View Full Version : June 29- July 6, 2013 Weekly Challenge

06-30-2013, 11:36 AM
Hi everybody, welcome to the OP Weekly Challenge – this thread is open to all artists as an opportunity for artists to expand their creative talents using oil pastels :clap: .
Each Sunday a new thread for the week will be posted with three new words to base your inspiration for paintings or sketches.

The rules are simple:
· your art can either be a sketch or a painting,
· Oil Pastels must make-up 75% of the painting, the rest can be mixed media (watercolor, acrylics, oils, oil sticks/bars and water solubles, etc.),
· let us know the surface and size of your piece,
· to foster creativity, we’ll post three words for you to base your painting/sketch. Please feel free to paint one piece with all three words, or create one painting using one word, or paint three pieces w/one representing each word – paint as many as you’d like, as long as a painting represents one of the words. The choice is all yours.
· you’re free to post a"WIP", either to show us your progress or if you need help and advice.

June 29- July 6, 2013, Weekly Challenge for Oil Pastel Forum

Let your imagination take over and enjoy! The three words for the weeks' challenge are:




Pat Isaac
06-30-2013, 03:01 PM
Thanks, Mary.....not sure if I'll get to any, maybe nothing for a few weeks. DH came home yesterday.
Have fun everyone.


06-30-2013, 03:01 PM
:clap: :thumbsup:

06-30-2013, 04:12 PM
Thanks, Mary. . .

06-30-2013, 06:26 PM
Cobalt blue is one of my favorite colors. The selection here is fit for a hungry king! :heart:

07-01-2013, 02:44 AM
You had me as soon as I saw "PEAR!" Now I have an excuse to paint another pear. Can you tell that I love painting pears?:D


07-01-2013, 09:41 AM
HI Pat, Blooming, Rainy, TVX and Doug - glad you guys like the word choices this week. I'm still deciding what to paint.

Doug, I know you like your pears so I'm excited to see what you paint!

TVX, so Cobalt is it? Great, looking forward to your painting!

Pat, hope that your DH is recovering smoothly - we'll be thinking of you!

07-01-2013, 01:14 PM
I knew Doug would be back, one way or the other.

When he was little he probably took the arms and legs off Mr. Potato Head and painted the thing to look like a pear. :lol:

I kid, I kid, but I might be onto something here.

My wife and I are going to be looking for cobalt glassware pretty soon. Just have to find a day we both have off from work. Going to be very busy with my job here soon, won't have much energy to do anything with art. That sucks, but the bills have to be paid. :confused:

07-01-2013, 04:17 PM
I'm with Doug! Pears! There's so much that can be done with them! Love it. Now I just need to dig out the plastic pear from the drawer of still life objects to see if I can set up something...

Here we go.

Oil pastel on Stillman & Birn Beta journal
rough natural white watercolor paper.
From life (artificial pear).

07-01-2013, 05:05 PM
Good job, Robert! I love me some painterly effects with OP. :heart:

07-01-2013, 07:53 PM
Beautiful pear there Robert - love the shades of green and specks of yellow and cream/white. Perfect lighting on this scrumptious piece of fruit, and the shading couldn't be better as a complement in the purple family!

07-01-2013, 08:32 PM
Robert, your pear is yummy pastel goodness!

07-01-2013, 11:47 PM
Congrats on being the first to get started this week. . . lovely form and color on the pear, especially like how you did the shadow. What brand of OP did you use for it?

07-01-2013, 11:59 PM
Way to get us going, Robert! Great job on the pear. Love all those greens with the violet shadow. Your sketchbook reminds me that I found the sketchbooks I use work well with OP's. Might have to start another sketchbook.

I think the reason I like painting pears is the colours you can see in them if you really look. I have seen greens, yellows, blues, violets, reds and oranges in pears where most people just see a "green" piece of fruit. The shape also differs from pear to pear. And one of the best reasons to paint pears is you get a nice snack when you are finished with them. I am going grocery shopping tomorrow and I have pears on my list.:D


Pat Isaac
07-02-2013, 11:19 AM
Lovely pear, Robert. I do like the hint of other colors in the pear.


