View Full Version : July 2012 Oil Pastel Challenge

06-30-2012, 03:37 PM
Hi there and welcome, my name is Steve and i'll be hosting the Oil Pastel Challenge for July 2012

The 'challenge' is for ALL abilities and you can experiment with new techniques, just sketch or leap out of your comfort zone and try an unfamiliar subject. It's entirely up to you.

The following photos were taken by me and so there are no copyright issues, feel free to crop, manipulate, or use as a starting point to an imaginative abstract.

You're free to post as you go as a 'WIP', either if you'd like to show us your process, which we love to see, or if you get stuck and need help and advice. We are all friendly and happy to help. We don't bite!

When you post your finished piece it's really useful if you state:
What Support you used including any surface prep
The Finished size of your painting or sketch

The brand of Oil Pastels used
Whether you have used anything under the OP as an underpainting it's not mandatory, we are just a nosey bunch :)

Other mediums may be used to complement, but the work must be primarily Oil Pastels.

OIL BARS may also be used

You have the whole month, but if you are unable to post by 31 July the threads do remain open...So come on don't lurk in the shadows, get stuck in and have a go.

To Start a night scene of Manchester Uk from my friends apartment

A peacock butterfly sunning itself

A rose that I saw peeping out from a garden hedge, so snapped with my phone camera

An unspoilt Welsh vista taken whilst on a recent work trip in North Wales

I thought i'd add a still life to balance the subjects, Anyone fancy tackling some rather tricky looking clear glass??

And lastly a cute little European Robin

I hope you find something to inspire your muse and I look forward to seeing everyone's work.

06-30-2012, 03:40 PM
p.s forgot to apologise for the thread starting a few hours early, i'm away from home tomorrow so thought early was better than a day late.... plus our friends down-under are probably already enjoying July 1st by now :)

06-30-2012, 04:29 PM
Great pictures Steve, some of the photo's are very interesting (I may try a couple). Thanks for hosting.

Pat Isaac
07-01-2012, 07:56 AM
Thanks for hosting, Steve, Great photos....


07-01-2012, 09:00 AM
Steve, thank you for hosting, great photos.

Putting the photos in early is better than late. :thumbsup:

07-01-2012, 11:19 AM
Lovely selection Steve.
That is a rare butterfly you were lucky to capture it. As awesome as the Manchester Scene is I think it is beyond me in OPs or Oil Bars.
I need to pick one I can finish in a couple of weeks as I will be away for a while. I didn't get to do the last one at all and I feel bad about that.

07-03-2012, 02:53 AM
Hi All,

I know these glasses are not perfect so please suggest few improvements!


07-03-2012, 11:20 AM
Doobi, these are great glasses, you have captured the sparkle and clarity really well and they look convincing as clear glass containing clear water...well done....and congrats on being first to post :)

Pat Isaac
07-03-2012, 11:34 AM
Good job on the glasses, Doobi. This is a hard subject and you have done it convincingly.


07-04-2012, 09:22 AM
Awesome Doobi, i like the reflection of the water and the glasses.

07-04-2012, 02:23 PM
Hi Doobi,
Glasses & water are very hard subjects to paint/draw, good job, very realistic.

07-04-2012, 11:36 PM
Thx Steve,Pat,mysurface & Evadney!

07-05-2012, 02:21 AM
After months of lurking about here on wetcanvas, I finally found the courage to post one :)

Thanks Steve for the wonderful pictures !

any C&C's would be extremely helpful .. thanks for looking :) Should I have blended the background more ?

I used Sakura Craypas Specialist and some cheapo $1 oil pastels, on a bockingford watercolour paper 300 GSM CP.
size ~ 8" X 8"
underpainting/primed = No


Pat Isaac
07-05-2012, 09:05 AM
Hi Sahu and welcome to our forum....:wave: Nice rendering of the rose and I would like to see the background blended a little more as I feel it competes a little with the beautiful rose.


07-05-2012, 04:31 PM
Sahu, wonderful to have you join in our challenge and what a great first offering, your rose is very pretty. My personal preference like Pat would be to blend away the white speckles of the watercolour paper, but then it does give the painting a very unique texture which is actually very pleasing in it's own way. I hope you will have a go at one of the other refs too.

07-05-2012, 09:24 PM
Doobi, fantastic job on the glasses.

