View Full Version : June 2012 Oil Pastel Challenge

06-01-2012, 12:54 AM
Good evening, everybody!

Your monthly hostess for July - Tatiana Myers is here with You again... it was almost a year from the time I hosted another challenge...

Let me remind You some rules (especially helpful for all our new participants!).

1) This challenge is open to ANY artist of ANY age working with ANY brand of Oil Pastels. Mixed media artists are welcome as well, as long as one of used medium will be... Oil pastel, of course!

2) Host is posting royalty free images, what you will use as reference for your art work. feel free to modify it any way you want. You can work on just
one image, or all of them You can do several versions of the same reference... the choice is solely YOURS!

3) After you finished your art work, take good photo of it and post it on this thread. You may describe your methods and ask for help or comments, if needed. We all are here to help each other.

And off we go!


Meet Toby, our puppy. Toby is Brussel Griffon and he is 5 month old. He is handsome boy and makes wonderful model!


Personally for Lin... and for everybody else who loves horses... beautiful Paint Horse, whos picture I took during our resent trip to Wyoming. Enjoy!


For our guys who like figurative work - here is a more of horse and real cowboy. I personally like this one a lot, but we will see who else does...


Beautiful landscape with some buffalo embedded into in... Still Wyoming!


One of Yellowstone waterfalls. I already painted this one once and oil and going to work some more on the same subject. Hope You like it to and somebody will take a challenge.


And lastly - I have to trow in another floral subject. Beautiful waterlilies from Longwood Gardens.

Challenge Yourself! paint! most impotently - have a great time!
And see You back here with pictures of Your art work!

06-01-2012, 08:45 AM
Tatiana, thank you for the great references. I look forward to working on a coupld ot them.

Pat Isaac
06-01-2012, 05:23 PM
Wow great images, Tatiana....Thanks for hosting.


06-01-2012, 05:53 PM
Hal,.. Pat!... Thank you so much!

I'm glad You like my choices... I always trying to come up with something new and not to use RIL photos, just because many of us already painted our favorites from there... so nice to have something different... just for change.
Hopefully we will get some interesting painting going on this thread.

06-02-2012, 12:29 PM

Very nice pics. In fact, I think after a year of watching these threads, I may try one. I've always wanted to do a horse and a dog. In fact, I've yet to do any animal so this may be a great time.


06-02-2012, 11:20 PM
Sounds wonderful, Cory!
We have a dog... and more then one horse!.. Make Your pick!

06-07-2012, 02:35 PM
I am new to Wet Canvas, everyone has been so nice. Halthepainter commented on my first oil pastel that I ever did, and told me I should do the June Challenge. So I believe I will just do that. Not sure which picture yet, but you gave us some great choices. Thank you for hosting.

06-07-2012, 03:35 PM
Connie, I look forward to seeing your work.

I plan on doing at least one. Right now I'm trying to get some framing done up up coming art shows.

06-07-2012, 05:04 PM
Connie, it will be great, if You will participate... Make your pick and... enjoy the process!

Hal, nice choice!...

I personally do not know if I'll have much time to paint something... even I should... My beloved horse Betty scratched her eye and we have to put her eye drops in 4 times daily... so I live in the barn all my spare time... But I have some painting attempts too. Maybe till the end of month I'll have something done. I better do it!

06-07-2012, 05:38 PM
Tatiana, I'm counting on you to do at least one. :D

06-07-2012, 06:17 PM
Thanksssssss, Hal!... I guess now I just have to! (or it may turn into another "blue flower story" what we had going on here few years ago!)
I'm pretty sure some of you remember that one...

06-08-2012, 01:14 PM
sorry I'm late checking in - some awesome refs here - I did expect horses and dogs :) That is a beautiful horse... thank you for thinking of me:thumbsup:

I shall try to do at least one,.. but have some other bits to do first. It all depends on how many 'good' days I get.

06-08-2012, 02:37 PM
Here You are, Lin!...

Good to see You here and glad You like this month references. Join the crowd! I don't think I can paint a lot this month either, but better some then none!.. Looking forward to see your entry to this challenge!

06-09-2012, 08:36 PM
Thank you, Tatiana, for the great references. Here's one from me - Neopastel and velvet board 8x10 inch.


06-09-2012, 08:43 PM
Delightful Sandra.

It's your version of the black velvet "Elvis" painting. :lol:

06-09-2012, 08:57 PM
Sandra, I do not know HOW You did it, but You did it. You just have all about this dog down to perfection. If he would be in school, he would be a class clown. Love the facial expression! Hal is totally correct: delightful little painting!

