View Full Version : August 2012 Oil Pastel Challenge

07-29-2012, 02:11 PM
Hello Everyone!
Your monthly hostess for August - Carol Beuth is back with photos for your monthly challenge.

I know I'm a couple of days early, but this is going to be a VERY busy week and I don't want to forget.

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.

Here are some photos for the challenge. These are all my own photos. Enjoy!

This is a Blue Heron that my father took a picture of during a family hike at Cherry Hill Gate.
Picture I took of my husband and son on a hike we were taking with the homeschool group.
This area is part of the Niagara Escarpment called the Hole In the Wall trail. There are deep fissures in the ground and once down, you can walk between them. From another one of our hikes.
Our daughter Aurora at the beach this summer.
One of the lower waterfalls at Taughannock Falls in upstate New York. When my brother was back on leave from Afghanistan in June we had a family picnic there on a VERY rainy day.
This is a Blue Jay. The picture was taken at Cherry Hill Gate. It's a trail that we really enjoy taking the kids on. You can feed chipmunks, birds (mostly chickadees), squirrels and see all manner of wildlife.
Chipmunk being fed by our son at Cherry Hill Gate.

Couldn't resist this one. this is my brother Doug and his two sons. They met him at the airport when he came home for leave from Afghanistan. They were pretty happy to see each other.

07-29-2012, 03:24 PM
Carol, I'll see if I can get Pat to repost this to our Studio forum. This section is an archive of past challenges.

Pat Isaac
07-29-2012, 03:44 PM
I moved the thread, and these are wonderful pictures, Carol. I may have to try and sneak in that heron. Thanks also for hosting this month.


07-29-2012, 04:13 PM
Nice pics.Will surely do the second pic..

07-29-2012, 10:31 PM
Thank you, Carol, for the photo references.

Please thank your brother for serving in Afghanistan and coming home happy even for a short leave. I don't do justice to the immense happiness of the occasion but here is my tribute to him. I didn't do too well with oil pastel in this piece.

I sketched him twice to get proportions and background on Pentalic 70 lb sketchbook 5.5 x 8 inch.

New York background is based on a photo from wiki commons by David Moriaux.



Then I used Arches 140 lb watercolor paper cold press and Daniel Smith watercolor.

11x14 inches


Then added Sennelier oil pastels. This would be the last time I will use plain cold press paper for oil pastel. Very hard to control.


I think it would have been better if I just stick with colored pencil sketches and manga cartoons for elaborate subjects as such.

07-30-2012, 06:56 AM
Nice work Sandra.Love the way you have done background.

Pat Isaac
07-30-2012, 07:43 AM
Nicely done, Sandra and a nice tribute.


07-30-2012, 10:27 AM
Well done Sandra. Wow you were certainly quick out of the blocks.

I also find that cold pressed watercolor paper looses it's tooth quite quickly. To counter this problem, I'll apply a layer of gesso in which I've mixed some marble dust.

07-30-2012, 11:20 AM
Thank You, Carol! Great photos, hopefully we will get some good participation this month too!

07-31-2012, 06:58 AM
Tried to make first time for challenge .but am not able to upload it with my tab as my laptop is not working .Will try to upload as soon as possible. :(

07-31-2012, 09:17 AM
Thank you Carol for hosting & great reference photos. The blue jay in your ref. is so cute!

I had lot of fun drawing this little jay.


Measures about 21x30 cm (8x11"), Accademia Fabriano 200 g/m2 (94 lbs), Van Gogh oil pastels

Thanks everyone participating for these great and entertaining Challenges and keeping them going every month!

Pat Isaac
07-31-2012, 09:23 AM
This is a great Jay. He has the perkiness and gesture of a jay.


07-31-2012, 09:28 AM
Pat, thanks! :thumbsup:

Sandra, I like your final painting! It's strong & gorgeous. Thanks for the wip too. :wave:

08-01-2012, 03:26 AM
Nice blue jay.Love the electric blue color of the bird and the way you have done the feathers.Looks absolutely cool.

08-01-2012, 11:37 AM
Moscatel, absolutely wonderful work on the Jay.

Yes, I been worried that our participation has been falling off in our challenges. I'm delighted to have your participation.

08-01-2012, 02:28 PM
Very nice refs Carol - lovely shadows in thse woods... and thanks for sharing your family with us. Will participate with at least one this month.
Thanks for hosting.

08-02-2012, 09:47 AM
Barbiemumu & Hal, thanks. Nowadays I'm some part of the year out of Internet, so I guess I'm more like a visitor here in the OP Challenge.

An other oil pastel from the chipmunk reference. Had some trouble getting the form right, the tail is probably not that thick + wanted to lift her from the ground a little bit. Used less time for this one than the blue bird.

Had a great time drawing this little fellow!


Van Gogh oil pastels on Accademia Fabriano 200 g/m2 (94 lbs), size about 21x30 cm (8x11")

08-02-2012, 03:55 PM
Moscatel, you chipmunk is a real cutie.

08-02-2012, 11:15 PM
Sandra, wow. . . you tackled a hard shot/angle and added even more than the picture revealed. Nice work.

Moscatel, beautiful bird and squirrel! The colors in the bird are so vibrant. Love that.

08-05-2012, 03:30 PM
Moscatel, beautiful bird but the squirrel has such alertness. Nice pieces.

Thanks for comments, everyone.

This morning, I continued with the style of A to Z-Alexei von Jawlensky 1864-1941 (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1203912) but with Carol's photos.

This one is on Bee Company Bogus kraft paper.

Mungyo oil pastel 9x12 inch

She's a bit more grown up in this one.


This one is on Pentalic 70 lb 5.5 x 8 inch sketchbook.

Mungyo oil pastel
Stadtler 8B pencil which goes on effortlessly
Liquitex Basic white acrylic paint


08-05-2012, 07:11 PM
Thank you Hal, RainySea and Sandra!

Sandra, good job with the girl's face and waterfall! You have painted such a nice expression on the girl's face. These references are the difficult ones, I think.

I started also doing the first bird, but no guarantees what I'll end up with. :cool::D

08-07-2012, 06:12 PM
Sorry Paul that is not appropriate for this forum.

You're welcome to post your image in the digital forum and PM our host for this month and let her have a link to the image.

08-07-2012, 06:26 PM
It thought I would give the great blue Heron a try.

I thought the bird might do better against a dark background.

The background is all gesso: Matisse background colors, red, green and blue.

All the rest is Gray Pas Specialists on "Yes" water media canvas panel, 11 by 14 inches.

Suggestions for improvement welcome.

08-08-2012, 10:06 AM
Carol - thanks so much for the challenge! I have bought some oil pastels and I am excited to try them out.

Sandra - I love your step by step process photos - so helpful for beginners like me! Great work!

Moscatel - wow, that jay is gorgeous! Such attention to detail. And I love the cute little chipmunk.

Sandra - I love the wild styles you chose for the next two photos - painting in the old masters' styles really gives you broad range.

Hal - I love the heron - great idea to do a darker background - you have such a wonderful moodiness to the picture.

08-08-2012, 11:31 AM
Natashya, delighted to have you join our forum. I look forward to seeing your work.

Pat Isaac
08-08-2012, 03:11 PM
I like the heron, Hal and the dark background definitely works. I also like the textures you have in this painting.


08-08-2012, 03:21 PM
Thank you Pat.

08-12-2012, 01:51 AM
Hal, I'm glad you found time to paint in this challenge because it's a gorgeous heron. Love the colors!

Our host has totally disappeared from this challenge .. :angel: Carol, where did you go!


08-12-2012, 09:12 AM
Moscatel, thank you.

Carol let me know that she might not be able to be around much this month.

I hope all is going well with her.

08-13-2012, 01:24 PM
I have a very blue jay on 6x9" black gesso 200gsm paper using mungyo soft oil pastels. I am not happy with the background as the solvent interacted with the pastel more than I wanted so the current background is just an attempt to lessen the mud I made. I am happy with the bird, though my legs seem like an afterthought. Comments are welcome.