Sahu, lovely rose. :thumbsup:

07-06-2012, 04:26 PM
If you can believe it, I'm really giving this challenge a try :o .

Here is my initial stage of the bird. I selected the bird because I need practice on fine lines and delicate features, so this was the perfect specimen.

Feel free to let me know what I should be doing differently, I'm using tortillium and clay shapers - only using Senns and Holbeins because of their softness. This is my first bird that I've painted.

Hope to have much more before the days end, I'm underwashing and re-gessoing another painting at the same time.


07-06-2012, 05:58 PM
2nd posting of my bird - next posting will be the little legs, feet and background. Do you think I should have started with the background first?

Please feel free to C&C, especially with the feathers. I'm trying to get nice smooth, soft feathers and not sure the goal is being met. Used my electric eraser a lot around the outside of the body - worked real nice.

Ampersand board: 5 x 7


07-06-2012, 06:28 PM
I think the feathers are looking great, nice technique, looking forward to the finish

07-06-2012, 09:55 PM
I love your use of color. Very delicate but not wimpy.

07-06-2012, 10:32 PM
Well, here is my first attempt for this challenge. In fact, this is my first attempt for any of the OP challenges. Using Strathmore 400 series mixed media paper (wonderful paper), I laid down some color with neocolor II and Portfolio series watersoluble oil pastels. Then started layering with a cheap set of pentels, Crayola oil pastels (surprisingly nice!) and Sakura Cray-pa specialists. For full disclosure, I also used prisma color pencils for the antenna.

07-07-2012, 01:11 PM
Doobi (welcome) your glasses are nicely painted, good reflections and shadows. Real nice job!

Sahu very nice rose - looking forward to seeing it completed.

Artkido (welcome), lovely butterfly! Nice colors, wonderful blending and beautiful details. I like this very much.

07-07-2012, 01:13 PM
Hi Steve and Artkido - thanks for your feedback.

I'm still undecided on what to do with the background, we'll get there.

07-07-2012, 01:53 PM
Mary, perhaps a minimalist approach?

07-08-2012, 12:36 PM
Doobi, great reflection on the glasses.

sahu, I like how your colors blend so well for the petals.

Mary, so much details already on so small a surface. :thumbsup:

Artkido, what brilliant colors. It's so cheerful to look at.

Thank you Steve for the challenge. I've always wanted to do a night scene and kept missing it at several attempts.

Here's mine today. Erengil oil pastel and Mungyo oil pastel. I was aghast after I scanned it and lost all the reds and gold from Erengi. Perhaps I used a neon red without knowing so had to patch up with Mungyo again.

Bogus kraft paper 9x12 inch


This one is on the same paper but used only Mungyo and Dr. Ph Martin's Bombay India ink violet.

In real life, the orange and red are more fiery and with greater contrast.


Pat Isaac
07-08-2012, 12:53 PM
Nice work, Sandra. Love the cityscape.


07-08-2012, 10:30 PM
OOPs, somehow my subscription to this thread didn't take and I'm way behind.

So briefly, Sandra nice work. I don't feel I have time to try the city scape and nice feel to the rose.

Flycatcher the bird is looking fantastic.

Sahuin the rose is looking great.

07-08-2012, 11:01 PM
I'm so busy this month, I'll probably only do one painting but I had to do one for my buddy Steve.

I have two images both works in process. I'll finish it off in the next few days.


I did a rough draw in and value study with acrylics (watercolor consistiency) just to locate the objects and get an idea of the values.
It's 11 by 14 inches on masonite, gessoed with clear gesso.


I would say this is about 90% complete.
Pastels are all Erengi and blending done with a paper stump.

Suggestions for improvement welcome.

07-09-2012, 12:35 AM
Artkido beautiful butterfly! Looks like you could feel the soft wings!
Flycatcher, wonderful bird, so realistic!
Sandra, the kraft paper worked well with your night city, and the spiraling rose design feel like it's in motion plus great bright colors.
Hal, nice landscape with good variety of greens. Mine usually look monotone.

This is a great thread to lurk and learn!

07-09-2012, 04:04 AM
Mary, Sandra, Hal, Thanks very much :)

Pat, Steve: Thanks for the feedback,appreciate it ! I am now going over the background with a q-tip.

