cerulean Blue
      • Ultramarine Blue
      • Ivory Black
  • Miscellaneous
    • Roll of paper towels


Bristle (flats or filberts), ranging from a ¼ inch to 1 inch in size.
Small to medium sized (round) sable brushes.
Robert Simmons Signet for bristles and Princeton Summit 6100F for sables, but any moderately priced decent quality brush will do.

Erik Gist

Erik M. Gist received his B.A. from SDSU in 1998. He began studying with Jeff Watts in 1996, three years later he began to teach and has done so ever since. Erik has worked in the video game industry as a concept designer and 3-D artist and is now working as a freelance illustrator. Erik’s clients include Marvel Comics, D.C. Comics, Dark Horse Comics, Disney, Audible, Wizards of the Coast, Upperdeck, Boom! Studios, Palladium Books, Blizzard Entertainment, Viking Childrens Books, Monkey Brain Books, Quart Publishing, and Chiat-Day. His work can be seen in Spectrum: the best in fantastic art including a nomination in 2018, and Aphrodesia: art of the female form 1 . Along with a Spectrum nomination, he has been nominated for an Illie Award, a Pulp Ark Award, a Chesley Award, and multiple Horror Comic Awards including one win. For more information about Erik’s art please visit his website at www.erikgist.com.

Additional information

Class Type

Full Participation, Audit