View Full Version : March 2012 Oil Pastel Challenge

02-29-2012, 08:37 PM
All you oil pastel artists please join in on our March Challenge. I look forward to seeing your work. Feel free to crop, modify, or use any of the references in anyway you choose. All the photos are mine and there are no copyright issues.

We are happy to have all skill levels join in.

Boardwalk through the Great Bay Salt Marsh.


Bankok, Water Market.

Roses from the Historic Fuller Gardens, North Hampton, NH.

Rose at the Fuller Gardens
Gurtrude and Heathcliff. This mated pair would fly from the fresh water ponds to the salt, tidal pools and marshes during the winters.

02-29-2012, 08:48 PM
Additional References:

Japanese soapstone Sculpture. I suggest painting it as a scupltural still life. Or.... use it as a reference to create an imaginary landscape.

Art neauveau well at the Fuller Gardens in Nort Hampton, NH. I've actually painted this a number of times, plein air.

Kittery Point, Maine.... looking out into Portsmouth Harbor, the historic relic rescue station in the far distance.


Pat Isaac
03-01-2012, 08:49 AM
Great photos, Hal. Thanks for hosting this month. Love those trees in the marsh.


03-01-2012, 09:19 AM
I love that blue and gold water with the swans.

03-01-2012, 10:41 AM
It's that well again!!!!!!!

Nice that they are here early so I can try out my new neos and organisation.

03-01-2012, 11:44 AM
I love that well. It's from a different angle.

Monet had his haystacks, I have my well.:D

03-02-2012, 03:19 AM
I'm gonna be brave and try the Great Bay Salt Marsh.
There, I said it so there's no backing down now.... Yikes... Did I mention I suck at drawing trees?

03-02-2012, 09:34 AM
Tali as one of my mentors said "draw what you see, not what your preconceiced idea of what makes a tree" :thumbsup:

I intend to try the "Water Market" loosely. It will be a real stretch for me but I plan to try it without a detailed drawing. I'll just loosely locate points and go from there. Of course there is a strong possibility no one will ever see the painting. :o

03-03-2012, 12:34 PM
Here is my picture of the rose. It's sad, but here it is. I've never tried anything like this before, I have NO idea how to get sharp edges with OP. Here it is anyway.

Criticism welcome.

Pat Isaac
03-03-2012, 12:41 PM
I would love to see this larger. any chance of making a larger image?


03-03-2012, 01:00 PM
Carol, it's not sad at all. It has a halo effect that makes it a delightful decorative piece.

You're not done yet: Tell us the type paper, brand of OPs and size of your image and if you've used any special techniques such as solvents and anything else that might be instructive.

As far as sharp edges: other artists here will have their individual techniques. I will reapply the adjoining color over a ragged edge to sharpen it. I also use a paper tortillion along a hard edge to rub the colors in and better define an edge. You might also scrap away color with an exacto knife or razor blade and reapply the adjoining color. With soft pastels, I would break a stick to get a sharp edge with which I would then create a fine line or sharp edge. I haven't tried this yet with oil pastels because they get pretty mushy pretty fast but you could cut one with a razor blade to create a hard edge. I hate wasting pastels and will go to herculean efforts to aviod cutting an oil pastel though.

So far, I think working with tortillions have been effective for me to achieve the sharp edges that I've needed.

Of course you know that in watercolor, soft edges are highly valued.

Sorry to get so wordy. I like your painting and thank you for volunteering to host a monthly challenge. :thumbsup: :heart:

Pat Isaac
03-03-2012, 01:11 PM
Hal has given you some good advice, Carol. I use clay shapers for my edges and sometimes the tortillions. I also use oil based colored pencils for very fine detail.


03-03-2012, 01:15 PM
Here it is a little bigger. I find I like them more the farther away I get.
I used Canson Mi Tenes (sp?) pastel paper (only pastel paper I could find at Michaels). I used Sens and NeoPastels. I only had one red and it was MUSHY, I'm almost out of white now too! When I ordered my colors I was thinking mostly of using them for pictures with water and bought mostly blues and more earthy tones. I didn't use any solvents either.
I'm hoping to order a whole set of NeoPastels and some more Sens when our taxes come in. I didn't like the Sens at first, but I had gotten a transparent blue and I really don't like that one very much, the others are growing on me though. I LOVE the couple Holbeins I got, but they are more expensive than I can afford right now.

03-03-2012, 01:25 PM
Carol, I hope you'll forgive my butting in but I really wanted to see a larger image of your work.

Just my personal taste, I like strong dramatic value shifts and would make some of the dark area of your leaves and petals several values darker.

Your light source seems to be face on and if you made it come from one side or the other you could get stronger shading and more clearly model and shape your stems, leaves and petals. Also if the light source were face on, the leaf in front of the rose would be casting a shadow.

Just alternate ideas.


OOPS we were posting at the same time.

03-03-2012, 01:40 PM
:eek: Would you believe it never occurred to me to even think about the light source!? I tried doing that with the last one I did (the lighthouse), but not here! Thank you Hal! I'll try and do some more work with it tomorrow when my kids are napping, that seems to be my only "painting" time I get right now.

03-03-2012, 02:51 PM
Carol, you did a great job with such a limited supply of Oil pastels. :thumbsup:

03-03-2012, 04:08 PM
Hal, you're good for my ego. :D Thank you. My next adventure in OP is going to be a sub underwater. I'm sure I'm going to need your expert advise with that one!

