View Full Version : October 2012 Oil Pastel Challenge

10-01-2012, 02:08 PM
Hello everyone, and welcome to the October oil pastel challenge! My name is Tali and Iíll be hosting the challenge this month.
This challenge is open to all artist of all ages working at any skill level.
You can use this challenge to experiment with new techniques, just sketch or leap out of your comfort zone.
It is entirely up to you.
You are free to post a "WIP", either to show us your process or if you need help and advice. We are all friendly and happy to help.

For this challenge, Iíd like to take you all over the seas to my home in the Middle East.
All photos were taken by me so there are no copyright issues, feel free to crop, manipulate or use as a starting point to an imaginative abstract.

Please tell us: 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 as an underpainting.
This is not mandatory, we're just nosy :) .

Other mediums may be used to complement, but the work must be primarily oil pastels.

Oil sticks and oil bars may be used.

You have a whole month, but if you are unable to post by Oct. 31st, the threads do stay open....So come on in and give it a go.

I apologize in advance for being rather quiet between the 4th to the 11th , since Iíll be out on holiday in the lovely Crete.
But I promise to comment when I return :)

So here we go:
Liran, a friend of mine. I told him I'd show him all the drawings of him at the end of the month. PM me if you want a larger version as this is one photo I didn't add to the RIL

A hill near my parents' house

Flowers from my parents' garden

My dog, Missy, sunbathing indoors while thinking deep thoughts

A parakeet flying off the roof of my building. These started out as pets that escaped from their cages and grew to a giant colony that lives nearby and makes a lot of noise

Still life with cans

Trees on my street

I hope you enjoy this challenge, and let's have a great creative month!

10-01-2012, 02:32 PM
Tali, thank you for hosting. I see a couple of paintings here, if I can get to them.

Where is here, especially for your parents home?

Pat Isaac
10-01-2012, 04:26 PM
Thanks for hosting, Tali. great images.....one of these years I'll have time to do this..Love the Frenchie. My daughter has one.


10-02-2012, 10:15 AM
Thanks Hal & Pat for the comments.
As to your question, Hal- my parents live in a small village west of Jerusalem, and I live further west, closer to the medeterranian coast

10-02-2012, 08:27 PM
Well...since this is a challenge...I have decided to step waaaay out of my comfort zone and try the cans. :eek:. :). My immediate response to your pictures was to do a portrait of your friend (which I would still like to try), but I'm going to tackle these cans first. I did this quick drawing to get started. This might be a long process - bear with me...:D


10-02-2012, 10:05 PM
Tali, I'm not sure if you are spiritual or not (hopefully I don't start a war here), but would you have anything to share with us in the way of photos of places that Jesus might have spent his life?

I think I will try to do one of your parents' home. Thank you for taking your time out to inspire us. :heart:

10-03-2012, 01:42 AM
Tam- good for you for stepping outside your comfort zone. I hoped you might do the portrait but this is even better. The sketch looks great so far- keep us posted.
thevaliantx- wow, this is a tough one... To be honest, I haven't been in the old city in years. Same goes for Nazerath... What other famous places are there? (my brain doesn't function very well in the morning...)
Near my parents' home there is a cave where John the baptist lived or something. They found it a few years ago. I'm not sure it's open to the public, but if it is, I can probably post a photo once I get back from Crete.

10-03-2012, 03:40 PM
Tali, your parent's home looks as if it could be anywhere here from Pennsylvania to Idaho. I hope to give that one a try. I'm heavily into prepping for art fairs. Paintings to frame and prints to mat and wrap.

10-03-2012, 05:59 PM
Hal- yeah, Israel is not just desert :). I was actually hoping to add some photos from the dead sea, which is more typical, but they didn't come out that well so I passed. Good luck with the art fairs. It would be cool if you manage to do the challenge.

I'll be off to Crete tomorrow morning, and I don't know how much I will be able to go online. I might be quiet for the next week and I apologize in advance. See ya all next week :thumbsup:

10-04-2012, 05:30 AM
Thank you, Tali, for the nice ref pics. Enjoy your trip to Crete.
Happy painting,

10-05-2012, 06:14 PM
wow - that is an awesome photo of the parakeet in flight - hard to photograph... great shot.

which country do you live in Tali - the views are beautiful?

I have another busdy month - still have rthe August challenge to finish... but really really do want to have a go at a couple of these...

10-06-2012, 08:55 AM
Hi All,

This is my version of the crushed cans.

Looking for few suggestions.

Thx in advance!!


10-06-2012, 09:07 PM
Doobi, your cans are delightful.

Pat Isaac
10-07-2012, 12:26 PM
Nice job on the cans, Doobi. I'd darken the blue can a little so that it recedes behind the others.


10-07-2012, 09:16 PM
Beautiful cans, Doobi. So much details and great color background blend.

Thank you, Tali, for the references.

I was testing out dollar store oil pastel and ink resist and made a mess of this one. Had to go over with Mungyo oil pastel to salvage it.


10-07-2012, 09:42 PM
Nice going Sandra, I think you caught his essence.