07-02-2013, 03:53 PM
Strathmore Dry Media 400 series 9x12
Portfolio and Erengi Oil pastels


Pat Isaac
07-02-2013, 04:01 PM
That is an awesome pear. Love the texture and the half slice..


07-02-2013, 04:18 PM
I echo Pat Rainy, the pears are terrific! Wonderful skin textures, and the inside is a bit of creamy-satiny look - very nice. Like your shadow colors as well - nice range variation.

I just got back from two stores, mind you two, and I completely forgot to pick up some pears! Wow, so I'll be using some photos I took yesterday of different fruit on a cobalt plate. I have lost my mind :lol: !

07-03-2013, 04:58 AM
Robert, Rainy, great looking pears. Robert's has the colors and Rainy's has the texture. I could almost feel the cruchiness of it.

Adapted from a songbook for cowboys from a master's work.

Dollar store oil pastels on blue cardstock with pastel ground. Still dislike sanded surface.


07-03-2013, 09:19 AM
Lovely use of cobalt Sandra - beautiful rendition of the vastness of the land, from the valley and lake below, to the mountain ridges. I like your use of violet and the slight use of green/yellow breaking the blue.

07-03-2013, 11:29 AM
Thank you Pat, Mary and Sandra.

Sandra what an interesting and lovely use of cobalt. Never tried cardstock for OP but that is interesting. What sort of pastel ground did you use? Like colorfix or something?

07-03-2013, 11:30 AM
Sandra .... that's your name, right? :D That dollar store OP kit is Crayola's "student version". You should upgrade to their Artist Grade, found at Wal-Mart. Difference is like night and day. What you have requires a pick axe to get it onto the surface. The stuff I'm talking about only requires a putty knife. ;)

Pat Isaac
07-03-2013, 12:01 PM
It is a great use of cobalt, Sandra and the vastness of the land shows through.


07-03-2013, 01:22 PM
Thank you, Mary, Rainy, Tom, Pat, for your comments.

Rainy, I used Golden Acrylic pastel ground. It's really not much different from any other label's pastel ground. I used to have Liquitex label and Colourfix ones too. Cardstock is not 100% lightfast although it's acid free. But I hang my paintings in corridors and walls without direct sunlight and they are fine.

Tom, that dollar store oil pastel is not even Crayola. It's from China and my husband bought two sets of 24 pcs for me just because he thought I could use it. I'm glad they are skinny ones and I could use them up quickly, especially on sanded surface. I do have artist quality brands which don't even need sanded surface to look good.

07-03-2013, 02:13 PM
Sandra, I was only kidding. :rolleyes:

07-03-2013, 04:14 PM
Sandra, I've never used either the Golden or the Liquitex (although everyone says the Liquitex is great for OP so I really want to get me a jar one of these days). All I have is the colorfix so far, but good to know that its not so different. Thanks.

Tom (TVX), I enjoy playing around with all sorts of brands, like Sandra. I have the good ones but often use others as well. Its interesting to me how different they all are depending on the support one uses.

Today I used the Mungyo on the Strathmore Dry Media and like the Erengi, didn't like them as well on that support as I do on others. So far the Portfolio and Pentel (both cheapies) actually work better on that paper.

Here is my try on COBALT. . .

Mungyo and Porfolio Oil Pastels
Strathmore Dry Media 400 9x12 Pad


Pat Isaac
07-03-2013, 04:30 PM
Wow...just great, Rainy and you rendered the glass perfectly. That is a great color isn't it?


07-03-2013, 05:58 PM
Wow Rainy, this your cobalt vase is superb! Great color clarity, as well as shine and reflection - this is my favorite of yours. Love it!

I agree with Pat, I just love cobalt. Your painting shows me why.

07-03-2013, 06:07 PM
Here is my cobalt.