03-03-2012, 04:15 PM
Carol, I would love to see the reference photo for your under water submarine. :D

I don't know what help I could be, I was a pilot and not a submariner. :wink2:

03-03-2012, 04:25 PM
I'll have to figure out how to post it. It's on my iPad, not the computer. I found it online (obviously, I have very little time for taking pictures underwater of submarines with my very busy schedule ;) ). I acutally used my iPad with the photos your posted for the challenge since I was out of ink to print it. I'll try and post the picture and my attempt with it on the Studio by Monday and would gladly accept your critique. :D

Pat Isaac
03-03-2012, 04:31 PM
Yes, Carol, a photo of the ref is always helpful. Not that it needs to be followed directly, but it is good for seeing things that you don't have a reference in your head for.
I agree that this is just fine for so limited a set of OPs. The Senns and Neos work well together. I never used them, but have come to love some of their colors.


03-04-2012, 01:50 PM

I am new here and I am really happy that I have found such "fresh" and workin forum about oil pastels :) I have started working with pastels few months ago (with acrylics about half year ago)... I am really enjoying it, but I also need some help... this is my first challenge post :)

50cm x 65cm (20in x 25in)

03-04-2012, 01:58 PM
I'm with you Carol...how do you get a sharp edge and how did you blend yours so well. What type of paper did you use? Here is my attempt. Course I've used several different oil pastel brands on this piece. I was given a lot of hand me downs, boy is there a difference in them. I bought a few Senniliers and I don't think I'll ever buy anything else. They are so dreamy and creamy. This piece has Senniler white and some Grumbacher, Guitar, Van Gogh and a couple other brands in it. I have a mixture of them.:D

03-04-2012, 02:11 PM
Adam that is a great early effort.

Tell us the brand of oil pastels, and the type paper or surface your work is on.

LA and Adam great to have you join us.

LA you have also made a good first effort.

03-04-2012, 02:12 PM
Adam...that is very good for only doing it a couple of months. I'm new at it also.

Pat, what are those tortillo or however you spelled it. Is it like a smudge stick?

And someone mentioned Oil pastel pencils..what brand do you use?

Sorry so many questions...but I'm kind of new to this and still experimenting with everything.


03-04-2012, 02:22 PM
Lorraine Pat and I spoke of making sharper edges earlier in this thread. Tortillions can be used to smooth an edge and yes smear around a color. I use them to blend and push my color into the surface and later on I'll use them the smooth an edge.

You can use them to push a color next to another color creating a edge. I've quit using my clay shapers and just use the hard tortillions.

I'm delighted to have new blood joining in our challenges.

03-04-2012, 02:30 PM
I am using Van Gogh pastels and actually I never used any other... but I think these are quite good. I am working on color paper mostly (canson 160g/m2 or 150gm2), sometimes I use cardboard or anything what I find arroud :)

I had big problem with making background on landscape, do you have some way to do it? I mean if i put to much pastel on background it is not comfortable to paint trees bushes and all stuf on 1st plan (also color is not so good then). should I use some medium to melt pastels for background? will it work?

03-04-2012, 02:46 PM
Color shapers: http://www.jerrysartarama.com/discount-art-supplies/brushes-and-palette-knives/colour-shapers/colour-shaper-sets.htm
Pat uses these. I have a set but no longer use them.

I guess Jerry's Artrama calls what I use, blending stumps: http://www.jerrysartarama.com/discount-art-supplies/pastels/pastel-accessories/pastel-blending-tools/blending-stumps.htm

The stumps are what I use exclussivley. A set has a variety of sizes that come in quite handy.

Pat Isaac
03-04-2012, 03:09 PM
Great first efforts Adam and Lorianne and welcome...:wave: nice to have you joining us.
I do use the paper stumps also especially for fine edges. The clay shapers are great for puching the OPs around. I use Lyra colored pencils and also still have some Walnut Hollow oil paencils (can't get these anymore).


03-04-2012, 03:34 PM
I had big problem with making background on landscape, do you have some way to do it? I mean if i put to much pastel on background it is not comfortable to paint trees bushes and all stuf on 1st plan (also color is not so good then). should I use some medium to melt pastels for background? will it work?[/quote]

I will often use colored paper, or use colored gesso on my canvas so I don't have so much white to battle with when applying my OPs. Mattise makes a colored gesso that adds tooth to the paper or canvas. I like a warm tone that I will often allow to show through.

A recent oil pastel with a burnt sienna gesso. I allowed the gesso to show through and warm the painting in quite a few spaces. http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showpost.php?p=14719912

You can use solvents to disolve oil pastels and brush on an under painting. This layer should be thin enough that you can put in subsequent layers with less effort. I don't use solvents myself. (Health issues)

I put on my oil pastels thinly and really burnish them in with my paper stumps and this layer is thin enough that I can add heavy layers later with little problem.

Adam, this second one I had a dark blue toned canvas and merely rubbed a bit of other colors in the background and burnished them in with the paper stump to abstract the background. Edges were made my using paper stumps to push the color to the edges of my shapes. Sometimes I would apply the oil pastel at the edge of my shape but always used the blender to smooth and sharpen or soften the edge as I desired. http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showpost.php?p=14056179

03-04-2012, 04:30 PM
Carol, your flower is glowing. Nice one.

Adam, very cheery feel to your piece. Almost oriental looking.

Loriane, I like all the holes you left in the piece. It unites the whole piece.

My first one today is with Erengi oil pastel. I used all the neon colors that are quite useless when I scan them. I photographed this one.

Black Classic Cachet 5x7 inch sketchbook
Used a bamboo pen to do graffito.


The next one I really tried hard to draw a rose but it just faltered.

So this came about.


03-04-2012, 04:30 PM
Oops, double posted.