07-09-2012, 04:10 AM
Hal, what a nice landscape with a good 'painterly' feel ! I like the shadows in the foreground, the flowering shrubs, and the mountain - the mountain is so 3-d and real. My mountains always come out as flat, like paper triangles pasted on :(

sorry if this is a stupid question - but are the two images two separate paintings, or do you apply colour over (1) to get (2) ?

07-09-2012, 04:20 AM

I love the oranges and blues side by side on the bird, and how these melt into each other. Waiting to see how the final one comes out !

I am not sure how you managed to get that glint in the eye ? :o looks terribly small, amazed at how you can control OPs like that !

07-09-2012, 04:30 AM
Artkido, this is a beautiful butterfly - I can almost feel the soft velvety texture of the body .. and I quite like the brilliant colour in the wings, and the veins running through them ..

07-09-2012, 09:29 AM
sorry if this is a stupid question - but are the two images two separate paintings, or do you apply colour over (1) to get (2) ?

Painting number one is the underpainting and number two is my layer of oil pastels over it.

Pat Isaac
07-09-2012, 09:48 AM
Looking very nice, hal. Such a serene scene.


07-09-2012, 10:05 AM
Hi Artkido: thanks for the great suggestion, haven't painted a minimal approach before so this will be my first.

Hi Sandra: Thanks for your comments, details on the feathers was achieve with my clay shaper.

Hi Hal: thank you, my first bird!

Hal, your landscape is really nice, gorgeous colors used. What did you use for your underpainting?

Thanks Candace!

07-09-2012, 10:13 AM

I love the oranges and blues side by side on the bird, and how these melt into each other. Waiting to see how the final one comes out !

I am not sure how you managed to get that glint in the eye ? :o looks terribly small, amazed at how you can control OPs like that !

Hi Sahuin: Thank you for your comments! The colors just happen to be compliments and work really nice on this little one. I'm considering background colors now, perhaps lemon yellow and ochre and a dab of burnt sienna? I'm afraid to paint the tiny legs!

The glint in the eye is a tiny dab of Sennelier white - it's so soft that it sticks when you touch the surface.

07-09-2012, 11:03 AM
Hal, your landscape is really nice, gorgeous colors used. What did you use for your underpainting?

Mary, the panel is naturally colored masonite with clear gesso. the under painting is very thin acrylics. The colors were white, black and blue with a lot of the masonite showing through.

I wanted the acrylics thin so they wouldn't fill the tooth created by the clear gesso.

07-09-2012, 04:47 PM
Based on good feedback here, I'm sticking to a minimalist approach w/the robin. Left to do: a little more color w/the background, still need to paint in the branch and then tighten the paint around the outside of the bird. I wanted to give you guys an idea of where this is going, for better or worse, :confused. What do you think about the background colors and design (still a bit more to do)?


07-10-2012, 10:48 AM
hi Mary,

What a smooth and creamy background :) The muted yellow sets off the robin very well.. I hope you are going to add more green to the right and not let the background be a halo around the entire tail ..

I had one little niggle- the branch dividing the paper down the middle, maybe I'd prefer if it was more slanted/diagonal ?
just my opinion though, you should consider it with a big pinch of salt ;)

Pat Isaac
07-10-2012, 11:07 AM
Looking good, Mary. I'll have to wait till the branch is filled in. I may be fine.


07-10-2012, 03:46 PM
Hi Sahu: thank you for your feedback, it was spot-on. I'm in total agreement about carrying the green/blues in and around the bird, as well as the lower left-hand corner. And, also the branch. When I originally sketched it out I had the branch on a more diagonal slant, then erased. Glad I didn't fill it in and changed it based on your feedback.

Hi Pat: thank you, appreciate your feedback. I'm not too sure I like painting birds - the detail is so small I felt closed in trying to paint.

I need to work on painting smooth blurry backgrounds. Don't know if I like what I did - perhaps there is too much yellow? What do you guys think?

Here is my final - need to wash my hands and move on. Looking forward to your feedback. Thanks ~


Pat Isaac
07-10-2012, 04:14 PM
Lovely finish, Mary. I do like the subtle background.


07-10-2012, 05:28 PM
Very good Mary great finish.

07-10-2012, 06:20 PM
Thanks Pat and Hal for your comments - means a lot. I think I'd rather watch birds than paint them, but then who knows maybe one day I'll attemtp another.

In real life the painting isn't quite as yellow as the picture came out to be, more subtle and softer. And the bird is more distinct. I played around with the photo for the longest time and then said, "oh give it a rest already, it is what it is".