Pat Isaac
10-08-2012, 08:52 AM
I agree with Hal, Sandra and I do like the reflected color on his face from the background.


10-11-2012, 01:21 AM
I did a painting of Liran but I'm getting errors when I try to upload. I'll try again later.

10-11-2012, 01:32 AM

I really enjoyed this! Many thanks to Liran for his image.

10-11-2012, 07:25 AM
Hi all,
I'm back from Crete and delighted to see all the wonderful new drawings.

Debbie- I love your version of Liran, very dramatic light and shading and the strokes are so dramatic and have so much motion.

Sandra-I love your version of Liran as well and I agree that the funky purplish light reflected from the BG.

Doobi- lovely cans, very vivid and excellent colors. I agree with Pat that the top bit of the blue can should be darkened to imply shaddow cast from the can above.

Lin- all the photos are from various places in Israel (as I said to Hal before Israel is 40% not-desert :) ). I hope you can join this month's challenge.

Charri- thanks for the wishes, I did have a lovely holiday...
Now it's back to painting!!! :D

10-11-2012, 08:11 AM
:thumbsup: Debbie, you've done a fantastic job.

Pat Isaac
10-11-2012, 05:24 PM
This is great, Debbie. I do love the strong color..


10-12-2012, 12:30 AM
Debbie I LOVE your style on the portrait. Excellent.:thumbsup:

10-12-2012, 02:00 AM
Thank you! I am really loving my new pastels.

10-13-2012, 05:35 AM
Hi all,
I've had quite a break from drawing since I started a new job a few months ago, so I thought I'd try to get into shape by doing month's challenge (especially since I'm hosting it..)
Anyway, I goofed around a bit and came up with this. C&C is welcome, as usual.
Good weekend!


10-13-2012, 08:35 AM
Tali, quite cute and for just goofing around you've done quite well.

Pat Isaac
10-13-2012, 09:02 AM
Made me smile...the Frenchie is quite cute.


10-15-2012, 08:48 AM
Thanks Pat & Hal for the comments!
Well, I haven't done a portrait in so long, I completely forgot how much fun they are! Here is my version of Liran, C&C welcome :)


Good week,

10-15-2012, 09:03 AM
Tali, great job. Those skin tones look great.

10-15-2012, 05:02 PM
Thanks Hal. I used some of my new Holbeins for the skin tones, and they are fantastic. It was fun working with them

10-16-2012, 01:34 PM
I'll consider this piece a WIP. I'm not happy about the sky and some of the foreground. I'll have to allow it to set up a bit before doing anymore.

I promised Tali that I would do a challenge this month, so I tried the landscape. It's 11 by 14 inch, on clear gessoed masonite.

I managed to squeeze out a couple of hours last night and I started working on the sky with the jumbo sized Senneliers. I have a minimal set of Jumbo Senns (red, yellow, blue, white and black). I decided to just continue with the jumbo size and the four sticks of red, yellow, blue and white.
Here is the result:

Suggestions for improvement welcome.

10-16-2012, 01:49 PM
Hi Hal, thanks for doing the challenge. This is a very nice start. I love the texture of the wooded hills in the BG,it's great. I also like the sky. The only thing I'd change are the rocks on the left half of the painting. It's not clear what they are, and being so light in color they are rather distracting. I'd tone them down a bit.

Pat Isaac
10-18-2012, 03:00 PM
Nice startm Hal and I really like the painterly feel. I'd be careful about the straight line of trees on the left. Vary the heights a little.


10-22-2012, 07:48 PM
Tali, what a fun piece on the doggie. And you did the portrait well. Holbein has the best portrait colors I think. Good lighting on his face.

Debbie, your portrait has that jazzy lazy feel to it. Great use of colors.

Hal, what a sunny and cheerful piece already.

Here's mine.

Mungyo oil pastel
Chinese brush and sumi ink on top
brown cardstock 6x8.5


10-22-2012, 08:16 PM
Love it Hal! Very painterly--looks like an oil. I just wonder what the white things on the left are?

10-23-2012, 07:24 AM
Hi Sandra, I love your parakeet, you've captured the motion well.

10-25-2012, 06:55 AM
Thx Hal, Pat,Sandra & Talinka!

Pat Isaac
10-25-2012, 03:57 PM
Great color and motion on your parakeet, Sandra..


10-25-2012, 05:26 PM
Well, the last post vanished, so my apologies if this shows up twice.

The parakeet done on bright white copy paper with Daler Rowney ops. C&C appreciated. I drew it freehand from the reference photo and didn't quite have room for the tail.


10-26-2012, 01:55 AM
Sandy- love your parakeet. It's got wonderful colors and the composition is excellent- looks like it's flying by the page :)

10-26-2012, 10:22 AM
Thank you, Tali! There are some beautiful, colorful drawings on here. Everyone has done great.