03-04-2012, 04:35 PM
These paintings are so nice! You all did a wonderful job! Such an inspiration. :-)

03-04-2012, 04:47 PM
Wow, Sandra you took a walk on the wild side. They are exciting fun pieces though. The painting of the sculpture is especially exciting.. :thumbsup:

Pat Isaac
03-04-2012, 04:50 PM
I agree, thie first one especially reminds me of an underwater scene.


03-04-2012, 08:47 PM
I like your selection of pictures, I might be tempted to give it a go! I need some practice!

03-04-2012, 10:39 PM
Please join in.

03-05-2012, 12:53 AM
Love the Oriental piece especially the graffito and use of color. Bold improv on the second, salute!

nice work on your rose Carol!

I especially like your composition Loraine.

03-05-2012, 09:18 AM
Ooh Sandra - a nice touch of fantasy in those - I'm going to do that ref too.

Here is my first effort.

I thought that the ref looked very cold so I wanted to warm it up a bit.

the Sky isa blend of pnk pale orange yellow, cream, violet, blue and grey although the photo doesn't show the subtleties. Just like you can't see the darker colours or shading in the water. I took it once in sunlight and once in shade without a flash. The shady one was closest in colours. It has higher contrast with the house standing out against the sky.

'Kittery Point'
12" x 14"
Canvas sheet treated both sides with gesso and gritted gesso on work side
uinderpainting: Various oil pastels
Main working CD Neopastels and Sennelier Oil Pastels
slightly subdued colours due to photography - much more vibrant in actuality.


here is a photo taken in sunlight.....


Thanks Hal for refs - I plan to do another one..... soon.....

Pat Isaac
03-05-2012, 09:30 AM
Nicely done, Lin. Great painting.


03-05-2012, 09:56 AM
Lin it really is a lovely piece of work. I like the fact that you warmed up the photo.

My reference photo was taken on a bright sumer day and the conditions tend to wash out colors a bit. You get your best photos on cloudy days. You did quite well.

03-05-2012, 10:04 AM
I think you did beautifully Lin! I had considered doing that one, but I knew I couldn't do it justice. I love your work. :)

03-05-2012, 08:38 PM
Lin...I love the soft look yours has. Landscapes are so hard for me.

Sandra...I love your colors and texture in the first one. It almost makes me want to touch it to feel the texture. Sorry I touching feely. I like the second one too! So imaginative.


03-05-2012, 09:14 PM
Here is my Rose at Fuller Gardens final. I went back in and used a stump. I think I created so many layers that I was pushing the oil pastel around. It got pretty slick. It is about 5x7 with many different brands of oil pastels. I'm not sure I like the leaf in front of the rose...its too distracting so if I did it over I would not put that in.

03-05-2012, 10:17 PM
Lorainne it's looking good. You could get a greater sense of depth in the rose if some of the deep areas at the base of the petals were quite dark. Of course the layers can get quite slick.

03-05-2012, 10:29 PM
Just to pump up the activity here, I'll post my "Bankok Watermarket" WIP.

It's on a burnt sienna toned11 by 14 inch canvas panel. Pastels are all Senns.

I scratched out a right side figure and I still have a lot of water work to do and detail. That river was the muddiest river I had ever seen. I will wind up putting some sky color in the water before I'm done.


It's a bit early in my painting process to request suggestions.

03-05-2012, 10:45 PM
Nice works everybody.

Hal - beautiful references and thank you for hosting. I just changed a job so a little bit short on time, but I hope I'll join this challenge later.

And I found this painting, I think it was based on one of the references:

Thanks for looking. Oh, it's 8x10", Senns on paper.

03-05-2012, 11:10 PM
Darn Vlad! Only today, while looking up old threads that I had started, I discovered that I had used that reference photo before.

My Bad!!:o

It terrible getting old and forgetful. As they say a mind is a terrible thing to waste. :o

By the way, you did a beautiful job on that piece.

03-05-2012, 11:28 PM
Thank you for comments, everyone.

Lin, very nice piece. It looks serene.

Hal, I did a piece of this in watercolor at this same angle a few months ago. Looking forward to see your finish.

Vlad, beautiful outlines for the birds. It makes them so storybook like. I want to live in that scene.

03-06-2012, 04:23 PM
Hal...I always heard the mind is the third thing to go...but I don't remember what the first two things were.:lol:

Here is my enhanced or darkened rose after recieving some good tips. Thanks. It does look better

03-06-2012, 05:10 PM
Hi LA, your darkened rose is quite impressive, just like the Emperor's new clothes. :wink2:

The mind is the third thing to go and I think either the first or second think has something to do with the opposite sex but I can't remember what or why. :confused:

03-06-2012, 07:01 PM
You can't remember what or why because your mind went? ;)

LOVE the swans! The rose is so beautiful too. I really need to work on my petals. They are all so inspiring! I love looking at challenge paintings. :)

03-06-2012, 07:13 PM

I took Harry Potter's invisible cloak off so you can see.

Sorry It just would not download...so I thought I had cancelled it and logged out to go to my doctor appointment....low and behold...my text showed up but not the download. :rolleyes:

03-06-2012, 07:48 PM
LA, that looks great. Nice modeling on the forward petals.

Pat Isaac
03-07-2012, 08:02 AM
Beautiful rose, LA and I like the way it appears to be peeking out from the leaves.
Great swans, Vlad even if they are from an older thread.


03-07-2012, 12:43 PM
Vlad, LADickerman, Hal and linn- love your drawings. Flowers and all the rest are coming along nicely.

OK- so I'm in a bit of a problem here. I did go ahead and draw the Great Bay Salt Marsh as I said I would, and the result--- not good. I could really need some advice on this one, because I never get how to do landscapes. In most drawings I do, there is a very limited number of objects I focus on, and whatever I don't want to deal with just gets blurred into the background. But in landscapes, it's like everything is "background", so I never know what should be the focal point and what to leave out. The result is that drive myselt crazy and finally give up on it.
Anyway, here is my drawing of the Great Bay Salt Marsh. Yes, I know it's not finished. C&C would be especially welcome on this one. Thanks.

03-07-2012, 12:47 PM
Hi All,

I am little lost in the ripples. Can anybody help?


03-07-2012, 01:58 PM
Hi Doobi, your ripples don't look bad. A suggestion of ripples looks just fine.

If you want to get more detailed, I would lay in the darker shape of the ripple then blend in a lighter hue for the top of the ripple.

03-07-2012, 02:21 PM
Hi tali. I'll give you my strategy for drawing with oil pastels and in creating my landscapes. It is just my way of doing things and there many ways of doing a landscape.

I paint top down, back to front. this keeps my hands off the oil pastels at the bottom of the sheet. I try to almost complete each section of my painting before I move down the sheet. (other painters paint all over the painting at the same time)

I lay in my sky and background before adding any trees. I also paint dark to light. I will put in my dark elements behind the trees and foilage.

Before I paint any object I decide where my light will be coming from and what you intend to be the center of focus/interest. (What element in you painting do you want the viewer to notice first) This center of focus will usually be the part a bit off center that has the greatest contrast, perhaps a color highlight to grab the eye.

I'll lay in the dark sides of trunks, grasses, boardwalk, etc then add the lighter side and blend the light color into the dark to create the modelling.

I tend to keep the bottom right and bottom left of the canvas, paper darker to help keep the eye in the painting. I learned this from a mentor. He always had an off canvas something creating a shadow in these corner. (Sorry, I'm getting a bit deep in the weeds here.)

Top, down, back to front, center of focus/interst (a bit off Center), direction your light is coming from, dark to light. And don't cut you page in half either vertically nor horizontally. You don't want your horizon in the middle of your page.

There are other items but start with these.

Tali, maybe I did get a bit deep in the weeks here if so, I'm sorry.

03-07-2012, 11:11 PM
Updated version of my Bankok Water Market:


I'm having trouble getting my photo in good focus for some reason.????
This is it for awhile. 11 by 14 inch canvas Panel toned with burnt sienna Matisse gesso. Pastels were all Senns.

The photo is coming out a couple of values lighter than IRL.

Suggestions for improvement welcome.

Pat Isaac
03-08-2012, 08:33 AM
This is really looking great, Hal. Complicated subject and you are doing well.


03-08-2012, 11:48 AM
I shied away from that ref as it looked so hard with OPs but you are doing a fantastic job and I love the colours too

03-08-2012, 02:36 PM
Oh my, some great works this month, I've made a total hash of the one I started, it is nothing like what I was aiming for. When i get back to the hotel I'll review then decide whether to post or bin it :D
Hal you toad, this month's refs are uber hard:evil:

03-08-2012, 02:54 PM
Hal you toad, this month's refs are uber hard:evil:[/quote]

Steve, they're only hard for me. For you, they're a piece of cake.

Lin you did a fantastic job on the Kittery Point reference. Thank you.

These were all references I would like to find the time to do.

I'll start another one tonight.

03-08-2012, 05:49 PM
Well another Kittery point from me, the first image is where I was originally going with it, however the high key colours just didn't seem to be working with a pointillist approach. So after 2 hrs of blending the dots smooth I ended up with a very different image. I'm not happy with it but it is an improvement ....I used a touch of artistic license to add a sunset. I stand by my statement Hal these are real toughies:eek:


Oh yeah it's A4 Neos and Mungyos on unprimed canford card.

03-08-2012, 06:23 PM
Steve I think you've done a great job. The sun being bisected by the pole bothers me but it is beautifully painted. The Artist is quite free to simplify any of the photos.
Plein air artists have to simplify the marjority of their subjects. In nature most of the landscapes are so complex they must be simplified.

In some of my reference photos there are actually several potential paintings in them. Feel free to take the paintings apart and paint a portain of them, make them your own. After all, you are artists and not illustrators. :wink2:

I've just cropped the photos and with some photoshop contrast enhancement to make the elements more prominient.

Let me suggest some alternatives to painting the whole scene:





I picked out interesting subjects (at least to me) expecting you to pick and choose pieces in part or in whole that would make an interesting and rewarding exercise or a finished collectable for you. I my case I always hope to find a customer at an art fair someday. :crossfingers:

03-08-2012, 08:06 PM
AHHH but Hal...I worked as a technical illustrator from 1982-1999...now I'm trying to become more painterly. I do struggle with it because I want to draw what I see and I want it right and tight. My goal is to loosen up. I do think quick sketches help to loosen me up before I start a painting..but my time is limited. Work is getting in the way of my painting. LOL

03-08-2012, 08:13 PM
Doobi - I like the vibrant color of water and the swans look so serene.

Hal - I love your water market. I love the loose simple look. Very nice!

Pat Isaac
03-09-2012, 08:02 AM
I think your paintings are beautifully done, Steve, but the sunset bothers me also.
Nice crops there Hal.


03-09-2012, 09:50 AM
I used my cropped reference photo of the Art Nouveau Well as inspiration for an expressionist piece.

The painting is 8 by 10 inches on burnt sienna gessoed, 140#, watercolor paper. I prettly well covered the whole painting with OPs so there may not be any of the toned surface showing through. The pastels were all Senns. The background was laid in with the Grande sized pastels (red, white, blue, yellow).

