View Full Version : OP's - Foxy Loxy

Kathryn Wilson
07-15-2003, 06:47 PM
Wanted to do something for the weekly thread, but again ran over time - still finding my way with OP's. This is from a ref. photo, on a 13 x 18 black mat board. Neopastels and gallery OP's. Approx. 3 hours.



Vegas Art Guy
07-15-2003, 06:58 PM
very well done, and just a BIT over the time limit! :D

07-15-2003, 07:05 PM
I think your fox is lovely :D
Wonderful texture in the fur

Kathryn Wilson
07-15-2003, 07:43 PM
Thanks Vegas Guy and Mystique - he was fun to do. Lots and lots of layers in the coat, but the camera just doesn't pick that up. Really liked working on this board - it had some bounce to it and I could really work on the coat quite quickly with long and, quick strokes of color. Got into trouble early on when I discovered (again!!!, when will I ever learn) that it's difficult to lay on lighter colors on top of darker colors.

Vegas Guy: LOL - where's yours?

07-16-2003, 03:43 AM
Great Job:clap:

07-16-2003, 03:49 AM
Lovely. So cute!

07-16-2003, 04:33 AM
Great fur! I like his proud expression, this fox is a survivor :)

Kathryn Wilson
07-16-2003, 08:13 AM
Thanks Smudger, Soap and Madder!

07-16-2003, 09:50 AM
great fur texture, you'd never know you had trouble with the lights...nice alert look in the eye too! Doing really good with the OPs!!!!

Kathryn Wilson
07-16-2003, 10:06 AM
Dyin : This is the first OP that I felt more comfortable in working with. I still need some advice on this piece even tho' I am done with it.

This was done on black - was that a mistake to start with? The layers were as follows: black, dark russet brown mixed with burnt umber, then a more reddish brown, medium red brown, then the last is a gold yellow. I could not get anything lighter to go over the top of those layers. I did not do any blending or melting down of the first layers - would this have helped later on?

How would you have done the lights in this case? Anybody?

I am attached the ref. photo for a comparison of the lights:


07-16-2003, 10:51 AM
Black is definately harder to work on when you want really light highlights but it works nicely with this subject....what might help is doing a quick underpainting with white and burnt umber...then when you lay your reds they will glow more...where you want it really highlighted with the yellow, like the top of the nose and skull, then do the yellow after the white and tone it down with strategic spots of red. On the darkest darks if you add a little ultramarine they will darken even more...find this especially true on the OPs. The blue seems to make it more alive too...this is just how I would probably approach it...I am finding that I am using white just about as much as black anymore, as a pure color anyways....tinted greys and pinks, yellows and blues still give the illusion of white if a little white shows through....if you look at the white in the ref you'll see it's really only pure a touch by the nose, the lower part of the throat and below his eye...then just a few little strokes on his neck....don't get me wrong...I think you did a great job with this...just hoping to give you hints for your next one..if you think it's good advice...on animals it helps to remember the type of fur they have too...a fox has soft fur with a stiff guard hair over it on the main coat...you did that just right...on the face it's softer fur, so do it like soft hair...more in mass than individual hair...you also did really good on the direction of the hair...that makes a big difference in how realistic it is...I think it's great seeing these OPs...the more familiar you get with them the more confident you'll be....so more, more, more LOL!! I really was itching to get to your thread this morning...I just get a little extra thrill when I see OP on the subject!
Oh...one other question you had...I do do blending on the first layers if it's a mass area that will just be a base for top strokes...and I let that part sit a little bit while I work on other areas...hope I didn't go on too much....

Kathryn Wilson
07-16-2003, 11:12 AM
Dyin : Yes, yes, yes - this is a big help! I wondered about working on black - it seemed to deaden the colors at first, but after layering that went away. I am looking at the painting as I am writing and it is so much more vibrant than the photo I posted. DH just could not get the light just right and it may be because of the black background.

I really do like working with OP's more and more and it sure does save the lungs. When I can't work in my studio with soft pastels because of the heat, I will be working with OP's in the house.