Thanks everyone your feedback helped me a lot on this bird painting. Looking forward to everyone's challenge painting. I might be tempted to do the landscape posted herein - it's gorgeous Steve, but the rose would be my ultimate challenge and I haven't a clue on how to get started.

07-10-2012, 08:15 PM
Nice work everyone! Hats off to all of you.:thumbsup:

I love those glasses... those reflections are so difficult to render!

Welcome to the op forum. What a lovely rose.

Nice bird! As with all your work you have wonderful control to get such detail. I think the background works well too.

07-10-2012, 11:06 PM
Stevem I have to ask, what is the structure on the roof of the Manchester skyscraper? Looks like giant solar panels. I love the photograph (city girl at heart).

07-11-2012, 05:39 PM
Apologies for my absence folks....been working away with limited internet access. I see there has been a whir of activity,
Artkido, that butterfly is a stunner, you really gave it a great colour boost.
Sandra I remembered you asked about a night Cityscape in the travel thread so this one was actually included just for you....thrilled you found it and had chance to paint it. :D
I like you're choice of colours especially that purplish blue in the mid level buildings, the rose is well rendered too, it reminds me of a flamenco dancers dress.
Hal you're underpainting had the same dullish tones as the photo, then wham you gave it a full dose of much needed sunshine, I like your sunny version better than the original.
Mary I think you did a great job on the robin, you should definitely paint more birds, I think you have a flare for them, like seascapes, and they're such accessible subjects.
On a final note to answer your question Candace, the structure on top of the beetham tower is I believe an antenna, not sure whether mobile phone or TV though.?

I still need to grid up one of my own pics and make a start ...wow this month is flying by

07-14-2012, 08:29 PM
Thank you, Steve, for choosing that night scene for me.

I of course had to do one more of it.

Cray Pas Expressionist and Holbein oil pastel
Academie Heavyweight 8.5 x 11 inch
Dr. Ph Martin Bombay India ink blue for outlines


Pat Isaac
07-15-2012, 07:12 AM
ooh....I like your abstract take on the city scene...Nice bright color too....


07-15-2012, 09:02 AM
Hi Sandra, I see you're having fun taking a walk on the wild side. :wink2:

07-16-2012, 06:42 PM
Wow Sandra, that is Manchester on an acid trip :)
Reminds me of the story books I used to read as a kid, needs a story to go with it now.

07-17-2012, 03:51 PM
Here is my version of the lake scene. Thanks Steve for hosting the challenge. Great pics to choose from. I was debating between the rose and this one....
It is on 5 x 7 strathmore greeting card. I thought the ref pic showed a great scene and would look good as part of my greeting card collection.

Changed the bushes and foliage around, added some pinks,purps. oranges here and there. I'm a sucker for color. :lol:

senneliers on 5 x 7

Pat Isaac
07-17-2012, 04:05 PM
Just lovely, Rich and it will make a nice greeting card.


07-17-2012, 04:56 PM
Wonderful piece Rich, well done.

07-18-2012, 07:58 AM
Hi Sandra: Cool abstract with the city scene, I like this a lot. So imaginative!

Hi Rich: Real nice landscape, good use of color. I agree with Pat, will make for a nice greeting card.

07-20-2012, 03:22 AM
Great landscape Rich, nice recession on the mountain backdrop and so much detail for a small piece.:thumbsup:

07-20-2012, 03:56 PM
Wow we have some beautiful pieces in here. I attempted the glasses. Now that I look at the photo again on this forum I see my printer missed some of the reflected light or maybe I did. I took out the yellow light. It just didn't look right. Here is my attempt at what I saw.

Lori Anne

07-20-2012, 04:26 PM
Lori Anne, well done. I may have an issue with a couple of your ellipses but overall quite an enjoyable piece.

07-21-2012, 12:46 AM
Here is my attempt at the butterfly. It's also my first go with oil pastels. What I used are:

Cray-Pas Junior Artist 'Student Quality Oil Pastels'
Pacon 'Artist Sketch Diary' 11" x 8.5"

How can I make the piece not look so, well .... 'toothy'? Also, the colors the other poster in this thread, who also did the butterfly, were so much brighter and 'out there' than mine. Am I limited by my palette, or is it just me? I feel like I'm wasting the oil pastel crayons when I press down with them. Is this normal?