06-09-2012, 10:27 PM
Thank you, Tatiana, Hal. This surface also is very easy to draw and erase with and so that helps.

06-09-2012, 11:30 PM
Never tried that surface... perhaps I should. Thank You for idea, Sandra!

Pat Isaac
06-10-2012, 07:16 AM
Very nice Sandra....Do you like working on velvet?


06-11-2012, 09:06 PM
Pat, I do like the velvet surface. There is a softness to it that I think is superb for landscapes, misty and foggy scenes, cityscape in the rain.

06-12-2012, 06:25 PM
Ok, just for Tatiana.

This was a huge one for me: 12 by 24 inches on canvas panel with Erengis and I toned the canvas with Matisse, China Red, ground colors. I've mostly painted 8 by 10s and 11 by 14 inch formats for the past year.

I felt Tatiana's cowboy needed a better vista rather than just looking at the side of the hill, so I relocated him. Since we aren't having a lot of traffic here this month, I though I would include work in porgress photos.

located all my elements on the canvas, a drawing of the cowboy to protect his space and started on the mountains.


A little more work on the mountains. Shadow is the top of my easel. I got a bit carless and let the mountains intrude on my cowboy's head.

OOPS, wiped out more of the cowboy's head. I saved the most important part until last which is probably a strategic error. If my mess up my cowboy, I wasted at least 8 hours of work.

This is all for now. I'm tired and grumpy. I've been working on this for four or five days. I'l set it aside for it and me to age a bit and reevaluate it later. All blending was done with finger or paper stumps and lots of elbow grease. I allowed quite a bit of the red under tone to peek through over much of the canvas.

Notice, I turned my rider's head to look at the vista. Coming over the crest of a hill, how could he not take a long look at the view. I know I would have to have a long look.

Suggestions for improvement welcome. I have several other commitments that will keep me busy for quite awhile so I won't be back to this very soon.

06-12-2012, 07:05 PM
Very ambitious, Hal!
I like it a lot. I like what You did with it.
Well... originally it was a group of people from the Dude range leaded and followed by two cowboys and horses were on the mountain side... I just HAD to take all tourists out of picture. But I like to see mountains being back! :-)
What I would done differently (just me!)
1) I would use different shade of brown for the trail compare to color of the horse... They sort of blending together too much.
then I would put some warm browns here and there trough mid-part of painting just to pull it together better. You have some of it going on in Your pines. I would like to see more of it, because right now we have VERY worm foreground in a contrast with the rest of cool colors. Perhaps if trail would be cooler brownish it already would work better...

One more thing... I totally love the feeling of the light on a top on green hill on the left. Lovely! But right behind we have a piece of mountain with very sharp edges and very repetitive lines...Blend it somewhat more, just like the left side of the mountain, will be perfect. Also about that head of your guy... i would make background (blue mountain) against of his head somewhat lighter. Right now we have just about the same value there - head and background... Make shadow lighter, guy will look better.
Now one of things what I really like here - nice looking gradation of value in mid-ground from the left to the right. This is perfect.

I'm proud to see you took that much time to work on it. I guess I had some inspiring references (at list for Hal's opinion, but where is everybody else?...)

06-12-2012, 08:23 PM
Tatiana, thank you for your extensive evaluation.

06-12-2012, 08:41 PM
You are welcome, Hal!

06-12-2012, 09:36 PM
Hal...love the painting. Now that tells a story. You are so creative.

I agree with Tatiana about the mountains on the left. I think it would look a little better if it were more blended like the ones on the right.

Awesome job!

06-12-2012, 09:38 PM
Hal, can I ask why you decided to go with the red toned canvas? I really have no experience with toning canvases so do not know what colors to choose and why. I like the way yours came out.

06-13-2012, 09:29 AM
Tatiana and La: Yes I did get lazy on the left side mountains and wasn't really careful when I worked on that area.

As to the red toned canvas: It tends to add a warm glow to the transparent hues and tends hold the painting together. Also a toned canvas keeps those annoying white sparkles at bay when you don't fill in all the little nooks and crannies with your oil pastels. That is also quite effective when working on darker passages on a black toned surface.

Many old masters painted on a red toned surface (perhaps not quite as bright as China Red :D )

I don't remember who from my art appreciation classes but some actually did value painting in red and later glazed in the other colors. This process tended to leave a warm continuity to the painting as a whole.

There are red sparkles here and there.

06-13-2012, 09:30 AM
Hi All,

I tried the flower. I am not very sure about the shadows on the petals. Any suggestion?