Another question on support - do you ever use OP's on sanded paper? I can't imagine that it would work well. Do you work on watercolor paper and a background of acrylic?? Like I said earlier, I enjoyed working on this board - it had just the right resiliance.

I hope some others will join into this thread and we can get a dialog going on how everyone works. I should review the OP thread once again so that I don't keep on asking the same questions - I apologize if I have.


07-16-2003, 12:05 PM
dont know anything about Oils Kat........ only know what I like..... and this you have done a really great job with...... the fur looks so real...... more real than in the photo...... you got great texture there, and love the glint in the eye

.... well done

Kathryn Wilson
07-16-2003, 12:43 PM
Thanks D_S -

jump into the pool and try your hand at OP's. Learn something new! Take on a challenge!


07-16-2003, 01:00 PM
First, I want to thank you for the kick in the pants you gave me this morning, Kyle...not been feeling so hot, didn't work on my WIP at all yesterday and only some background the day before...after discussing this I got the bug...the OP bug lol...been busy ever since..just redefining the arm colors but I'm happy! So big hug for that...
sanded paper...I did a few practice strokes on some Wallis and really was thrilled with the results...I just need to do the right subject for it as you don't want to blend so much there maybe, so I'm reserving it for something very strong...I'm trying as many supports as I can..I really hated the pastel board with the Senneliers and gave it up, but think it will work with the Neopastels esp. if I get some of that pumice to add to it...I'm using Fabriano Tizziano right now and really like it...might be close to the texture of your matboard maybe...and I have some left over clayboard from airbrushing...might be fun to do some scratching in it, but it's a very fine surface...keep experimenting is becoming my motto...
the thing I absolutely LOVE about the OPs is that vibrancy you were talking about....color just seems to sing and it doesn't dull out like so many other mediums I've tried. I think it's the oil effect. It's too bad it has to go under glass but to me I'm very happy it doesn' need varnishing, I would think texture would be lost then....
I sure wish I'd tried these OPs years ago...someone suggested it but they described them as crayon like and that turned me off...I don't have NEAR the energy as the ambition anymore but this site and all you pastelists have really got the snow off the chimney on this old house.....:D It just tickles me to see you getting excited too!

07-16-2003, 01:04 PM
oh...forgot....the acrylic seems to me to make it not 'dry' so well, it's harder to work on a slick surface....but maybe something with added grit would work better...watercolor paper works well with solvents tho....

Kathryn Wilson
07-16-2003, 01:31 PM
Dyin: Wow - I can feel that hug all the way from SF!

I just got done re-reading the Sticky on Oil Pastels - so much information there, but it seems there is no concensus on the support issue yet.

Has anyone tried something different in the last few weeks that really wow'ed them and with what OP's did you use?

I have 2 huge sheets of Wallis, but so afraid to go that large so early in this OP career - LOL. Going to go to Jerry's Artarama and see what they have lurking in the bins and will try the acrylic gesso. I would think you can color the gesso before you put it on to give your background some color???

There was also a big question mark on the blending medium to use. I bought turpenoid, but not sure how this will affect the acrylic surface. Dyin suggests Windsor Newton Blending Medium - anyone else try that yet?

Of the OP's being used it sounds like Sennelier's are a nose ahead of Caran d'ache - I bought a small set of the Neopastels and liked them so much more than my Gallery that I bought so along ago. But I had the darndest time getting the right colors and still not happy with the fox's coat color.

Mo: I know this probably should have gone at the end of the Sticky, but that thread seems to have died out. If you want to move this over, it's fine with me. I think OP's need to be nudged once in awhile - LOL.

I am excited about the OP's because I fear that I am becoming more and more sensitive to the soft pastels. I even bought masks and found I need to get used to them for they sure are uncomforable. My coughing afterwards was alarming me.