Suggestions for improvement welcome.

Come on, it's OK to have some fun.

03-10-2012, 11:22 AM

Took a better photo this morning in natural light. The prior posting was kind of washed out for my expressionistic piece.

Pat Isaac
03-10-2012, 11:30 AM
This is really eye-popping, Hal. Great background and nice impasto feel to the OPs.


03-10-2012, 12:36 PM
Hal- very cool, a bit sinister-looking (at least in my twisted mind). Looks a little like an alter.. Great colors

03-10-2012, 05:32 PM
Thank you Tali.

03-11-2012, 09:59 AM
Hal, thanks for this. Landscapes can be daunting for us newbies. I will ty to apply your advice to the next one I attempt!

03-11-2012, 01:31 PM
For Katherine and a couple of other new oiliers, and since there isn't a lot of activity taking up space in this thread this month. I thought I would show my process (only one possibility among many) that I developed as a soft pastel artist.

140 # watercolor block, toned with burnt sienna gesso and drawn with soft pastel pencil. Oil pastels will just push the soft pastel lines out of the way.

My detailed drawing with my first smears of color which I vigorously rubbed into the paper with a paper stump. Odd white line was going to be my initial width of the boardwalk but I decided I wanted it wider.

White added to sky and blues and greens added working top down, back to front.

My grande Senns: Working top down, back to front, dark to light.

Just locating my objects.


It's still a work in progress. I need to brighten my center of focus ( intended to be a fairly bright red in among the green. I need to get some tree shadows crossing the boardwalk, and work on modelling and just general touch ups.

I apologize to the more experienced painters here, this is just my way of working with oil pastels.

I decided to work in color masses rather then get into the detail of tangled branches as in the reference photo.

OOPs sorry. Image is 11 by 14 inches, oil pastels all Senns.

Pat Isaac
03-11-2012, 01:36 PM
No aplogies needed, Hal. This is looking just fine and it is one of my favorite images.


03-11-2012, 02:00 PM
I really LOVE your picture Hal and thank you for posting your process. It is helpful to see things done start to finish. :D

03-12-2012, 04:52 AM
Thanks for the demonstration, Hal. This was really helpful :)

03-12-2012, 04:53 AM

This is my version of the rose though the rose doesn't look like a rose.:-( I need few rose drawing tips.

This image is little dark but the actual version is lighter .

Looking for some feedback.


03-12-2012, 06:52 AM
Pat, what are those tortillo or however you spelled it. Is it like a smudge stick?


easy to make from old envelopes or junk mail :)

Great set of images, Hal! I have my eye on a couple and will try to squeeze time for one.
Beautiful work by everyone:thumbsup:

03-12-2012, 10:00 AM
Thank you Tali. I hope it helps a little bit. I put my initial layers of oil pastels on in smears, like the top of my first image then really grind them into the paper or canvas with my paper stumps; http://www.aswexpress.com/discount-art-supplies/drawing-and-drafting-supplies/drawing-accessories/blending-stumps.html

This keeps that first layer of color as thin as possible to insure there is plenty of tooth for subsequent layers. My sky portion of the painting was that dark blue smear and a similar smear of white all rubbed in together with the stumps.

Doobi I think that your rose looks great. Perhaps a little more shading in the deeper recesses of the petals but it is suitable for framing now.

Wendy thanks for the link to the tortillion manufacturing process. :wink2:

Wendy please contribute your art this month. We hosts really like to see a high posting count at the end of the month. It makes us feel as if our job as host was worthwhile. :smug:

If I don't get a hundred postings, I'm a failure. :lol:

03-12-2012, 02:27 PM
I guess this is my final update on the boardwalk painting. I punched up the contrast, added some hints of shadows, and tried to show some sunlight showing through here and there.

Suggestions (other than throw away my oil pastels and try another medium) welcome.

03-13-2012, 12:19 AM
Haven't done a challenge in a while and Hal had such great images I decided to try the rose. 5" x 7" on a new support - Ampersand's Encaustic Board - with Holbeins.


All C & C's are appreciated.


Pat Isaac
03-13-2012, 08:22 AM
Just gorgeous, Russ....how do you like the encaustic board. I have some in my studio waiting for me to give it a try.


03-13-2012, 09:45 AM
Thanks Pat! The board is great for a fine blending surface, but seems to have trouble holding a lot of OP. So it becomes rather "slick" not muddy, if you know what I mean. This was a sample they sent me so I don't know if I would invest in another at this time. Still like the Uart!

03-13-2012, 09:58 AM
Russ, fantastic job as always, your blending is amazing. :thumbsup:

Do you use solvents for your blending.?

Thank you for joining in this month. I always enjoy seeing your work.

03-13-2012, 10:00 AM
OMG Russ - absolutley awesome! Such soft detail. I can't believe you got such fine points on the leaves iwth OPs. I guess it helps if you have those lovely square holbeins with an edge rather than the flat ends of neos or squidgy round ends of senns.

Hal no need to apologise we all like to see WIPs and the new ones will find it useful. I commented on FB to the finished version of this that is looking good.

I intend to do another - I made a start but I have a fair few on the go and been busy (and still rough) can't sit comfortably even atm.

Off to studios now so nothing getting done today and tomorrow neither as shopping.

03-14-2012, 08:09 PM
What a beautiful paintings:clap:

Here is my take on rose, even though it's not that great looking as Russ'

It's a mix of Senns and Erengi on Colorfix primed acrylic toned paper, size about 8x10"


Thank you for comments.