Senns, neopastels, and holbeins
4x6, pastel paper - Strathmore Papers, Artist 500 Series

It will be years before I finish with all these awful papers - hate them, but don't want to use my good surfaces for the challenges.

I experimented with this piece using black paper - wow, does it change the look or what?! I've used black only one other time, about two years ago - I'm not sure what I think.

I'm still trying to figure out Windows 8 photo gallery software, as well as mixing it up with InfranView - very difficult to adjust the pictures that I take of my paintings. For some reason the creams are screaming white :crying:

Took some still life pictures myself the other day for this challenge.


07-03-2013, 09:08 PM
Thank you very much Mary and Pat for your comments.

Mary, The creams show nicely on my monitor and do not look white... I love the colors in the lemons and the texture and detail of the inside. The cobalt plate is a lovely showcase of them.

I, too, am trying to use up papers that I didn't like! I've had this Strathmore Dry Media pad for several years as I purchased it back when mostly I was doing pencil and didn't like how the pencil worked on it. So it was stuck away until I found the chart from Strathmore that indicated it would be ok for OP. However, so far it seems that the more student grade Pentel and Porftolio work better on them than the Erengi or Mungyo. Not sure if I want to waste my Senn, Neos, or Holbeins on this paper. . . still have that under consideration.

What surfaces do you favor for your non-challenge work, Mary?

07-03-2013, 11:06 PM
Hi Rainy, thanks for your comments. I hated using my Senns for this, but the Cobalt was gorgeous and it layed down beautifully. But the outside rind, done with neopastels and mungyo's looks good in person, but not in this image. Oh well.

I use two surfaces: Ampersand and hardboard that I prepare myself (sand, two coats of liquitex gesso and then three coats of Liquitex clear gesso. I love both of these equally. I could never do a seascape on these papers, oh my they'd be pretty bad.

07-05-2013, 02:03 PM
I finally figured out what I was doing wrong with my camera - I mistakenly changed the setting for white balance with the over/under exposure. Because of this my whites and creams were coming out brilliant, I mean screamingly garish!!

So I re-took the photograph of the lemons, so you could see a better example of what the painting actually looked like.

Thanks, Mary

Pat Isaac
07-05-2013, 02:27 PM
Yes, this is much better, Mary....what a rich cobalt!


07-05-2013, 03:02 PM
Hi everyone,

I do hope my first seascape qualifies in the COBALT category ;-)

Happy Summer!


07-05-2013, 04:03 PM
Thank Pat, really appreciate it. What a time to get this straightened out, but glad I got it figured out. Thanks very much.

Hey Dobbi, wow some serious good work here - congratulations on your first seascape! :clap: You should be very happy with your painting it has a lot of good elements to it. Lovely sky and cloud mass and colors, real nice distance achieved, love your rocks and wavelets coming into shore - nice sea foam and colors. Great energy and movement with the water!

Only suggestion for your next seascape because I know you'll be doing one - is to have the sky at a lighter value than the water - sky is always the lightest element when judged against the land or water. The land and water reflect the colors in the sky at a lower value, so they will show darker.

But, I wouldn't touch this painting, because it really is well done :thumbsup: . I wouldn't want you to ruin that beautiful sky and wispy cloud structures.

Pat Isaac
07-05-2013, 04:36 PM
Wonderful fiirst seascape and definitely qualifies for cobalt. I like the faom on the rocks as well as the rocks themselves.


07-06-2013, 08:01 PM
Rainy- I love the red violet reflection on the pear. The skin texture is perfect. Your vase is outstanding! I love all the different shades and tints of cobalt. The highlights bring it to life. Way to go!

Sandra- I wish I had half of your imagination. Wonderful use of cobalt. Keep at it!

Mary- I love the contrast of the yellow lemon on the cobalt plate. The lemon slices look great with the cobalt showing through.

Doobi- You should be very happy with your first seascape. Great use of cobalt.