:D :D :D

07-16-2003, 03:12 PM
LOL...then Barb must have joined in...I'm in Idaho lol! Just as long as you got it:D
Remember that the Senneliers are touchy (they're awesome but require a lighter touch) and try the terra cotta colors for your reds in the neopastels...I was surprised how good they were...
Oh....the new big Sennelier set has a clear OP...yep, clear...it renders things a little transparent and is an awesome blender as it doesn't muddy anything!!! #221 is the 'color' replacement number.
Be sure and ventilate using any medium...even 'odorless'...also I've found that washing your hands with Softsoap Antibacterial with moisturizers gets the oil off very well...and my hands look better than they ever had...Dawn cuts oil but is pretty harsh...I also use acrylic brushes for fine shading...they wash out great with the Dawn...teehee...see how I go on when I get all fired up?
Dima and Mo will have a lot to add to this...pretty soon you'll be adding stuff you're learning with this medium and we'll learn from you!!! btw...never touched an oil pastel til this spring...you'll learn quick!

Kathryn Wilson
07-16-2003, 03:54 PM
Dyin: OMG - sorry about that - I had the west coast in my head. Is Idaho cool today?

Anyway, just got back from Jerry's toting Sennelier's pastel board/paper, W&N Oil Medium, a small canvas on board. Tried out the Sennelier's while I was there - I think I would only use them for the very last layer they are so soft (maybe it is the heat). I think it would depend on the painting I was doing - landscape vs. fox for instance. I think you could be very painterly with the Sennelier's, whereas with the fox I wanted very defined strokes.

Thanks for the tip on washing up - so far I haven't had a problem with stuff on my hands - I'm sure that will change.

How's the portrait coming. I haven't been commenting basically because I don't do portraits and would not have the foggiest idea of how to help or what to say. One day I will tackle a portrait, but I need to learn so much more control that I currently have, although I could go real contemporary - LOL.

Thanks Dyin!

07-16-2003, 04:53 PM
hah...just posted on the WIP...all the refinements in the arms and more background...all inspired by YOU today!!! Well, I guess 104.4 could be considered cool to someone maybe in a jungle somewhere lol...
ooooh, art supplies!!!! goosebumps again! The Senneliers take a bit of work...I thought I was insane to have got them when I first tried...but every stroke on my WIP is Sennelier...you'll get the feel for them. They stick is the word that comes to mind, so you just ease up on the pressure a bit. But I agree the neopastels are easier for thin lines...
portraits are just light and shadow...those things define everything...they sculpt the shape. It's more about carefully placing each exactly where it belongs...the nice thing about OPs is you have room to play...not much is permanent til you say it is. You need to forget it's a face or figure...it's all shapes formed with light....a good basic sketch is important for placement of the features but besides the eye, the nostril and the inside of the lip, there are no hard lines and those are soft too. Shoot...when you're ready just pick part of the face instead of the whole thing...a cheek, a chin, a nose...makes it easier.
Now go have fun with those new supplies!!!

07-16-2003, 05:41 PM
Kat your foxy Loxy is great... are you hooked on the OP's :D
Like the fur texture, looks like you've done lots of little strokes there...I've worked on black with op's and love it, found no problem at all with the highlights, the hawk I did, and the Rhodies were both on black, but my method is to lay in a wash of colour first of all using turps or liquin, I don't like op's over acrylics, tried that on my last painting and it's still not dry... you had problems there too Sue if I remember. If I'm working on Watercolour paper I will lay in a wash with watercolours haven't tried gouache yet, but intend to, then apply the pastels over.... where I know there will be a very light area I avoid putting any darks there... With the swan I hardly used white at all, I made the shadows deeper to make the highlights lighter... we are all still learning here, me especially and a lot is by trail and error, it's great to share our experiences and learn from each other too.

Mo: I know this probably should have gone at the end of the Sticky, but that thread seems to have died out. If you want to move this over, it's fine with me. I think OP's need to be nudged once in awhile - LOL.

I think it would be good to put this thread there or a copy of some parts of it, I will have to ask Carly to do that, I can't move threads sorry,... but what you could do, is copy your posts, and re-post in the OP sticky, the beauty of that thread is that it will always be there, this one could eventually become lost in the multitudes of threads out there... Sue you have given so much good info here it would be shame to lose it.