Pat Isaac
06-13-2012, 10:06 AM
Well done, Hal What a nice interpretation. I also agree with Tatiana about the mountain.


06-13-2012, 11:54 AM
Doobi it's a very lovely piece of work.

One tiny suggestion would be to try to indicate depth in the center of the flower by suggesting some dark down in the middle of the yellows, just an idea.

Look at all the hits I took on my last piece... I shouldn't be suggesting anything to anybody. :wink2:

06-13-2012, 12:14 PM
Doobi, this is one nice looking waterlily! Thank You for participation!...

Hal, next time I'll post lesser comments, if you wish!.. :)

Speaking of red underpainting... Totally true - it is very known technique. Works well for some painters, who mastered it.
I'm not that particular th the red, but I tried something very similar with purple and I think i can make it work. I would say the secret to it is : you HAVE TO leave some of it shown and basically it will replace at some point You negative background/painting. have to be careful with it too. I just did one of my soft pastels in this style, it is out of topic, but I'll take a freedom to post a fragment just to demonstrate an idea...


This is a fragment of hay field pastel painting. All purples here are parts of underpainting what left untouched and replacing elements of negative painting in the picture. When shown here and there all around painting, those will really pull it together and create color harmony.
It takes some practice to get it just right.
Hal's version was with red underpainting, but principles are about the same.

06-13-2012, 12:27 PM
Hal, next time I'll post lesser comments, if you wish!.. :)

Quite alright Tatiana. :thumbsup:

My remarks were just part of my self-deprecating sense of humor. :o

06-14-2012, 05:15 AM
Red underpainting is really interestning... I have to try it.
Hal, I have one question, should I underpait red on whole canvas? sky area too?

06-14-2012, 05:48 AM
Thx Tatiana. Hal I will add some dark. Thx for the suggestion.

06-14-2012, 10:10 AM
Red underpainting is really interestning... I have to try it.
Hal, I have one question, should I underpait red on whole canvas? sky area too?

Adam, I undertone the whole canvas but you're the artist, and try anything you like.

Many artists (myself included) don't like to paint on a white canvas but prefer a toned surface. Even when I paint my oil pastels on watercolor paper, I tone it with a colored gesso. I usually use a darker color such as a dark wine, terracotta, black or a black with a lot of blue mixed in. I've only used China Red a couple of times. The dark colors contribute to the darker colors in your piece and it you have those little textural gaps in your oil pastel coverage a dark peaking through just adds to the texture where as a white sparkle can be distracting.

I have known (and have done it my self) artists who paint a complete loose painting in gouache and then paint over it in pastels.

Sometimes I will do my underdrawing in gouache because I can easily correct my gouache drawing (painting) before overlaying with my less forgiving oil pastels. With this underpainting any sparkle will be much like the oil pastel overlayer and less noticable than the white sparkles.

I just do whatever tickles my muse when I start a painting. It's not all that spontaneous though because, I usually do the painting in my mind before I ever pick up a brush or pastel stick.

06-14-2012, 07:20 PM
I've up dated my last image: worked on the left side mountains, tweaked the foreground, and a couple other little things and I'm putting this away for a while. I have a couple of art fairs to prep for and about 20 paintings to frame and or mat.

So this is it for the time being:


Suggestions for improvement welcome.

06-14-2012, 10:51 PM
I like it much better, Hal! I think You just nailed it!

06-15-2012, 10:03 AM
Tatiana, you're too kind but thank you anyway. :heart:

06-15-2012, 11:33 AM
Hal, love your work ,especially the texture of the grass on the hill..the mountains stand beautifully behind...

06-15-2012, 11:50 AM
Thank you Barbie.

06-15-2012, 11:52 AM
Wow, we are having some really interesting work here this month. I'd join in, but I think I'm about to give up on the landscape with the buffalo that I started...

Hal- I love that cowboy. The landscape is very you. How do you choose the color of your support?

Doobi- Very nice water lilly. I would maybe add some light purples to the shadows of the flower.

06-15-2012, 12:17 PM
Hal- I love that cowboy. The landscape is very you. How do you choose the color of your support?

Thank you Tali;.

In this case, I was hoping the bright red would lend a warm undertone to the painting and be a unifying influence for the whole painting.

If I were doing a darker painting, I would use a burnt Sienna, Terracotta, a dark wine color or even black.

I have lighter ground colors but don't use them. I would prefer my "sparkles" be dark rather than light.