03-14-2012, 08:43 PM
Wow Russ...your blending and detail is incredible on such a small sheet of paper. Tell us your secrets. I have couple of Holbiens and they are round. They come square too?

So many great pieces.


03-14-2012, 08:51 PM
fantastic job Vlad. You and Russ have different styles equally fantastic.

03-15-2012, 08:31 AM
Didnt' notice your rose doobi
Dont' worry it DOES look like a rose to me. Roses are hard to draw and one can easily get lost with all the whorls of petals. In fact it's quite impressive especially the leaf work. Keep it up with OPs you are doing well!

Hal - you asked for suggestions so I hope you don't mind me saying but I think that if you deepened the value of the shadows across the boardwalk it would make it more dramatic and emphasise the light coming through the trees.

Vlad - you rose is great too and it works well on the blue background.

You are all very brave, I didn't dare try the rose. Mind you I've done an OP rose for a challenge before and it drove me nuts.

Pat Isaac
03-15-2012, 08:47 AM
I agree, equally as good Vlad.
The round Holbeins are the student grade and the square ones are the professional grade.


03-15-2012, 08:53 AM

Hal - you asked for suggestions so I hope you don't mind me saying but I think that if you deepened the value of the shadows across the boardwalk it would make it more dramatic and emphasise the light coming through the trees.

Quite right Lin. I was debating the issue but decided to keep it subtle but I may change my mind.

03-15-2012, 04:27 PM
Vlad... texture on rose is amazing

Pat... I am impressed with landscape and have a question about lights on it, did you scratch some other (dark) layers before you put yellow highligts or these went straight on dark color?

sorry for my english, still not perfect :/

Pat Isaac
03-15-2012, 04:36 PM
Hal, I do think that the blue of the tree trunks competes with the blue of the sky. Maybe you could put some more browns into the trunks......do NOT throw away the OPs.
Adam I think you have me confused with somone else as I don't tend to do landscape.


03-15-2012, 04:41 PM
By landscape I mean boardwalk/path in the wood :)

Pat Isaac
03-15-2012, 04:48 PM
Ah, that was Hal that did that landscape, Adam. I am sure that he will respond, and also Tali did it also.


03-15-2012, 07:21 PM
Hi Adam, I had applied the dark colors very thinly over my burnt sienna gesso and rubbed the darks in with paper stumps. The light colors were applied over the top with no difficulty.

In my Watermarket painting and in my Nouveau Well paintings I put some of the paint on so thickly that I actually needed to scrape some of the thick layers off the paper before the application of fresh color.

If you look at my step by step version of the Boardwalk painting you can see, I made the application of light color on top of the dark under painting.

Lin, I hesitated to darken the shadows but just hinted at them because if they were darker I would have to extend the shadow into my Reddish Orange center of focus and I didn't want to darken that area.

Pat for a similar reason no browns on the trees. I opted for a yellow, green, blue, analagous color scheme with the complementary pop at my center of focus. I may revisit this painting later on if I can't sell it over the next year. It can be my "Flamico", "Toddler on the Beach" forever painting which I'll revisit and tweak a few times in the future. :D :wink2:

03-16-2012, 05:44 AM
Thank you Hal... and sorry for the confusion I was bit tired yesterday evening :)

03-16-2012, 08:04 AM
:wink2: confusion, my natural state.

Pat Isaac
03-16-2012, 08:30 AM
I should have realized that, Hal....wasn't thinking.
Well, I guess, I'll just have to haul out some other paintings so you can add to your list, Hal....:lol:


03-16-2012, 09:22 PM
Thank you Hal, Pat, Lin and Adam. Nice to see you all here. Will have more time soon and, hopefully, will be able to communicate more :wink2:

And Hal, the crops you did earlier, are, actually, the same as I would've decided to do:lol:
What they say about great minds...:wink2:

03-17-2012, 02:57 PM
And Hal, the crops you did earlier, are, actually, the same as I would've decided to do:lol:
What they say about great minds...:wink2:

OH OH! Vlad. My DW says mine is pretty weak. :wink2:

03-18-2012, 02:53 PM
Alas, I was hoping to post a completed painting of my cropped boat lady. I couldn't decide just what I wanted to do with the background, I wanted to keep it simple so nothing would compete with the boat lady for the viewer's attention.

I couldn't get the lady the way I wanted her and kept scraping away and adding to the figure.

Finally when the figure came to resemble Quasimoto, of the Hunch Back of Notre Dame, I gave up and tossed it in the trash. Three days of my art time down the drain. :o

Now to regroup and see what I can do to try to recover my confidence. :o

Pat Isaac
03-18-2012, 04:01 PM
:lol: , Hal.....we all have days like that. Many of mine have gone that way also...I don't save them all. :rolleyes:


03-19-2012, 10:44 AM
Having somewhat of a stubborn personality disorder, I decided to revisit my latest oil pastel disaster.

I had taken my paper stub and smeared my boat and boat lady figure all over the paper. (to bad I didn't take a photo of this stage)

Last night as I watched "Ice Planet" I looked at my distorted smeared figure and thought I could see a figure in there that looked a bit less like Quasimoto, and could be a marginally acceptable figure.

Out with the paper stubs, rubbed away, or perhaps rubbed in, the smears and excess op around my new figure. I then reworked the figure, boat, water and sky around the figure.

All this made a hash of my colors and this won't be framed and won't be part of my art fair exhibits but I humbly show my "Boat Lady."

8 by 10 inches on burnt sienna gessoed watercolor paper. All Senneliers.

Photo tends to be lighter and bluer than IRL.

