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View Full Version : The Bard's Lair....finished oil pastel


Dyin
05-09-2003, 05:03 PM
Sorry I didn't get this in as a WIP but blow by blow is included below:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/09-May-2003/19147-The_Bards_Lair.jpg

This is an un-retouched photo, made a little smaller for posting. It's a commission for a writer who asked for a red tailed hawk, raven and some antlers and gave me free rein with the composition (I LIKE that!)

This is on light gray Fabriano Tiziano pastel paper (12 x 16 1/2) sized with gloss acrylic medium (no water added!) A bit too slick for my tastes but it's supposed to keep the oils from degrading the papers...will drop this step next time. I lightly sketched the subjects and then scrubbed in the backgound, leaving the subjects untouched. Glazed again over the whole thing and it picked up some color and toned the remaining grey area a pinkish mauve. Then as I'm a messy artist I started working from the top down, completing first the hawk, then the eagle, then the antlers and finally the deer skull. I fixed each as I was mostly completed with acrylic glaze medium...not as glossy, but not as durable either. I kept going back to add touches to the finished parts to pull the whole thing together, but didn't need many changes as I'd pretty much planned the colors ahead of time. I fixed it at the end with the glaze medium too. A lot of the nuances are lost in the picture...it's a bit more delicate looking on shadow areas in the original. But the colors are pretty true to the original. To me it ended up looking like an acrylic painting, only brighter and richer. I blended mostly with my fingers...everything else wanted to lift the pastel off the slick surface and I used Prismacolor pencils to clean some edges.
Oh...I should add this is my first oil pastel (previously did airbrush and soft pastel)...Loew Cornell Oil Pastels...a whopping $5.95 investment lol! This week I'm ordering Sennelier and Caran D'Ache and see what I can do with those!
I plan on doing a lot more experimenting...I had a sample of sanded paper and like that best so far...so I have some Wallis sanded paper for my next project...that's unless I decide to try mixing with some oil glaze on canvas lol! I just got back from the art store with a copy of Elliot's book...so who knows what I'll try!
I just know I love the oil pastels now...

So...I would really appreciate any comments and critiques...I'm totally self (book) taught and think I'm starting to get it but want other's input on my choice of subject, composition, focal point, lighting, flow etc....thanks!

Mo.
05-09-2003, 07:25 PM
Dyin... this is FANTASTIC!!! Cheapo pastels too? WOW!

Your composition, colours everything is great.. acouple of questions for you though...

Glazed again over the whole thing and it picked up some color and toned the remaining grey area a pinkish mauve.

Does this mean you glazed with acrylics?


I fixed each as I was mostly completed with acrylic glaze medium...not as glossy, but not as durable either.

Why did you fix, and what did you use to fix?

I fixed it at the end with the glaze medium too.

Again your reference to fixing, can you enlighten me more on this one please?

I blended mostly with my fingers...everything else wanted to lift the pastel off the slick surface and

I find this happens when the pastels have been worked for several hours.... I then leave the painting to rest/harden before applying more, also cooling the pastel sticks helps, I even put my last pic in the fridge for a couple of hours to cool down and harden. :)


Dyin your painting is really good, especailly for a first try at OP's , you are obviously an experienced artist whether self taught or not.... the only critique I have is the antler where it crosses the hawks feathers, I feel maybe some darker shadowing there would help to make it more 3 dimensional, I'm sure you client will love it.

Well done.
cheers,
Mo.

Dyin
05-09-2003, 07:35 PM
Thanks Mo! I didn't notice the antler...but it's as you say...I had it darker and then one of my 'swoops' of highlight kind of cancelled it out...that also was the first part of the antlers I did and I got more confident as I went...that's what I need...good constructive criticism...
as to the fixative....Where I used it to tone after the background, but before the subjects...I just used the plain acrylic gloss medium...used for airbrush actually. For the rest I used the acrylic glaze medium...I thought I needed to fix it as I didn't know what I was doing LOL! I'm going to probably not use this technique again...you lose the butteryness of the OPs and I love that...but still going to try using some solvent...not turp but oil glaze medium....looked interesting on a test....

Mo.
05-09-2003, 07:43 PM
Sue... I've tried the oil glaze medium (liquin)... bear in mind this is my personal choice... I prefer the white spirit which is oily anyway, I found the oil medium...liquin took long to dry for my needs, but go ahead try and see for yourself.... you may well like it :)

Cheers,
Mo.

Dima
05-09-2003, 07:57 PM
This is wonderfull dyin!
Such strong and rich colours.
I just reacted on your use of gloss medium in the op info thread and now realise that water may be added to the groundlayer that protects the paper but not anylonger once op is applied.
Hope to see a lot more of your experiments.

Dick

Cindy Aspden
05-09-2003, 08:40 PM
Sue!!!! Just got back and saw your "tada" and raced here as fast as I could! WOW!!!! Fantastic! Oh, I agree with Mo that your client is going to love this! Sorry, I can't give any tech help(you know my skill level). But, I can cheer! Oh, this is just so wonderful Sue!!!:clap: :clap: :clap:

cindy

bnoonan
05-17-2003, 01:00 PM
Hey Sue,
Had to bring this baby to the top of the list again - it's too great to be left out. Not sure how I missed it.

Great work!!! Love the composition and the richness of colors you captured here. That blue on the raven's face is just the perfect feather reflection.

Now I see what you meant about working the whites in the bones. They aren't easy to do but you found every value difference and shadow in that skull to make it really stand out.

Beautiful painting!!!

Barb

Dark_Shades
05-17-2003, 02:11 PM
I too meant to comment on this first time round ..... some how I got side tracked....... you have rendered this beautifully, and gorgeous colours..... you obviously have a great talent and skill..... there is something bothering me about the hawk, not how its depicted, but I think more on a composition level ..... forgive me, Im not quite sure why ...... perhaps the colour seems light, or its the same angle as the skull ..... cant quite put my finger on it yet

...... but pay no attention to me hee hee..... its a great piece, and one to be proud of

Dyin
05-17-2003, 07:58 PM
Thanks for all your comments...the composition is a little strange on this one but I wanted seperate images composited into one, kind of wierd having them disembodied too I guess lol! But the person I did it for loves it. I was pleased with it for a first oil pastel.
Thanks for popping it back up Barb, and Dark_Shades...let me know if you figure it out lol! And thanks Dima, too...somehow I missed your response...the rich color tickled me too!

Sue/Dyin