08-13-2012, 02:13 PM
Rick, glad to have you join in.

I assume since you were battling mud, you didn't put a shadow under the bird to ground him and plant his feet firmlly on the ground,

You might lessen the mud by defining pebbles and other ground irregularities by creating light sides and dark sides of the ground features and giving us some sharp shadows.

Also a defined light source with highlights and a dark side on the Jay would make him appear more rounded and three dimensional.

08-13-2012, 07:02 PM
I thought I woull join in on the blue jay challenge. I spent the afternoon working on an 8 by 10 inch version on gessoed masonite and Gray Pas oil pastels.

I was painting on my back deck and it was getting dusk, so the photo isn't great and may have dimmed the colors just a bit.

I went to press pretty quickly with this and haven't taken time to analyze this yet.
However, suggestions for improvemnt welcome.

08-19-2012, 03:37 AM
Nice work from everyone, here's a quick sketch impression of the happy girl.

Pat Isaac
08-19-2012, 07:11 AM
Terrific sketch. Really like your loose use of the OPs.


08-19-2012, 09:29 AM
ai2ai fantastic piece. Love your sketchy portrait.

08-19-2012, 09:35 AM
I decided to update my Blue Jay and give him a lighter foreground. I think he plays better this way.

Suggestions for improvement welcome.

08-20-2012, 05:55 AM
Thanks Pat & Hal.
Hal, your second piece has a better ground treatment, more depth and details. Compared to the ref. the front plumage could be less stark white (more form needed I think) and the right leg a little more angled perhaps. Overall you've depicted very well, despite the minimal details in the ref. Well done.

08-20-2012, 12:26 PM
Hal - thanks for the warm welcome!

I love your jay.

ai2ai - beautiful sketch!

This is my first time with oil pastels - I only decided I wanted to be an artist when I grew up last year, when the last child moved out and into the world.
Since then I have been having fun experimenting with all sorts of media and am so glad to have found WC! Great way to learn and practice and meet new people.

Here are my two ops so far - the heron I did pressing harder and the jay was more sketch-like. Heron was on white heavy vellum and jay was on Canson mi-tientes med brown paper. With both I used Mungyo oil pastels, oil based pencils, turpinoid, shaping tools and fingers.



I hope to get better over time!

08-20-2012, 06:39 PM
Thank you AI.

Natashya, glad you joined us. I especially like your Jay. I fine Mi Tinties an unpleasant surface to work on. You did well with it.

Pat Isaac
08-21-2012, 04:03 PM
Welcome, Natashya...nice work for your first attempts in OPs. I also like the Jay as you have captured his watchful nature. I agree with the Canson paper, but you have done well with it.


08-30-2012, 05:10 AM
Hi All,

This is a quick sketch of the heron.


08-30-2012, 08:49 AM
Hi Doobi, that's a great looking sketch. Well done.

08-31-2012, 01:44 PM
Hal gave me a pointer or two. I did not do much with the background as I wanted it out of focus, but I did add some shading and the shadow. IRL the top of the background is a bit darker to help it look like the background recedes from the foreground, which is lost in my photo. So here is my update.


6x9 Mungyo ASOP on black gessoed 200gsm fabriano accademico

08-31-2012, 04:48 PM
Rick, I still think your modelling is a bit timid. I'm a fan of bolder value shifts. :wink2:

08-31-2012, 10:22 PM
Rick, I still think your modelling is a bit timid. I'm a fan of bolder value shifts. :wink2:

Hal, I agree with this one, I just was leery of doing too much more. I am just trying to get more involved, it is not easy for me timewise. I am learning a bit, but I seem to have forgotten a lesson learned this time.


09-02-2012, 12:02 PM
I did make a start but everything got too tacky so I shoved it in the fridge... even the day after it was still tacky so I left it and got on with other things as I've been so busy and not got back to it yet.