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View Full Version : Attempt at white lion in oil pastels


E-J
04-27-2003, 06:57 AM
This is oil pastels on velour board, 6.5" x 6x5", done because I was curious to try the op's on this surface. I spent about 1 & 3/4 hrs on it. It's based on thepenartist's beautiful photo in the Ref Image Library.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Apr-2003/13865-white_lion_sml.JPG

I have put a bit more colour into the fur than shows up in this image, but found at times that I was sort of muddying the white when trying to blend the ochres/browns into it. At the moment I'm dissatisfied with this and don't know if it was worth doing. Think I need to tidy up some of the details and work on his paws a bit... not sure... any advice, esp. from oil pastellists, gratefully received!

meowmeow
04-27-2003, 07:46 AM
I think he's wonderful! Definitely worth a little more time I would think. I don't use oil pastels so can't help you there. You mentioned the paws and I think you are right that they need a bit more work.
Maybe some more darks for contrast?
I would imagine oil pastel on the velour was interesting. It looks like you were pretty successful to me!

Sandy

Redsy333
04-27-2003, 08:08 AM
Oh this is a beauty! :D I think since you worked it so wonderfully around the ear, I would pull more of that reddish shade thru- out, to create the depth and separation of the mane! It definitely worth keeping;)

guilliame
04-27-2003, 01:54 PM
Hey EJ this is looking absolutely brill:clap: my eye was taken immediately to the lions head and the surrounding background rocks superb so far,i agree the paw needs work unfortunately i cant offer any advice because my few oil pastel efforts went straight to the bin i found them so difficult to work when i tried them maybe coz the oil pastels were cheapies and i didnt have a good surface to work on but when i see what you and Mo can do with them makes me want to try again:) so you have a fabulous start so please keep going, maybe Mo and some other oil pastelists will come in and give you the benefit of their expereience:D

E-J
04-27-2003, 02:08 PM
Sandy, Redsy, guilli ~ thanks so much for your input/encouragement ~ much needed as I'm feeling frustrated and dissatisfied with my pastelling this w/e ~ I think it pays, when you're thinking of binning a picture, to put it aside and come back later with fresh eyes and a few suggestions. I will return to my lion another day and put some of the reddish brown and darker tones into his coat. Thanks :)

Mo.
04-27-2003, 07:05 PM
Originally posted by E-J
This is oil pastels on velour board, 6.5" x 6x5", done because I was curious to try the op's on this surface. I spent about 1 & 3/4 hrs on it. It's based on thepenartist's beautiful photo in the Ref Image Library.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Apr-2003/13865-white_lion_sml.JPG

I have put a bit more colour into the fur than shows up in this image, but found at times that I was sort of muddying the white when trying to blend the ochres/browns into it. At the moment I'm dissatisfied with this and don't know if it was worth doing. Think I need to tidy up some of the details and work on his paws a bit... not sure... any advice, esp. from oil pastellists, gratefully received!

E-J I haven't seen the ref pick so don't know why you are dissatisfied.. what are you using to blend with? Have you tried a dry oil brush? Something like a small flat hogshair brush, just pull it lightly over the colours.... it will give a nice fuzzy fur effect....I've learnt to be careful with blending o.p's....use a light touch if you can... This is definitely worth continuing with, yes the paws need to be worked on, but it's only touches of more pastel to thicken them, you are doing a grand job with this.

cheers,
Mo.

E-J
04-28-2003, 08:40 AM
Thanks Mo ... I only ever use a colour shaper to blend op's, so perhaps I will try a brush. Thanks for the suggestion! :)

Gilberte
04-28-2003, 01:43 PM
:clap:

BTDogMom
04-28-2003, 04:25 PM
This is coming along beautifully, he's extraordinary!!:clap: :clap: :clap:

sunny
04-28-2003, 08:09 PM
Emma..such your GRRRReat lion the other day..and didn't get a chance to reply...I do hope you finish..its so wonderful!!!