No comments necessary. Just pumping up the activity in my thread....:evil:

03-19-2012, 01:14 PM
Lovely painting of the one man in a boat


Dont' worry I'm doing another to post but having to let it rest between layers

03-19-2012, 01:40 PM
See Lin, I knew I should have left that one in the trash bin.

I'm counting on you Lin.

Leya Lakshmanan
03-20-2012, 06:24 AM
I love working with oil pastels; so this time, I decided to join the challenge. I should do this more often!
Here is my version of the Bankok water market. C&c's appreciated... I am learning and can only improve if you criticize me :)

This is on A4 size brown coloured paper, using student grade oil pastels (that simply refuse to blend!)...I used these colours as a kid and have never used any other brand.


03-20-2012, 09:01 AM
Hal, I really like the boat picture. I love the sky. I'm going to have to learn how to take out with OPs

I like yours too Leya. Not too crazy about the orange/redish cast...it feels a little overpowering. Almost like there is a fire going on. I know it probably supposed to be a sunset look. Guess it was a beautiful day there. ;-) I really love the textures and your ripples in the water.

03-20-2012, 09:19 AM
Leya, your piece is delightful and cheerful with your warm colors. Yes, it makes a big difference when you use a better brand of oil pastels.

Thank you LA.

03-21-2012, 12:19 PM
'Secret Village'
12" x 9" board, Prepped with Gesso, Coated with Clear Colourfix.
Oil Pastels
various underlayers
topped with Neos and Senns

I'm not quite sure what to think of this. I just sort of 'let go' and it is as much from my subconcious as from deliberate thought. I wanted to create a type of fantasy land and this is what I came up with. Based on a photo of a Japanese figurine. Had to fiddle a bit with the photo to get the contrasts of blended pales and yellows that the photo didn't show up too well.

03-21-2012, 12:41 PM
Well done Lin, you certainly turned the sculpture into a fantasy landscape.

Also an interesting battle between complementary colors: Purples against yellows, and big clump of red battling a vibrant green.

Lin thank you for jumping back in with another painting.

03-21-2012, 01:08 PM
Great references and there's some great paintings in here, I really like the geese by Doobi, Hal's boat, and of course Vladk's painting but all of them are so good.

the past month and a half have been a blur for me-- I'd like to try the bangkok pic--
I'm in the states for a few months and still adjusting to the weather, time change- culture lol--

03-21-2012, 01:15 PM
Hi Paul, I saw your Facebook reference to having to adjust to cold weather. What cold weather in Bankok? :wink2:

Yes I'm sure being back in the states is a real culture shock for you! :evil:

I hope you will pitch in and contribute this month.

Pat Isaac
03-21-2012, 03:47 PM
What an interesting painting, Lin. I really like the abstract patterns that you have created.


03-23-2012, 06:02 PM
This was done with Sennelier oil sticks, 11 by 14 inches on canvas panel.

Yes, oil sticks are permitted in our challenge if used with the same techniques as used in oil pastels and not oil painting techniques.

My reflection needs work which I may tackle tomorrow???
Gus and I painting today. See how sophisticated my working equipment are for oil bars.

Suggestions welcome.

03-24-2012, 03:34 AM
i am waiting for shadows and enjoy view from your porch :)

Pat Isaac
03-24-2012, 07:44 AM
Looking good, Hal and the set up is better than my oil sticks....
Great day to be out there.


03-24-2012, 09:12 AM
thanks Hal and Pat
Hal I can't believe how 'clean' your oil bars are?!

03-24-2012, 07:02 PM
Hello everybody, very nice works here. I was eager to join:wink2: - this is Kittery Point, Maine, Sennelier oil pastels on Sennelier oil pastels pad, painting size is 8x10":


Thank you for comments.

03-24-2012, 07:10 PM
Vlad, super job. I love the warmth against the cool.

Lin, I use up a lot of paper towels keeping the oil sticks clean.

Of course I shouldn't have bothered with the oil bars. My DW walked in on my oil bar painting and said "What god awful thing is that???" She is one of my tougher critics. At least the toughest critic I'm aware of. :o

Pat Isaac
03-25-2012, 07:14 AM
Very nice, Vlad. I like the crop.


03-25-2012, 02:56 PM
Hal, thanks. I was trying to do a sky study here as well:cat:
Pat, thank you, the crop is what we've talked about with Hal:wink2: , and I've also made the passage for the viewer eyes to follow to horizon and then to the sky.

03-27-2012, 03:14 PM
Way you made stairs and bushes in front of stairs is amazing, this part really catches the eye.

03-27-2012, 08:08 PM
Updated version of my Bankok Water Market:


I'm having trouble getting my photo in good focus for some reason.????
This is it for awhile. 11 by 14 inch canvas Panel toned with burnt sienna Matisse gesso. Pastels were all Senns.

The photo is coming out a couple of values lighter than IRL.

Suggestions for improvement welcome.

Hi. new to the site, have done 2 of the pen and ink challenges, and I'm just now getting into oil pastels. I hope to jump in this month, but we'll see.

First of all, the reference is a great photograph- I understand you took it yourself?

Regarding your painting, I notice you have chosen to redden all the blue shadows- which was an element that drew me to the photo. care to share a little bit about that choice? red seems a little confusing a color for shadow to me.

03-27-2012, 08:48 PM
Hi Mort. A reference photo is just a starting point for me. I freely rearrange composition, colors or anything else that suits my purpose in a specific painting. The reddish colors in the water are actually intended to be reflections.

Will be delighted to have you jump into the challenge.

03-28-2012, 11:59 AM
Vlad love your colouful piece of kittery point

Hal - your watermarket came out well and reflects the effort you put into it

03-28-2012, 12:15 PM
Thank you Lin.

03-30-2012, 06:05 PM
Hi Mort. A reference photo is just a starting point for me. I freely rearrange composition, colors or anything else that suits my purpose in a specific painting. The reddish colors in the water are actually intended to be reflections.

Will be delighted to have you jump into the challenge.
oh, rereading now, and I see that you are just updating your wip, and the reddish baskets, are just unpainted panel.

03-30-2012, 10:30 PM
Thank you Lin

03-31-2012, 03:04 AM
Hi Fellow Oily's :wave:

Well done Hal for the references, they were a real challenge.

Great to see everyone’s interpretation this month, excellent work :thumbsup:

Here's my two little contributions

7" x 5" Senns on paper


6" x 2.5" Senns on paper


03-31-2012, 07:10 AM
Just catching up here, loving the different takes on the roses, Hal you have been very industrious indeed, I especially like your Thailand scene, nice crop on the kittery point Vlad and Vicki I love the strong colours you've used in such an impressionist like technique

Pat Isaac
03-31-2012, 08:12 AM
I thinnk you are doing a great job with this complicated scene, Hal...Nice little impressionistic paintings, Vicki.


03-31-2012, 10:15 AM
Vicki wonderful impressionistic pieces. I especially like what you did with the boat lady.

04-01-2012, 07:29 AM
Thanks stee, hal and pat it was great fun just sitting and painting these after a hectic month.

04-01-2012, 11:30 PM
Let's see if I can make a gallery of this month's artwork.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Apr-2012/140488-adam.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Apr-2012/140488-Carolbe.jpg Carolb
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Apr-2012/140488-doobi.jpgDobbi http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Apr-2012/140488-doobi_2.jpg Dobbi
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Apr-2012/140488-hals.jpg Hal http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Apr-2012/140488-hals_2.jpg Hal
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Apr-2012/140488-hals_water_market.jpg Hal http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Apr-2012/140488-hals_well.jpg Hal
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Apr-2012/140488-LA.jpg Lorainne
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Apr-2012/140488-leya.jpg Leya http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Apr-2012/140488-sandra_2.jpg Sandra
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Apr-2012/140488-sandra.jpg Sandra

There were a number of duplicate images and wips, I hope I managed to post the images that the participating artists would like to have displayed.

I've reached the image limit for this posting. The remaining images will be in the following post.

04-01-2012, 11:43 PM
And the remaining March OP art:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Apr-2012/140488-russ.jpg Russ
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Apr-2012/140488-steve_2.jpg Steve http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Apr-2012/140488-steve_3.jpg Steve
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Apr-2012/140488-tali.jpg Tali
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Apr-2012/140488-vicki_b2Trees.jpg Vickib http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Apr-2012/140488-vickib_Bankok.jpg Vickib
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Apr-2012/140488-vlad.jpg Vlad http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Apr-2012/140488-vlad_2.jpg Vlad http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Apr-2012/140488-vlad_3.jpg Vlad

I hope I haven't missed anyone's work.

Pat Isaac
04-02-2012, 07:54 AM
Thanks, Hal. These always look so great when they are all together.


04-02-2012, 12:02 PM
heehee Hal you put my name against 2 versions of the Kittery Point pic. I do believe one of them is Lins.......Shhhhhh I won't tell her you gave her a sex change if you don't :wink2:

04-02-2012, 02:10 PM

Before Lin sends either Dave two legs or Dave 4 legs to beat up on me let me get Lin's work down for the month end gallery:

Sorry Lin...and I thought I was doing so well.

04-02-2012, 02:33 PM
you still missed one though Hal :lol: The 'fantasy' I did from the statue
but nevertheless well done - and thanks for the gallery..Dave 4 legs is on the way to fuss you into submission.

04-02-2012, 02:45 PM
you still missed one though Hal :lol: The 'fantasy' I did from the statue
but nevertheless well done - and thanks for the gallery..Dave 4 legs is on the way to fuss you into submission.

What did I miss???!!!

Lin call off Dave 4 legs....

My edit button still worked. :D :wink2:

04-02-2012, 02:48 PM
What did I miss???!!!

Lin call off Dave 4 legs....

My edit button still worked. :D :wink2:

hmm this one suddenly appeared....... i'm sure it wasn't there before.....:wink2: :thumbsup:

:D are you trying to make me feel senile :confused: :rolleyes: :D

04-02-2012, 03:02 PM
hmm this one suddenly appeared....... i'm sure it wasn't there before.....:wink2: :thumbsup:

:D are you trying to make me feel senile :confused: :rolleyes: :D

It was magic Lin.

You, being from the land of Hogsworts, should know all about that. :evil:

04-09-2012, 07:43 PM
Well I'm a straggler but I wanted to get this up.... thank you Hal for a great month of challenges -- everybody did such an inspiring job.
here is mine... sorry to be so late!!! Time is getting away from me.


04-09-2012, 08:24 PM
PJ great job. I really like the soft focus on this one and you got a surprising amount of detail in your work.

What size is your image and the type paper and brand of OPs???

04-09-2012, 08:33 PM
Thank you Hal, I picked up a set of expressionists which are not available in Thailand... I was pleasantly surprised by them. The paper is 7.5 x 11 rough, brand is master art.
I could have done a lot more and worked more on the boat but I noticed it was starting to get too busy and I meant to suggest more than express in this one, so I left it....

Almost forgot to mention ... I used reeves water soluble oil pastels for the initial wash

04-09-2012, 09:04 PM
PJ I think you did a great job. I also think it is better to suggest than to show.

Pat Isaac
04-10-2012, 08:08 AM
Nicely done PJ and I like the feeling of light.