View Full Version : Andy's Dream - Oil Pastel Painting

09-12-2003, 01:07 PM
Hi all! I'm pretty new, and made my intro into pen & ink and wildlife forums, and now here I am!

My three favorite medium: india ink, oil pastel and colored pencil. I primarily work wildlife and pet portraits, but have done everything from abstract, people portraits and surreal pieces.

I am working on a piece now and may call on the advice of oil pastel experts here depending on how things go! This is titled "Andy's Dream", it is 16x20 oil pastel with a black india ink border. I am going for a impressionistic cityscape, and a photorealistic trophy (the tallest building) with a portrait of Andy in the foreground. Andy is a chocolate lab, and I thought the sunset color scheme would work nicely with his coat colors and highlights.

I hope you don't mind work-in-progress photos, but I would really love any advice/comments as I go. Thanks in advance!


09-12-2003, 01:14 PM
It's looking good so far. It's nice to see works in progress, to see how you work and how the painting develops. Keep working.

09-12-2003, 01:17 PM
Welcome, looks like you have a beautiful painting started . Like colors they will go great with the Lab . Looking forward to seeing it progress.


09-12-2003, 01:34 PM
Welcome! We like WIP photos here :)

Please post more as you go along!


09-12-2003, 01:59 PM

Welcome to the Pastel Forum! I've not worked with oil pastels before, but there are several here who have and I'm sure you'll get some great advice!

Your plans for this picture sound great, and I'm looking forward to watching you complete it!:) Keep up the good work!


09-12-2003, 02:33 PM
Thanks for the warm welcome! It seems the entire WC community is very cool to newcomers, that is so nice!!!

I just got to a point on the trophy where I am comfortable leaving it as is and moving on to another area. Any suggestions? I apologize for the really cruddy digital, other than not being able to photograph outdoors (it's raining here), I can't understand why my digital is behaving this way! (Vivitar 3.3 MP)

Here's the trophy area:

09-12-2003, 06:37 PM
You're off to a great start! I'm always glad to see oil pastel works. That's the kind I work with and I must say that they sure do not seem to get too much attention! Thanks for sharing your progress!

09-12-2003, 07:06 PM
Thank you!

I have to say I'm a little distressed right now. My two year old decided to help mommy paint this afternoon (shortly after I finished the trophy and had it on the table under the fan), and now I'm trying to repair the area.

I can't wait to have my own space - with higher counters!! :(

09-12-2003, 08:09 PM

(oh, but another artist in the family!)

09-12-2003, 09:45 PM

I love the background colour in the 2nd posting. It's less yellow & warmer than the 1st. Did you change it or could it just be the camera?

BTW what a great idea you've got. Perhaps one day I will try oil pastels myself.


09-12-2003, 10:06 PM
Thanks, Tanya!

The background is a warm yellow/gold color; it will make more sense when the painting is further along and the cityscape is covered in lights.

I am a smidge discouraged at the moment, having made a giant mess of my scratch repair work. blech. Wish me luck!

09-12-2003, 10:29 PM
Good luck!
I'm sure you'd be able to fix it fine. Usually no one else would notice it , it bothers you because you know it.

I can't wait for the city lights.!


09-13-2003, 12:58 AM
Hey...love coming back to see some new stuff here! Like the concept very much...sorry you are having a rough time with the repair...I usually scrape a re-do area with a palette knife...take it down as far as I can get it...the oil pastels will usually take right to it...what paper are you using??

09-13-2003, 08:17 AM
I should try paper some day then! It sounds much easier! LOL

I use either canvas panel or masonite, this is canvas panel. I also blend to very thin consistency with turp, so any damage makes the panel show through.

I recovered the area lastnight, and looked this morning with fresh eyes and am very happy with the repair! Now onward to the city lights today! :clap:

09-13-2003, 10:11 AM
those are slick surfaces for OPs...takes a lot longer to 'dry' too...The OP thread up top of the forum threads has lots of info on which papers you can use...checked out your site...you have some nice stuff there...your Rottie looked like an old friend of mine...:D

09-13-2003, 11:47 AM
Welcome :D This is a very interesting painting. I admire someone that can work different subjects into a picture and it comes together to make a statement. That takes some creativity! The colors are really great. Thanks for sharing and keep posting! Sharon

09-13-2003, 12:25 PM
Here's another progress pic!