07-06-2013, 08:30 PM
I managed to do two pear sketches in my Robert Bateman sketchbook and a pear painting on hp watercolour paper, tinted with magenta Panpastel and primed with two coats of clear gesso. I was very happy how the clear gesso went over the Panpastel. That means I have a wide variety of "coloured paper" to choose from.

All are approx. 5x7. Thanks for looking.





07-06-2013, 08:40 PM
Oh Doug your pears are so much fun! A great mix of colors, and your lights and shadows really set off the fruit nicely.

I love the third with the magenta panpastel wash - wow what a luscious background, and the beautiful colors on the pear from blues, greens, yellows and burnt sienna (I think) are so nice to see. I'll tell you what, the texture you laid down with the clear gesso is excellent, giving some broken color on the pear. Yeah, this is neat!

I had a painting started today w/three pears, but side track with yard work and stuff that I'm not going to be able to finish today so it will be just a normal post.

07-06-2013, 10:26 PM
Doug love the last pear. The redish background and the canvas texture set it off adding interest.

07-07-2013, 02:32 AM
Here is my try at embracing all three words in one painting.


07-07-2013, 11:42 AM
Brilliant Mike, using all three words in one painting :thumbsup: !

Love the painting - tough to do a display of diamonds but you managed the brilliance of sparkle very well, and the cobalt stone is just beautiful with the shine and reflection of lighting.

The ring is definitely regal, this was a great choice for a painting.

07-07-2013, 12:16 PM
Lostjedi- Very clever! I agree with Mary about the sparkle of the stones. Not an easy accomplishment. Well done!

Thanks for the comment on my painting. The canvas look was done by applying the clear gesso horizontally the first coat and then vertically the second coat, using a foam brush.

Mary- The texture and the tooth of the clear gesso opened a whole bunch of ideas what could be done. This is all still so new to me, but I am having fun learning. That "burnt sienna" at the bottom of the pear is actually two or three oranges. Thanks for your comments. Looking forward to seeing your pear painting.


07-07-2013, 02:32 PM
I'm very sorry, everyone, that I was not able to participate in this challenge. There have been a lot of things going on in my life of late. Getting bank accounts frozen because of a lien. Working extra days per week (my job is very taxing physically ... no breaks, not because they aren't given but there just isn't enough time to sit down), trying to finish up rest of the old homeschool stuff we have and getting ready for the Classical Education approach we're going to take starting in August (our son will hate us for it, at least early on), moving my art stuff to a different room in the house to try and draw inspiration from a better surrounding....and now....our computers going to hell in a handbasket. So....I'll take the keywords in the challenge in this thread and use them to start an independent thread of something that I want to work on. My wife and I talked about using the weekly challenges as an excuse to browse at Goodwill and the Salvation Army....hint, hint. ;)

07-07-2013, 04:47 PM
Doug, I really admire the last pear for many reasons. . . the texture really adds dimension and the glow on the pear is so nice. Really novel way to create toned paper using pan pastel and clear gesso! Great idea.

Wow, Mike, three words combined into one perfectly! Genius. And nicely done. . . I can see the sparkle.

Doobi, what a wonderful use of cobalt. The scene is serene and yet I can feel the power and movement of the water as well.

07-07-2013, 05:00 PM
Thanks Rainy, Doug and Mary it was the first thing that came to mind when I read the words. I wasn't sure it would come out right but I just dove in.

I was just glad to contribute as I have been traveling a lot with limited time to paint.


07-07-2013, 06:55 PM
Thanks, Rainy. I have used Pans for under paintings with soft pastels and the idea just came to me on how they could be used with oil pastels. I have so many art supplies, I have to think of ways of using them.:o I almost applied the second coat of clear gesso in the same direction as the first, but at the last second, changed my mind. Glad I did.


07-08-2013, 03:54 AM
Rainy, I have to say that vase is superb. It's shiny and reflective just like a real vase and could pass for a photo from a museum catalog. Well done.