Haven't used oil pastels, so I can't offer any advice..only words of encouragement..

Sunny:)

jackiesimmonds
04-29-2003, 04:49 AM
I think he looks splendid, and to offer some help with that paw, I tried to find the photo in the ref library. Looked under wild animals, and zoo animals, but could not find it.

How do I find it?

Jackie

E-J
04-29-2003, 04:58 AM
Thanks all for the encouragement. Jackie... he's in the 'At the Zoo' section. I was reluctant to post the ref pic before now because everyone would see how magnificent the photo was and how feeble was my attempt :) but here he is.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/RefLib/data/513/20593white_lion_in_tree-med.jpg

jackiesimmonds
04-29-2003, 12:45 PM
E-J, you need not have worried about posting the pic, I think you are doing a splendid job so far.

There is a bit more contrast in the photo, but I am not sure that matters.

As for the paw........here is what I suggest. Look again at the photo, and squint like crazy at the paw until it just becomes a light shape.

then go back to your pic, and see if the overall shape of the paw is the same as the shape you saw when you squinted. I think you will spot the difference immediately.

Hope this helps,

Jackie

Drumbeat-trish
04-29-2003, 02:21 PM
Definitely not a feeble attempt E-J !!!!!!!!!!!!! He looks fabulous :clap:

Dima
04-30-2003, 03:52 PM
Wonderful picture as it is, E-J.
I see you already got all the answers and advice or provided it yourself.
Still my advice would be: just look at it for a few days and see if you want to add/change colours and which and for finishing details only use some light touches like Mo said.
With a picture like this go for colour not for photo-like detail.
'Like to see your next step.

Dick

E-J
05-11-2003, 12:53 PM
Well, I put 'my' paw and the photo paw into greyscale and saw that not only was mine sort of deflated-looking but it wasn't just my darks that needed darkening ~ it was my whites that weren't white enough!!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-May-2003/13865-paw.jpg

I fiddled around a little more ~ tried using an old acrylic brush to blend, Mo, which worked better than fingers ~ but I just don't think I like the texture of the oil pastel on the velour board ... except for the effect it gives to the stone. Even tho leaving the picture for a while had made the op less sticky so that it was easier to apply more, I still couldn't get the white thick enough. If I look at the painting close up, I'm not happy with the 'look' of it ~ his fur looks dirty. But it might be ok in a little frame ... a friend of mine said she loved the picture and since she's mad about lions, perhaps it can be a birthday present [like me, she's a Leo].

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-May-2003/13865-lion_sml.jpg

Have also realised that I don't feel passionate about painting animals ... they're just not my subject. I will stick to boobs and brass and pomegranates in future! :D

Thanks for your encouragement.

Dark_Shades
05-11-2003, 01:42 PM
well done EJ...... for at least perservering with this..... turned out so much better

hmmmmm sounds an interesting still life..... cant wait to see it in the weekly threads...... Boob, brass and pommies :)

Dyin
05-11-2003, 06:25 PM
Ok...I'm passionate about animals and think you're doing so well you should keep trying...you're frustrated is all...
these are observations...not rules tho...I think he needs a little more contrast..similar to the areas of his ear and under his chin, to 'pop' the white. I think less detail on the paws and his flank will bring more attention to his head and the rock behind his head should be darkened. Don't feel you have to follow the photo exactly and feel free to add zing color wherever it feels right to you. What is missing I think (because it's not in the photo...) is his eyes...eyes are always a focal point in any portraiture and this falls under that category. That will put life in the guy...try a base brown with highlights of orange and yellows for an overall golden tone. I think you're problem is only that you are using an unfamiliar support along with an unfamiliar subject. I think you can make this work...if you are using black velour that would make it harder to make the white pop, I've only used soft pastel on the velour...but will be trying something on it in the next few weeks. Don't give up on wildlife...I think once you are comfortable with it you will find the same pleasure in it as any other subject. Like I said... just suggestions. I really think you can make this work to where you'll be happy with it.
OH!!! Here's a tip to get it to stick better, out of Elliot's book...rest the part you want to get whiter in the painting on one of those freezer packs. Then when it's cooled it will be harder and take a pastel warmed by your hand and go over it...it should stick better. You could do it several times...worth a try maybe?

E-J
05-11-2003, 06:35 PM
Cheers Dyin for the suggestions ... I may try them when I'm feeling brave. Hadn't occurred to me about the lack of sparkle in the eyes but I see that you are right. Thanks :)

Mo.
05-11-2003, 08:02 PM
E-J I can see what you mean about the white appearing 'dirty'
this could be because you used white, remember white is not a colour, fur will reflect other colours, it's just the same as human hair the shafts of fur/hair will reflect the colours around...next time..if there is one, try using any colour but white, i.e. cream, a light yellow, pale blue/pale green/mauve/purple/ pink even...then just dab pure white for those extra highlights...using darker tones of these colours for the shadows in the fur, will give it sparkle and life..white, like black in paintings to me should be used sparingly..you have in your box of pastels so many beautiful colours which will do the job for you..white/black just deaden a painting, unless used wisely.

Cheers,
Mo.

sunny
05-11-2003, 08:10 PM
EJ
Can't give you any advice..never worked with the oil pastels..only can say..love this painting!!!..Oh lucky friend to receive it as a gift!!!

You have such a gift!!! So very glad you are working with it and loving it!!!:clap:

Sunny:)

bnoonan
05-11-2003, 11:17 PM
EJ - it's great! I've been watching this over time and have yet to comment but I think you have done a wonderful job capturing him. Being a huge fan of value studies in B&W, I appreciated your comparison photos.

Know what you mean about having to put things down for awhile to get inspired to go back.

As for the comment on subject matters you'll concentrate on, I really loved that one. Barb

soap
05-12-2003, 03:30 AM
E-J, no advice from me either - animals are not my subject either, and I have never tried OP's. But.......I think it is great you post an experiment like this and share your stuff!
And, for what it is worth: I think you did a marvellous job! If I tried this, the proportions would be all wrong and the lion would look like a monstrous gnome or something. This one speaks all its essentials: proud, great white lion.
Well done!

Smudger
05-12-2003, 04:50 AM
another one i nearly missed... i think he's stunning:clap: :clap:

E-J
05-12-2003, 05:28 AM
Wow ... thanks to everyone for being so supportive and interested :)

Mikki Petersen
05-13-2003, 12:04 AM
This is a really stunning piece of work. The photograph is a show stopper but somehow you have made a convincing portrayal and made it a very painterly work which greatly improves on the photograph. Bravo!!

E-J
07-31-2003, 04:45 PM
Just a quick update ... I sent the white lion to my Icelandic friend in Sweden whose birthday it is tomorrow ... a gift from one Leo to another. I just received this e-mail, which put a big smile on my face.

"Ohh ... It is so wonderful, wonderful! I absolutely love it! It looks terrific! I'm going to frame it and find the best place in my little apartment/room for it! It is absolutly beautiful! I'll cherish this!! And brag about it! I love it! :) *hugs* Thank you so much! I am so grateful that you thought of me and gave this to me. I treasure it!"

I think she likes it :)

Dyin
07-31-2003, 05:04 PM
See???? Am really happy for you...I know we all love good homes for our work and this one is really being appreciated and that's such a huge part of why we create...congrats!!!

angeline
07-31-2003, 07:48 PM
Ohwhat a lovely end to the thread! Well done! So nice to make another smile!:D

ptantono
08-01-2003, 02:00 AM
EJ your final work looks great to me. The eyes look better from the photo. I think you did very well with this medium. Congrats!

nougat
08-01-2003, 05:49 AM
The foto is great, but your oil pastel painting is really lovely too!!!
My eye is drrawn to the lovely head - no wonder your friend loved it so much!!!! well done!!

nadine