I am about halfway through lighting up the city, and I will need to go back and darken some values. I also lightened the trophy a bit more so it is more pronounced in the skyline. Once I finish the skyline and allow it to dry I will put it on the flatbed scanner to get a more accurate image of it. Again, it's raining, and my indoor digitals are not as nice as I'd like them to be!

Can anyone tell where the scratches were?

Dyin: Sweetie, the Rott, is also OP on canvas panel. Thank you for browsing my site! :D

Sharon: I am so flattered by your comments, thank you so much!!

Here it is now:

09-13-2003, 03:29 PM
nope...can't tell!!! Lovin the way this is coming along...what's going to the right of puppy????

09-13-2003, 04:34 PM
Another WIP. I think I'm done with the city now, I need to wait for it to set up a bit and see where it is. It always looks different wet! Of course that alters my close up image as well, a lot of light reflection, but hopefully you can see most of the teenie details.

I roughed in Andy's head, he's a chocolate lab so it's just the underlayer. The painting will have Andy in the foreground looking over/across the bay (that's what's next to him, Dyin :) ) toward the cityline (aka his Trophy!). Both the trophy and Andy are AKC Certified (and the piece is being entered into a competition). :)



09-13-2003, 05:07 PM
that city is really awesome...how did you do the lights? Can't wait to see him done...this should do excellent at the competition!!! How long is this taking to dry...had a HECK of a time getting turps to dry on canvas....

09-13-2003, 07:43 PM
Scratch? What scratch? Good recovery!

09-13-2003, 07:51 PM
Dyin: I applied india ink over the pastels to create the lights. It takes a while to dry! What I do is wait until the shine is gone (the turp has absorbed or evaporated) and then spray with a light coat of fixative. This allows me to continue to work (and in this case, rework) the areas to my satisfaction. :)

Martha: THANK YOU!!!! Bless your heart!

09-14-2003, 10:03 AM
I laid the base colors for the bay, and will turn my attention now to Andy. :)


09-14-2003, 12:53 PM
Enjoying this WIP, keep it coming!

09-14-2003, 01:11 PM
This is such an ambitious piece for me!! I got a much better digital image of it in its current state. I tweaked the trophy a bit, after getting a lot of feedback from Andy's mom, she noticed that the right side of the trophy went straight down where it needed to curve, so now it has a slight curve to match the left side. I also completed Andy's eyes and will begin working on his brows and lids next! :D


09-14-2003, 01:26 PM
nice to have her imput as you're working...should the trophy have a touch of the sky reflection in it? Or would that not allow it to stand out so well? His eyes are looking good...

09-15-2003, 12:59 PM
AAAWWWW - this is so cute, Andy's a champ already...wonderful dong!!!!

09-15-2003, 02:04 PM
Here's another progress pic I took a little while ago. I'm starting to darken his fur now, and once his fur his done to my satisfaction I'll finish his snout & nose. :D


09-15-2003, 02:33 PM
beautiful chocolat color! Have to wonder if the background is too close in value to his coat though....a bit lighter value to that side of the sky would pop him better maybe? Also...do tell about the black border...you paint that in as you go????

09-15-2003, 03:23 PM
Here's a newer image of his current coat color, it's much deeper chocolate than the previous, and looking at it in person gives him a complimentary contrast to the sky. His chest will most likely blend into the darkness of the bay once I get that filled in, I need to work out those details yet.

When I finished the skyline I blackened in a 1" border. You can see from the sketched areas left to paint that the lines for it have already been marked. I thought it would add to the piece seeing as it's being formatted for a poster. The border is being done in black india ink, which paints well over the oil pastels.


09-15-2003, 04:09 PM
yep...see the nice tones in it....forgot that india ink works over OPs....thanks!

09-15-2003, 05:59 PM
India ink works over ops?

:eek: :D

Running off to try

09-15-2003, 06:03 PM
oh yeah...and Jen...you can scrape back to the ops toooooo....grin

09-16-2003, 12:02 PM
I've darkened the bay area a bit, still needs to go a little darker, and I'll be recoloring Andy's dark with a much richer dark chocolate! (Thanks Jen & Sharon!)


Sorry about the flash glare in this one. Much of the paint is still wet.


09-16-2003, 09:54 PM
Now I think I'm done. I'm not sure, so I'm going to sleep on it tonight! I will get a better digital of it in the morning, the chocolate is really nice & chocolatey now, but of course the sun was setting and I never seem to have good lighting when I really need it.

09-16-2003, 10:33 PM
I'm sure the owner will love this...just love that expression...did you use turps all the way through??