Mary, love the deep blue you used for the plate. The two half lemons on the viewer's right has the perfect pulpy look. Nice. Which brand of blue gives you that coy royal blue? It's beautiful.

Doobi, I like the strong white form of the waves.

Good one there, Mike.

Doug, it's so good to read how you are using pan pastel and seal it with gesso. I haven't thought of that before. I only use watercolor for background in general since it's faster.

07-08-2013, 08:29 AM
Hi Sandra, thanks for your comments. The blue was Senneliers Cobalt, it was opaque which was great because I was able to apply in such a way as to get the pastel paper checks (texture) covered nicely. The shine and shadows was with neopastels. I've had the Senneliers Cobalt for a long time and never used it, but I'm a fan now.

07-08-2013, 01:05 PM
Here is my challenge painting. It is approx. 7 x 10 inches on gessoed matboard using Mungyo's. It's a "regal" trio of pears and I used some cobalt blue in the background. Reference photo is from PMP.


07-08-2013, 02:13 PM
Michelle, they do look regal and great coloring on each pear. A very pretty piece.

Mary, thanks for the info. I'm going to look through my remaining Sennelier and see if I have that cobalt too. One week pass by so quickly. I was thinking of doing something regal too with pears but Michelle has fleshed it out well already.

Pat Isaac
07-08-2013, 02:20 PM
Nice regal pears, Michelle....and I like the touch of colbalt.


07-08-2013, 03:35 PM
Michelle, I continue to be amazed by your work. This piece is gorgeous - vibrant broken colors (beautifully applied), and some really gorgeous light hitting the fruit.

Fabulous painting with all three words applied!! :thumbsup:

07-08-2013, 04:20 PM
Thanks everyone! I added the regal word to the description cause honestly I had no idea how to use it ;)

07-09-2013, 03:37 PM
Oil Pastels, 6x6
Black pastel paper (Strathmoore, Artist 500 series)
Senneliers, neopastels

Here's my final painting for last week challenge, three pears. The foreground pear looks like a potato :lol: as these were my very first pears - what the heck. I had fun trying.


Reference image was from pmp, Linda Bishop.

07-09-2013, 04:06 PM
Oh my, these pears are exciting! I can't believe they are your first! The farthest pear is incredible. I especially like the lost edge and the way you handled the background! Backgrounds are the biggest challenge to me, so I always pay attention, and this one I LOVE!

I have fallen behind on the challenges due to illness, but am starting to feel better, and I love the challenge for this week! Hopefully I will have something to post soon!

Pat Isaac
07-09-2013, 05:42 PM
These are great pears, Mary. I like the uneven surface and the color is old master reminiscent.


07-09-2013, 06:29 PM
Hi Blooming! You flatter me that is really appreciated. So glad you like the pears. I think the middle needs a bit of adjustment on both sides - I'll have to sleep on it. But thank you for commenting, backgrounds are a challenge for me as well and decided to put some cool grays, magenta and indigo with Prussian blue. The more I work with magenta and indigo, the more love them :heart: :heart: .

Thanks Pat, really appreciate it. I guess you don't mind the lumps, they were drawn free-hand which is not the easiest for me to do. In the image the pears were sitting on top of some type of shinny paper (like gold foil) with folds. I knew that wasn't going to happen on my end, so my version of a wood-grain table top.

07-09-2013, 07:51 PM
I had to fix the middle pear - I couldn't live with the funny body shape. So left and right side were tapered a bit.

07-10-2013, 05:07 PM
Mary, I like the revision much better. Funny, the things we "can't live with". I've been known to get up in the middle of the night to "fix" something that has haunted me, or as I am falling asleep, a solution occurs to me. I think the switch that controls our creative impulse gets turned on when we relinquish control. Heh-heh... sorry for veering of course... your comment just got me thinking.

07-11-2013, 08:09 AM
Hi Blooming, thanks very much - I'm still haunted by the lumpy green foreground pear (potato)! I know what you mean about having to get up in the middle of the night to work on a piece - how funny!

Glad you are feeling better!