06-18-2012, 01:41 PM
Hal you have no fear, I'm gobsmacked that you pushed the original source image into such a whole epic painting with wandering cowboy, mountains and a river ...the whole sha'bang....good job lad ;)

06-18-2012, 02:12 PM
Thank you Steve.

I hope getting "gobsmacked" doesn't hurt too much?????:wink2:

06-27-2012, 11:57 AM
Hi all,
found your challenge and the cowboy picture looks interesting. Hope to upload something today.

Hal- Great composition! :thumbsup:

06-27-2012, 12:09 PM
Welcome to Oil Pastels monthly challenge, creatingart!

This month we are slow for some reason, not too many submissions, I guess everybody enjoying their summer!...
We would love to see Your work here. Have to agree - Hal done with terrific job on his cowboy painting... BTW, Hal, I would recommend You to re-post it WC "western" forum, unless you already did it. I'm sure our 'western" group will enjoy it too!

06-27-2012, 12:31 PM
Thank you Creatingart.

I look forward to you joining us.

Tatiana, I didn't know we had a Western Forum. I guess I'm too focused on our area and need to get around more. :wink2:

06-27-2012, 12:38 PM
Do not feel bad, Hal, I had no idea about western art on WC either... till this spring.
It called Southwestern/Western Art. Check it out when you have some time.

06-27-2012, 01:48 PM
sorry Tatiana I know you posted some horses for me but I can't see ho wI can get anything done this month. I've had so much on and had to try to get rest days. I'm trying to meet deadlines all over and hitting problems.

06-27-2012, 04:01 PM
sorry Tatiana I know you posted some horses for me but I can't see how I can get anything done this month.

Same here, and this is OK. If You like any of references, you always can use those at later time.
I had awfully busy month too... exactly with those horses. Things are better now, but I didn't paint much myself. And I'm fine with it, I'll catch up in a right time. ;)

06-27-2012, 04:28 PM

Here is my submission using acrylic gesso primed Yupo paper. Was delighted to see how well the coverage of the oil pastels applied over the primed paper

Oil Pastel 9"X12"

06-27-2012, 04:40 PM
Hello! I finished my work. Feel free to tell me what I can improve because I really like the OP. This is currently the medium in which I feel most comfortable. In France it is hardly alone so I did not beauxcoup advice.: Wave:
Now I see what you did.

I forgot to tell you: A4, green Canson paper, Caran d'Ache Op

06-27-2012, 04:41 PM

Here is my submission using acrylic gesso primed Yupo paper. Was delighted to see how well the coverage of the oil pastels applied over the primed paper

Oil Pastel 9"X12"

Very beautiful work. I like how you handled the background too. Well done!
Same suggestion as for Hal: post the copy of it on Western forum.

06-28-2012, 09:21 PM
Silvie, lovely piece.

Creatingart, that's a wonderful piece. Yupo??

So the acrylics on the yupo gave it enough texture to hold oil pastels???

06-28-2012, 09:34 PM
Absolutely lovely piece, sylvie!
Very gentle and light. I wouldn't change a thing about it.

Hal, I tried yupo with OPs before... Direct application. You can work on it without underpainting, but I think all depends of band of OPs and results You want to achieve... But it works in general.

06-29-2012, 07:38 AM
@ aolaranora and halthepainter: Thank you for your informed opinion. I shall be tempted to add contrast but I'm afraid to do too much and spoil everything.
@ creatingart I love the color brightness of this is in acrylic, is not it?: Clap:

Pat Isaac
06-29-2012, 07:56 AM
Lovely, Sylvie.
Nice work on the Yupo creatingart and I do like the background.


07-01-2012, 12:10 AM
Hal - great work on your painting, that's very cool.
creatingart-- welcome-- I like your style, great job with the horse.

I'm sorry I missed this months challenge, I've been getting ourselves re-settled in Thailand after spending the past 2 + months in the states- have several projects to try to finish in a short amount of time, so not much time for other more important things (like oil pastel paintings) :D

07-01-2012, 09:43 AM
Not a problem, Paul! Same here. There is an always another month!

07-01-2012, 09:46 AM
Paul, thank you, good to have you check in. I hope you'll be getting your fingers oily again soon. :D

Tatiana, thank you for hosting.

07-08-2012, 08:03 PM
Sorry this is late, I wanted to clean some aspects up on the picture and life does not help me. So here is this one, I liked the bison in the picture and the general landscape. This is finished for now, I am not sure what more I would do, but it is a good piece now. C&c welcome.


9x12 200gsm Fabriano accademico with a black ground
Mungyo artist soft OP