07-21-2012, 12:48 AM
Lori Anne, well done. I may have an issue with a couple of your ellipses but overall quite an enjoyable piece.

Same here! I would change the bottom of the right glass, and the top of the left one, and I think that would do wonders. All in all, still really nice to look at.

07-21-2012, 10:33 AM
Thanks for the tips...Now that I look at them...the water in the left glass is a little lopsided too!

Pat Isaac
07-21-2012, 02:20 PM
Ita is an enjoyable piece, Lori Anne Nd I think you did a great job with the glass. Ah, ellipses, the bane of my existence..

Nice butterfly sketch. You can get rid of he toothy effect by layering more oil pastel on the image and then blending with fingers or clay shapers, which many of us use. However, the student grades tend not to layer and. blend well. Some of the better student grades such as Erengi or Mungyo seem to work well for many.


07-22-2012, 11:50 AM
I fixed the water and elipses. I changed to bottom of the glasses a bit because when I took a closer look I saw they were not so rounded. Guess my mind told me to round them out more. I think it improved some.
Lori Anne

07-22-2012, 12:49 PM
Rich, the landscape is so impressive .. lovely use of colours. amazing how you see the possibilities from the reference picture ..

07-24-2012, 11:01 AM
Thanks everyone. Great job on the water and glass Lori.

07-24-2012, 01:03 PM
Hello there--

I am new at so many things it's mind blowing-- new to painting (3 weeks), new to oil pastels and new to this forum--love the information offered here and saw the monthly challenge so had a go at the robin. bird feet - why? having trouble with them :confused: -- please critique away -- thanks so much Alice

PS: used Sennelier set of 24 on 10 x 10 inch heavy weight cartridge.


07-24-2012, 02:05 PM
Alice, considering your newbie status, you've done super well. Nice drawing and you're doing a good job with this medium.

07-24-2012, 03:11 PM
thanks so much--had a look at your website--love your irises! xxx

07-25-2012, 05:23 AM
Hi again oil pastelists! This post will get buried soon so here's hoping for a little more critique on the bird before I get stuck into the butterfly--just in case I make the same mistakes again! Too heavy handed with medium? Lousy colour choices? Jump all over it--need help. Anywho--I'll get started on the butterfly in the meantime. Thanks and REALLY enjoying this challenge--great idea. xxx

Pat Isaac
07-25-2012, 07:19 AM
Welcome to the forum, Alice.... :wave: I agree with Hal and think you have done a great job for a first oil pastel painting and the drawing is nice. Take a good look at the bird feet and extend them out some more. The eye is right on.


07-25-2012, 08:13 AM
many thanks Pat...will do on the feet....

07-25-2012, 08:27 AM
Nice everyone!

Real nice glass work LoriAnn! You've managed to captured these very well.

The butterfly is showing lots of promise thevaliantx! Try lighter layers, more of them and blend slightly to get a slightly more smooth sppearance. You are on the right track - hope to see more. Ability to spread the OPs also depends on what type of OP you are using, hard/waxy or more soft/buttery?

07-25-2012, 08:31 AM
LoriAnn - the glasses read much better, nice going. Not always easy to get good reflections and transparency - makes for a nice painting!

Hi Alice: Welcome to OPs Forum! Great first painting and only painting 3 weeks - excellent start right out of the gate! You managed to blend in some beautiful colors on the bird's feathers. I agree with Pat on extending the feet out a bit. Nice work on the seeds.

07-25-2012, 10:10 AM
Gang...many thanks for your helpful feedback and kind words...I have updated the robin--showing extended legs and I also fixed the beak on the poor little guy. ON TO THE BUTTERFLY...eek. xxx Alice


Pat Isaac
07-25-2012, 10:20 AM
Much improved, Alice....


07-25-2012, 11:35 AM
Looking good Alice.

07-25-2012, 02:56 PM
Lori Anne I think those glasses are great,
TRW, great attempt at the butterfly, as you are using student grade OPs you will find them more waxy and harder to blend. Don't worry about having to get the colours exact, there are many out there who prefer a limited more muted palette.
Alice I love your robin, those colours are very realistic and you did a great job of revising the beak and feet..... I'm thrilled that all the images have been used, I've not even started mine yet ....need to hurry as almost out of month.

07-25-2012, 03:38 PM
Hello again--glad you liked updated robin...really enjoying this--had a go at the butterfly--found it tough going--I think I got a little bogged down with staying true to all the detail so the result is klunky. Please let me know what could improve this and I'll try it again. Thanks and hope you are all having a good day.


07-25-2012, 03:56 PM
Alice that is awesome, the only tiny niggle I can see is that the right side wing is a bit less rounded when compared to the left. But the colour and detail is fantastic.

07-25-2012, 04:08 PM
thanks so much and I'll update--so good to have someone else check it -- love your little "please excuse my English" comment--hahaha

07-25-2012, 05:27 PM
Alice, delightful work on the butterfly or as my number one daughter used to say as a toddler: "Bubba ki."

07-25-2012, 05:48 PM
Bless! I've been calling it a flutterby...but not as original as hers. Thanks for the feedback Hal :)

07-27-2012, 06:22 AM
I will try to use this medium for the first time...Your drawings are amazing, congratulations !

07-27-2012, 12:53 PM
Smarty, look forward to have you joining in on our challenges.

Pat Isaac
07-28-2012, 08:54 AM
Nicely done, Alice. Good color and detail.
Do join us, Smarty.


07-29-2012, 12:49 PM
Hi everybody!!

I am Anshul from India .. I have jst joined this website today and found this oil pastels challenge ... I love working with oil pastels and want to participate in this ... I will try to complete my work by tomorrow evening ... In India it is 29th July, Sunday today and the time is 10:15 pm... I hope i still have 2 days with me to submit my work.... and please tell what happens after the challenge ends... I really dont know anything about the rules of this site.. so would really appreciate if anybody here guides me through this... Thanks :)

07-29-2012, 01:31 PM
Hi everybody!!

I am Anshul from India .. I have jst joined this website today and found this oil pastels challenge ... I love working with oil pastels and want to participate in this ... I will try to complete my work by tomorrow evening ... In India it is 29th July, Sunday today and the time is 10:15 pm... I hope i still have 2 days with me to submit my work.... and please tell what happens after the challenge ends... I really dont know anything about the rules of this site.. so would really appreciate if anybody here guides me through this... Thanks :)

Anshul, we're delighted to have you join in on our challenges. If your run over the time, it's not a problem. At least a couple of us keep checking in on old challenges. Your work will be seen by more people if you post during the current challenge.

So go ahead and post any july Challenge work in the July thread, at least Pat and I will view it and comment.

A new Challenge starts August 1st. I hope you'll join us for that one as well.

07-29-2012, 01:41 PM
Anshul, we're delighted to have you join in on our challenges. If your run over the time, it's not a problem. At least a couple of us keep checking in on old challenges. Your work will be seen by more people if you post during the current challenge.

So go ahead and post any july Challenge work in the July thread, at least Pat and I will view it and comment.

A new Challenge starts August 1st. I hope you'll join us for that one as well.

Oh thank you so much for replying ... i was refreshing this page again and again so that i can get a guidance and start my work... :) I will surely participate in August challenge too .. :)

Please tell whether there is a selection for the best painting also ??

Thanks :)

07-29-2012, 02:43 PM
Please tell whether there is a selection for the best painting also ??

Thanks :)

Anshul, no competition here. Our intent is to share and to learn from one another. It's a pleasure to see how someone else tackles a problem and to see how he or she solves the problem. I have learned from other artists here and we consider ourselves to be a bunch of friends in this forum and a competition might hurt that relationship.

Honestly, I think we all root for one another as we all try to be the best we can be in this unique medium.

07-31-2012, 06:09 PM
Wanted to participate as these challenges haven't been so well supported over the last few months.

Thanks Steve for hosting. I had hoped to do something more 'major' but been away most of July and the rest busy doing stuff before I went and catching up on return.

So I scraped in by the skin of my teeth.

A4 watercolour paper
CD Neocolour - washed for background


07-31-2012, 06:33 PM
Lin, it's a gorgeous butterfly! Such a detail and variation of color. Love it!

07-31-2012, 06:37 PM
Lin wonderful piece of work. So glad you could chip in.

Like you, I've been overwhelmed getting ready for my shows.

I made a major gaff. I printed out about 20 giclee prints of my latest work, all at 11 by 14 inchs and then I discovered all the mats I have on hand are cut out for 12 by 16 inch prints. I've ordered more sheets of matt board and when they arrive it'll be a day or two with my Logan mat cutter and then assemblage.

I certainly haven't had much time to squeeze in a painting.

Steve, thank you for hosting and I'm sorry I could only get to one of your references. :(

07-31-2012, 06:45 PM
I have to agree Lin that's a real beauty ...thanks for taking part
I started a drawing on the city scene but haven't had time to add any oil pastel ....I will at some point and will submit it late.

07-31-2012, 10:21 PM
Lin...beautiful butterfly. It looks so realistic and love your shadow...it gives it such depth. Great job!

Shirl Parker
08-01-2012, 11:03 AM
Terrific Lin. Wonderful job. :clap:

08-01-2012, 02:14 PM
Thank you alll... LEt's hope I have more time in August... should have.

Pat Isaac
08-01-2012, 02:19 PM
That's just beautiful, Lin.


08-01-2012, 03:41 PM
Lin, that sucker looks 3-D. At least on my big Mac!

08-02-2012, 10:36 AM
Hi everyone--have been trying to get this rose right since 31st July -- really struggling. Used Senneliers on Heavy duty cartridge 10 x 10 inch. It's my first rose, well my third now and no improvement. Driving me nuts. Did a prelim sketch which I liked and lightly blocked in purples, reds and pinks. Shading in darkest blue. Gradually built up colour, shading and highlights and then gave up. Did not finish background so please disregard. Thanks for any suggestions. :confused:


08-02-2012, 12:12 PM
Alice, one suggestion I would make is to give each petal an out line where it overlaps on the same or similar colors. You have a tight swirl in the middle and it seems like there are two or three petals above it but they are hard to make out. A tight line in your dark blue will set them apart more and look like a falling shadow from the petal above it. If your senns won't lay down a tight enough line then use a knife to scrape it back to the thin line you want. I think when you get a better distinction between the petals, it will look better. Otherwise it is a nice rose and I like how you captured it opening.


08-02-2012, 12:19 PM
Alice, I'm not familiar with cartridge paper and have no idea how much tooth the paper has to grab the oil pastels.

I don't know your process for applying your OPs. My technique would be to put in my deepest darks in the recesses of the rose, a lighter value close to it and blend the two colors together. Finally, I would put my highlight color on the tips of my rose and blend that inward into my midvalues.

Pat Isaac
08-02-2012, 01:13 PM
Hi alice. I am not familiar with tha paper either. Blending the darks a little more into the middle value and adding more highlights might be helpful. Here is a rose demo that was done by one of our members that you might find helpful.


08-02-2012, 03:41 PM
Such fabulous helpful replies folks -- apologies for still being stuck in July but I want to get this right or righter before I plow into August challenges! I will study responses and video --thanks Pat. Concerns me that you or Hal are not familiar with my paper--perhaps I shouldn't be either! Rick, super instruction as well -- dead clear. will get back promptly with an update. Thanks so much, Alice

08-02-2012, 04:50 PM
doing some checking--cartridge paper term used here in UK for very heavy drawing paper-- 220 gsm is what mine is. It's smooth, not very toothy.

08-02-2012, 07:01 PM
Alice your painting looked as if it needed more tooth. Senneliers are pretty slick oil pastels. I prefer to do my underpainting or my first complete layer with Gray Pas or Erengis. They are pretty firm and I grind them into my surface with paper stumps. On subsequent layers I may use Senneliers, especially for highlights.

08-03-2012, 06:42 AM
Gang: I have decided to switch to colour pencil for the time being -- I want to be able to create detail more easily and am so new at all of this that I think I can switch media without too much trouble. There are tons of books on this subject as well. Would one of you please WRITE A BOOK on oil pastels? There are only 2 books on this subject from what I can see (one out of print?) and there is a definite gap in the market. Thanks so much for all of your help and sorry I flaked out after only 3 paintings. I think that rose finished me off. Good luck with all of your current and future projects! regards, Alice

08-05-2012, 04:59 PM
In my techniques I use lots of color, covering the area with very little paper showing through. I also scrape off layers, apply a second color. scrape it off, etc. til I get the sense of what I'm after. A plastic and metal paint scrapers are my best friends. So are blending tortes and hard erasers. I also use a butter knife for removing details to let lower colors show through. Do not be afraid to use the oil pastels. One of the reason I like the cheaper brands is, hey, they're cheap. $4-$12 at the art store and I'm set for a while longer. Be free, listen to the colors and have fun.