10-27-2012, 08:09 AM
This is my first foray into Oil Pastels. I've been drawing with a pencil all this while but Black and White only goes so far... I did sketch the cans on the canvas with a graphite pencil, will that be a problem over time? I did erase it after sketching so as to only leave a subtle outline in most places. I used Sakura Cray-Pas Expressionist Oil Pastels(36 colours). I had a problem that after two colours it was tough to add a third on top of it but I guess my technique was flawed. The size of the canvas is 11x9 inch. I had primed it and several others for trying oil painting but that was a mess so here I am. Is the only way of storing this is to frame it? I've found that it does look better from a few feet back. Close up the illusion is ruined.

Pat Isaac
10-27-2012, 08:21 AM
Nice work on these cans. A difficult subject. Pencil sometime mixes with the OPs, but the erasing helped. A good way to keep your pencil drawing without having to worry about it is to do the drawing and then add a coat of clear gesso. Also you often need to let the painting set up overnight before adding more layers of OPs.


10-27-2012, 02:39 PM
Just a quick check in. My back surgery went well but another disc has gone out and I'm down again with pain and weakness.

Just requesting volunteers for future Oil Pastel Cahllenge Hostings. I think we need volunteers from January and on.

I won't be around much until my backpain and weakness is under control.

10-27-2012, 05:33 PM
Ru.dA.Ra- I love the cans, you did the reflective surfaces very nicely. The lines from the pencil don't bother me that much. Maybe next time use chalk for the sketch.

Hal- so sorry to hear about your back. I suppose you could put me as a host if you need. Feel better soon.

10-28-2012, 09:19 AM
Very nice work from everyone. Managed to squeeze one more in before month ends. As usual my parakeet is sketchy as I tried to capture its essence.


10-28-2012, 11:07 AM
ai2ai, very sketchy but quite nice. I like it.

Pat Isaac
10-28-2012, 11:21 AM
Definitely have the essence of the parakeet...nicely done.


10-29-2012, 02:33 AM
ai2ai- I like the sketchy quality of the parakeet. I think you captured its essence really well.

10-29-2012, 09:29 AM
Thanks Hal, Pat, Tali.

10-31-2012, 04:44 AM
So I got this canvas pad.. Its texture is really something I didn't expect.. Doesn't give the smooth feeling. Maybe applying a lot of gesso and smoothing it out would help. I went to get clear gesso but it was almost three times costlier than the white one so didn't get that.. Also one of the problems I'm having is that I am using too much white oil pastel.. About 15% of the white is already over. I am not going to get single sticks here so that will be a problem. I was trying out various techniques with this painting and learnt along the way..

10-31-2012, 10:02 AM
ru-da-ra, delighted to have you join the forum. I quite like your piece.
canvas pads don't usually give you a lot of tooth to grab the oil pastels.

It would be beneficial to invest in either a jumbo stick of white or a box of five whites. I have both. I use quite a lot of white in my skies and and blend in my blues or roses.

Gesso tends to be a bit smooth (for my taste) and if I were using any gesso other than clear, I would add a bit of marble dust. The marble dust is very powdery but adds some texture to the gesso. I use Matisse background colors. They are colored gessos and tend to have a bit more texture than the typical gesso.

Once again, I'm delighted to have new blood join our forum.

10-31-2012, 11:10 AM
Beautiful work Rudara.

10-31-2012, 11:19 AM
I'm excited to be here. Since I have been shading with pencil for soooo long, trying colours for the first time has been quite fun. This art stuff is costing a lot and I'm not even using the best stuff... That was one problem I didn't have before.. Just a pencil and paper was all.. Anyway my goal would be to make sell able art to finance my creations..You all seem nice here and I'm gonna stay for the long haul.

10-31-2012, 01:26 PM
Actually the problem I was having was with the weave of the canvas pad.. I also didn't realise that the canvas would shrink after applying gesso.. It was a bummer losing those inches.. And now I'm stuck with these 10 sheets.. I would use 'em just not for stuff that requires showing small details like the previous painting. The smaller pad I had bought earlier seems to be a linen surface which would not give me spots like this one.. I feel the linen surface to be better, what would you guys say?

Pat Isaac
10-31-2012, 06:47 PM
Welcome to this forum, Rudara......I can see the texture of the canvas pad....Some like it, but I prefer a smoother surface. I agree with Hal, that getting a large white would be a good idea.
Interesting landscape with the cut off trees.


11-01-2012, 02:11 AM
Ru.dA.Ra- I love your piece, especially you combining my home's surroundings with my parents'. Nice job with the canvas- I also find it too textured.

11-01-2012, 01:30 PM
i d really apologise for not participating this month. I did print off some refs to use but I've had so much on with getting things sorted for my exhibition which starts on mon 5th I just haven't been able to do anything. In fact I havent' done any art at all for over a week, just shuffling frames bout my lounge >.<

I may do one in retrospect and post if the thread is still open.

I'm hosting this month so I'll just go over and post them.

Thanks you so much for hosting.

11-01-2012, 01:39 PM
Tali, thank you for hosting this month. Now everyone let's get on the November and grab one of Lin's reference photos for November.

11-01-2012, 01:42 PM
I don't see one for November, yet.

11-01-2012, 01:47 PM
I don't see one for November, yet.

look again :wink2: