View Full Version : Oil Pastel Monthly Challenge for August 2013

08-01-2013, 08:55 AM
Hi everyone, my name is Mary and I'll be hosting the Oil Pastel Monthly Challenge for August 2013.

The 'challenge' is for ALL abilities and you can experiment with new techniques, just sketch or leap out of your comfort zone and try an unfamiliar subject. It's entirely up to you as long as 75% of your painting is completed with oil pastels.

You're free to post as you go, even if a 'WIP' to show us your process, which we love to see, or if you get stuck and need help and advice. We are all friendly and happy to help. We don't bite!

When you post your finished piece it's really useful if you state

The type of support you used including any surface prep,
the finished size of your painting or sketch,
the brand of Oil Pastels used and whether you used anything under the OP as an underpainting or wash. Other mediums may be used to compliment, but the work must be primarily Oil Pastels. It's not mandatory, we are just a nosey bunch.

Looking forward to having some fun with this challenge, can't wait to see the fabulous oil pastels. With that here are the photographs I've selected for this month.

First up is a still life photo from WC IRL taken by Mithila - chosen because of light and colors of the jugs:


The next is a still life from WC IRL taken by Mustcreate chosen because of the beautiful reflections from the light on the marbles:

The next still life is from WC IRL taken by lisilk - the textures would be great to work with, as well as the wonderful colors in the rusted pail.

Who can't refuse a beautiful autumn scene, this is from WC IRL taken by Juneto. The light, colors and textures are going to be great to paint:

The next landscape is from WC IRL taken by artistvonny - I thought the distance would be fun to capture because of the distant hills and winding path, there is real nice foreground grasses to play around with as well:

Anyone interested in painting flowers, here is a beauty from WC IRL taken by Catjo:

And, one more lovely floral from WC IRL taken by dewi:

It's summertime and what better way to celebrate heat than a little fun at the beach - couldn't resist this cute photograph from WC IRC taken by susanbythebay:

And finally, let's take in a little sea breeze and feel the peace and quiet, wish I was here. This image is from WC IRL taken by watergirl:

08-01-2013, 03:50 PM
Great selection! Winding path landscape and the marble balls are my favourites.

08-01-2013, 03:56 PM
I'm so excited! Thanks os2013 can't wait to see your paintings - your work is always gorgeous!

I just mapped out the last seascape and will be applying the underpainting later this afternoon. But need to complete another project that I have to work on before I start applying paint. I've got a couple others that my eye is on as well.

08-01-2013, 09:46 PM
Mary, that might just be the best selection of photos I've seen yet for a challenge, in my forum, any media.

08-02-2013, 02:20 AM
Beautiful selection. I think I might just have a go at one of them.

08-02-2013, 03:35 AM
I am having my son do some 'art' as part of homeschooling. Soon we will be getting out the "How Great Thou Art" book again. There is another publisher, I think that's what they are, called Meet The Masters, that we might look at. There is even yet another group called See The Light. Today he and I picked the photo of the vases to work from.

In his painting, on generic sketch paper, he used a combination of Cra-Pas Junior Artist and Cra-Pas Expressionists oil pastels. With what little I know I am trying to get him to just draw what he sees, and to look for light colors, dark colors and shadows. He can tell me where light is coming in from. He tries to rush through his art because he has other things he wants to do, but the stuff of his we have been framing of late has let him know that the more time he spends with one piece of art the better it will look.

In my painting, not finished yet, I have been using a combination of Cra-Pas Expressionists, Senneliers and Holbeins. He got a chuckle when I was adding highlights with a very light blue instead of the white because I was talking to him. I think it was a good opportunity to teach the importance of making sure of the color you want to add before touching the surface. ;)

08-02-2013, 09:18 AM
Hey TVX so glad to hear you like the photographs - WC IRL has some fantastic images. :clap:

Hi Tuscanny, so happy to hear from you and we look forward to seeing your paintings.

Hi TVX wow you guys were really fast, coming in at #1:

Ryan, so nice to meet you and happy that you are participating in this monthly challenge! Great job on your jug painting! You were able to get a very nice perspective of looking down at the jugs that not easy to do, but you placed the opening of each jug in the right place and that gave you perspective - you handled it very well. Also you got the round and cylinder shapes by using the lines around the jugs to emphasize the shape as well as the lines going around the jug - so good for you. Less I don't forget you put in the shadows in front of the jug! So you have created a wonderful painting, congratulations!

TVX, wow the work on your jugs is real nice! Did you use black pastel paper? I'm asking because the image shows it as dark. I like the colors you used and your scrumbling of the OOP to achieve texture, it worked very well. Nice shapes as well and really like the reflective shadow colors - considering making it slightly darker just under the jugs, it will seat them more. Also look at the taller jug in the image, note that the inside is lighter than the outside of the jug because this is where the sun is hitting it and the outsides should be darker (maybe use [not a lot] a dark purple or magenta or Prussian blue and blend in) since the other jugs are casting shadows against the tall jug. Nice yellow highlight on the floor - it works. Consider putting some strokes of cerulean blue on the floor boards to brighten them, also by dragging the op you'll end up with a rougher texture - you don't need a lot, just a bit to give the floor some character and it will compliment the burnt sienna jugs. I like where this going - very cool!

Pat Isaac
08-02-2013, 10:23 AM
Nice start on those jugs, Tom. I like the colors and even the addition of the light blue to indicate out door light. How nice you are teaching your son and letting him participate. He will eventually spend more time on his work. How old is he?


Pat Isaac
08-02-2013, 10:24 AM
Thanks for hosting this month Mary and those are great pictures. I love the old bucket. I am saving it to do when I am better.


08-02-2013, 02:10 PM
Thanks Pat and take your time - the bucket will be here, we just want you feeling better.

Happy thoughts are coming your way - hope you rest up this weekend!

08-02-2013, 03:43 PM
Lovely pictures Mary ! I would love to paint all but due to time constraint I can't spend so much time for my hobby..I love d bucket..I will definitely try it...

08-02-2013, 04:27 PM
I'm so excited Doobi andglad you like the photographs!

I know you're busy, but would love for you to give a try whenever you have a chance to paint the bucket. You have the whole month and then beyond if you need it.

I love the bucket also and might try it so I can work on my rust colors.

So nice to hear from you, thanks!

08-02-2013, 07:20 PM
Pat, he writes his age on the front of his paintings .... seven years old. He's getting his signature down pat. ;)

08-02-2013, 07:25 PM
Come on, Dobbi, show us something! If you paint more, all of the messes around the house will be in the studio. Priorities, priorities. ;) And, we all know that a messy studio begets beautiful paintings.

08-02-2013, 07:28 PM
Pat, didn't know you were under the weather, hope you get to feeling better.

08-02-2013, 09:29 PM
This is a teeny tiny sketch: 4.5x6in. On Canson Universal Sketch acid free paper, with no prep. Holbein oil pastels.

This is also my very first composite oil pastel piece (I have many studies of individual elements...) so any C&C is more than welcome :)

08-03-2013, 02:45 AM
Hi. Here is my start on A4 sketch paper with watercolour underpainting. How does one get those luminous colours?
Pat, hope you get better soon:heart:

08-03-2013, 03:54 AM
ljacklily and tucscanny, nice ones!

ljack, I know it's a tiny piece but can you add more layers? Is there a reason why you went so small with this one? Just curious, really.

Tusc, the small green marble on the left looks like it's floating. You picked a difficult subject. How did you draw the perfect spheres?

08-03-2013, 07:15 AM
Thevaliantx, thank you for that c+c. I'll correct my reflection. The circles are easy; I used pill holder, plastic bottle, cream jar and for the smallest circle my lip balm.

08-03-2013, 07:22 AM
Thevaliantx thanks for the inspiration..but I don't have a studio :-( professionally I am software engineer..:-( so I paint on d kitchen table or living room table:-) I promise I will use this weekend to come up with the painting..I would love to have a studio if I can become as good as you all are :-)

Pat Isaac
08-03-2013, 11:05 AM
Weloocme to the forum, ljacklily....Nice first OP and of timy gems are quite nice. I agree with adding some layers of color.

Tuscanny what a great start to the marbles...and it is a hard subject, just keep- at it. Thanks for the good wishes.


08-03-2013, 11:14 AM
Doobi, you don't need a studio to produce great art. :)

Interesting that you are a software engineer. I only got as far as earning a two-year degree in Information Technologies before deciding (about 80+ credits too late, lol) that writing software was not my cup of tea. I still recognize the syntax of Java, C, C++, VB, ASP and some webscripting languages, and still remember a few things (and could maybe help someone solve a problem related to programming), but eh.....no more for me. :D

08-03-2013, 11:28 AM
Hi ljacklily, very nice vibrant use of color to make this scene pop! You managed to keep the hills in the distance by graying them - nicely done. You've created an impressionist feel to this piece that works well with this scene.

You may want to differentiate the foreground with the middle ground just a bit more by adding a more darks to the foreground grasses and dirt pathway, so that the grass and pathway isn't the same color as the middle ground. Also you might want to consider adding some cream (almost white) to the middle ground - left side grass this would add light to that area and distinguish it from the foreground left side grass. Does that make sense?

Hi Tuscanny, wonderful marbles - very difficult subject that you managed very nicely! Good catch from TVX, see if you can put some shadow under the left-most green marble this will seat it. In this case, using a solid white background might help with achieving a really luminous feel to the piece.

Perhaps what is not helping is the background color, you might try a very light cool gray - almost no color, because the color may be competing with the marbles and look you are after.

The luminous colors come from using more pure colors (not blending with others, but still making sure the OP is a smooth application and not just laid down). For instance, looking at the marbles in the ref image: the luminous blue is pure cobalt blue and the darks near it are really like a dark Prussian blue or mixed with a bit of mars black, the luminous green marble is a sap green - pure and then highlights are a grayed green or yellow-green. In otherwords, as you examine the ref image see how pure the colors are in some areas and then cloudy in others. The cloudy portion is that color that has been mixed. Note when you mix white in with a color it's going to tint and shade that color down, so again if you are looking for luminous in certain areas they need to be pure color.

So given the above Tuscanny, what I will say is that you did achieved a luminous feel to certain areas of the marbles and you correctly used your highlights - this is a really nice piece of art!

08-03-2013, 11:32 AM
Here is my WIP, as I have two other paintings I'm working on at the same time - so this could take me a little while to complete.

My first piece I chose the ocean view / reef - love the whole feel to the scene. The wet foreground rocks appealed to me so they are the focal point. I'll be leaving the sky cloudless, so there is no competing with those beautiful rocks. I'm working on an 8x10 gessoed hardboard.

First layers of oil pastels, with many more to come - oh and see the horizon line, well that needs lots of work:


08-03-2013, 01:37 PM
Thank you, everyone, for such great advice! I am glad I shared the initial sketch here, as you've given me lots of ideas of how to move forward.

thevaliantx: as a beginner, I enjoy making small pieces so that I can freely try new techniques and make mistakes on the same scene repeatedly. I find that if I go too big too quickly, I am more likely to get frustrated and discouraged. And thank you for your suggestion to add more layers of colour. I completely agree.

Flycatcher 10: Yes, your advice about foreground-middleground makes sense. I will be sure to take your suggestions when I come back to the piece!

Thanks everyone!


08-03-2013, 07:12 PM

I took up the challenge for the marbles before taking up the one for the bucket..but it didnt try out as expected..anyway..
looking for suggestions

thanks !

08-03-2013, 09:24 PM
doobi, are you kidding me? I like your piece of the marbles as is! I'm sure the textures were unintentional, but still .... only thing I'd work on are the shapes, they're mostly spherical.

Mary, I'm eager to see how the shore contrasts with the jagged rocks. :heart:

08-04-2013, 12:34 AM
Well hello everyone :wave:

I've not picked up my OP's for over a year, but Mary your references were so nice I had to have a play!


I'm a little bit out of practice, not quite finished.


08-04-2013, 09:42 AM
Thank you Pat and Mary. I quite understand about the background and tried to correct it. Does this look better?
I have started another one, also A4 on sketch paper with watercolour bg.
Any c+c welcome.

Pat Isaac
08-04-2013, 10:29 AM
Mary, looking forward to the finish of your painting. Your seascapes are always so wonderful.
Doobi..nice take on the marbles...I might have made the background a little lighter.
Vicki, nice to see you again. What wonderful rich color in those jugs. You haven't missed a beat.
Christel, I am liking your landscape a lot. Those stately trees on the left are wonderful.


08-04-2013, 11:04 AM
Thx Pat! I will try to make it lighter...hope you are feeling better

08-04-2013, 12:51 PM
Doobi, nice work on the marbles. I think you have good reflections, I agree with Pat to make the entire background lighter so it doesn't compete with the marbles. Also consider on the left side, you see where the shadows are long and dark, that almost makes it look like the scene is tilted and the marbles might run off the table. Think about this, with shadows the further away from the object it is the lighter the shadow and fuzzier the edges - so with your left-side shadows consider keeping the darkest part of the shadow under and right next to the marbles, then make the darkest areas that are furthest away from the marbles much lighter in color. By doing this you it should straighten out the top. I hope that makes sense.

Hey Vicki, this is a wonderful surprise to see you! Thank you so much for joining in, your work is beautiful as always. These jugs are gorgeous, as Pat said with a gorgeous, rich colors that allows the sunlight to glisten off the jugs. I'm loving the painting strokes and lines. Just an awesome piece.

Hi Christel: Love those marbles, big improvement - gives the marbles presence - real nice adjustment. Only area I would think about is the far left-side shadows, look to make the darkest part of the shadows right under and immediately away from the marble. The rest of the shadow should be lighter and fuzzier the further away from the marble as it goes (so it's almost no existent). I bring this up because on the far left-side the surface is leaning just slightly - this is a very easy and quick fix.

You landscape is wonderful, a beautiful interpretation of the reference image. Consider making just a few darker thin wispy strokes of tall grass both left and right-sides of the foreground tall grasses - you have some in the area, I would put a few more (sepia might be too dark, maybe Vandyke brown or burnt sienna). This will make them appear closer, give the grasses texture and separate the foreground grasses from the middle and back grasses. I agree with Pat the tall trees are elegant and show-stoppers in your piece.

08-04-2013, 12:54 PM
Hi Pat, hope you are feeling better. Thanks, I have three of these started with underpaintings: the ocean, the landscape and one of the flowers - lots of fun with these pieces.

08-04-2013, 03:30 PM
Thanks Pat and Mary. I appreciate all your feedback and am learning all the way.

08-04-2013, 04:15 PM
Your welcome Christel, we learn from each other - that's the great thing about these monthly and weekly challenges!

08-05-2013, 12:35 PM
I painted still life reference taken by lisilk, thanks Mary for hosting and wonderful ref. photos and lisilk for this lovely still life photo!

"Rusty Bucket", 5x5", student grade oil pastels on strong (quality unknown) paper.


08-05-2013, 01:00 PM
Hi Moscatel, this is a fabulous rusted old bucket! Just loving the colors you used to create the look of rust. Very nice thin handle - I like the blue surface it's sitting on - nice compliment.

08-05-2013, 01:08 PM
Mary, thanks! Glad you liked it! You have a lovely start :thumbsup: of the sea scape. It is a nice and tempting reference photo.

08-05-2013, 05:41 PM
Thanks Moscatel! Here is an update of my progress.

I'm about 60% done. Left to do: foreground water, sea foam and splash, rocks, sand, fix horizon and then make minor adjustments. I can see several areas to work on with the major waves, but I need to wait until the painting is almost completed to go in for any tweaks.


08-06-2013, 05:17 AM
I worked on the mouths of the vases, as well as the bases, and then decided to go around looking for all the dark values, and marked them with the black stick, and doingthe same, respectively, for the lights. I am my most creative on the palette, and that's where I want my energy focused.

08-06-2013, 09:19 AM
Good work TVX, the jugs have good form and you are correct in bringing the darks and lights have helped to establish the shape nicely.

08-06-2013, 09:35 AM
Thank you, Mary. Now if I just had a room a lot bigger than my little room in a small modular home. I've been thinking lately of trying to make my own easels. There is one famous oil artist, I can't remember his name, he makes his own easels.

Pat Isaac
08-06-2013, 10:09 AM
Great pail, moscatel.....you did a great job with the rusty colors.
Loooking good, Mary.
Very nice ellipses on those jugs, Tom. Also nice sense of value.


08-06-2013, 02:15 PM
The shape of that vase to the left, and its position relative to that of the two vases on the right, and the bottom part of the bottom vase, are absolutely maddening. Especially that vase on the left. I'm constantly pushing into that vase with the white, and pushing into the background with the brown / copper.

I also handed down my Holbeins to my son today. The sound they make is grating to me and I don't like how they lay. I'll take pointillism with a Sennelier any day. :heart:

08-06-2013, 05:07 PM
Thank you Mithila for the reference photo. Mary, thanks for choosing it for the challenge!:)

Pat, thanks!
Mary, lovely sea & rock view. It feels like the surfers could move on those waves! Valiant, I like your ceramic vases, they do look like ceramics, color and all! I think you have the right color for the vases. I painted the ceramics too, I love doing still life.
"Ceramics", 6x5", student grade oil pastels on strong paper (quality unknown).

08-06-2013, 05:38 PM
moscatel, are you saying that you also paint ceramics? If so, how awesome! For some time now I've wanted to get into ceramics and pottery (is that the same thing?), just something romantic about pedaling and shaping clay, blowing glass, blacksmithing, etc.

08-06-2013, 05:49 PM
I have an update, and for today's art assignment my son chose to paint the scene of the rusty pail. He used the Holbein OP's I gave to him. I am constantly working to get him to look for the light and shadows. He's having a real blast getting that stuff up on the wall in a frame. DW and I agreed that he should, as part of his art schoolwork, first respond to a challenge on WC (or do a still life) and then for the second piece he can draw or paint whatever he wants as long as he tries to use things we worked on. I hope that I am not coming off as a tyrant here, but I feel that we ought to push ourselves (or be pushed) as long as enjoyment comes out of it. I am putting his pictures up in here, please don't share them with anyone. (very paranoid about his safety). Check out that dirty shirt, that face covered in oil pastel and those fingers! He's working on his signature. I'm very proud of him. :D

08-06-2013, 06:51 PM
Hey TVX, nice changes to your vases - you learn a lot through tinkering and making changes. I like your color and I think they are very convincing.

Hi Moscatel, I like your jugs a lot - a beautiful vibrant painting! Very nice coloring , great choices for the darks and highlights! The purple shadows are very effective.

Here is my final update to the ocean scene, that I'm calling "The Edge." It's an 8x10 on gessoed hardboard. I used Holbeins, Senneliers and neopastels. All C&C are welcomed.


08-06-2013, 07:11 PM
Beautiful, Mary!

08-06-2013, 07:24 PM
Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! :clap::clap:I really like this ocean. Superb job!:thumbsup:
Here is my final update to the ocean scene, that I'm calling "The Edge."


08-07-2013, 02:36 AM

08-07-2013, 08:31 AM
Hi Jiemin, Moscatel and Christel - thanks for your wonderful feedback on The Edge, it means a lot. I see a few areas to touch-up a bit, but will let it sit for a while until I go back in,

On to the next!

08-08-2013, 12:02 AM
Bought a cheapy $4 set of oil pastels at Michaels and had to try them out. Not really used to oil pastels but I'm finding out that once you lay a color down you're kind of stuck unless there's a trick I don't know about. It seems to soak into the paper fiber and can't be lifted. Are there any ways to lift that color back out? I did this little painting on multimedia art board, 5x7.


Pat Isaac
08-08-2013, 08:46 AM
Welcome to the oil pastel forum, Marna.....:wave: Nice first little painting. One of the problems is that the lower in grade the oil pastel the more wax it contains, almost like regular crayons. There is not a lot you can do and it is very hard to layer the oil pastels or move them around.
You might want to try some of the less expensive artists quality. Others say that the Mungyo artist oil pastels are good and won't cost you an arm and a leg.
Try some and let us know what you think.


08-08-2013, 08:54 AM
Hi Marna. For a limited set of oil pastels you've done well. I work outside in the sunshine to get my cheap pastels all soft and pliable. I even used Turpentine initially to blend the waxy ops.

08-08-2013, 09:48 AM
Hi Marna, welcome to the oil pastel forum so nice to meet you! I went to your website - you have a beautiful art portfolio.

Wonderful first OP painting! Really enjoyed what you were able to accomplish your first time out with the medium. It's a beautiful bright, sun-filled scene, the thick patch of trees is a great balance to the scene and love the distance you achieved from the pathway and hills. Just great to see.

Jerry's and Blicks sell open stock and sets of Oil Pastels:

Artist-quality Mungyo/Gallery are really nice OPs - I used these a lot. They have a huge color selection and priced reasonably.

Artist-quality Neopastels are similar to Mungyo, great selection and again priced reasonably.

Holbeins are wonderful - great quality, higher priced but perform beautifully.

Senneliers are the creamiest/softest oil pastels. They are high quality and are more expensive than the first two I mentioned.

Glad you enjoyed working on this piece, OPs are a lot of fun to paint with.

08-08-2013, 09:59 AM
Marna, I forgot to answer your question about lifting the OP off the surface. This depends on what type of surface you're using and also how much pressure you apply to the surface (the less pressure when cleaning the better - you have to be a little patient when working the surface):

Pastel paper - won't tolerate liquid, the best you can do is scrape the OP off with a painters knife (side or tip), razor blade or credit card. Once I scrap off the OP, if there is still paint I'll sometimes use an electric eraser (see my horizon line in my painting, I used the electric eraser to clean the line and then re-applied the sky colors to the affected area) and it does clean the paper (unless it's already heavily stained).

Watercolor paper - scrap and electric eraser as mentioned above. After scraping use a bit of turps and sometimes you can get a nice clean area.

Artist board/canvas/hardboard - all that's been prepared. Would be the same as watercolor paper.

The thing about OPs, is that it's oils and oils seep into the surface. If you have a board you've prepared yourself and need to clean an area once you apply turps you can disturb a portion of the board that you don't want cleaned. And that can affect what you have already painted or the surface that you have prepared for painting on.

Hope this makes sense. Takes a while to get accustomed to cleaning OPs off the surface.

Pat Isaac
08-08-2013, 12:39 PM
Mary. I totally missed your finish of "The Edge". Beautifully done and I like the the gentle lapping of the the waves and the the colors in the rocks.

Tom, great job done by your son. Sure looks like he had a good time doing it.


08-08-2013, 01:15 PM
Thanks, Pat. I hope that he is having a fun time doing it. He loves it when I (I am honest with him) look at something that he's shown improvement with and tell him "Ryan, you've outdone yourself!". :D

I'm sure you can imagine but I have an intense personality, a militaristic approach to things. I am hard on him, sometimes too hard, but .... art I really don't know much about, and I've made it clear to him that we are both in this together. We're teaching each other, in a sense. I just keep mentioning things like light, darkness, and things looking larger as they are closer and hoping that somewhere amidst the chaos he figures it out.

08-08-2013, 01:58 PM
moscatel, are you saying that you also paint ceramics?Hi Valiant! No, not at all but would like to .. pottery, vases etc. -> and then use them as models for oil painting. Sorry, I must have written somehow confusing my earlier post.

Marna, lovely landscape. I use student grade ops too because I paint just for fun. If I make an error I take away oil pastel from the paper with the palette knife from my oil painting equipment. Scratching gently. Don't know if it's a correct way to do but I use it occasionally.

08-08-2013, 11:37 PM
Thanks everyone for the encouragement and great tips! I did notice that these little oil pastels have a lot of wax. I tried some terp on a small still life and it barely made a difference. I forgot all about my electric eraser too! Good tip. I usually work in soft pastels now so I wasn't prepared for how the color really soaks in. I live in the southwest so I'll have to try them in the sun as well. I guessing it's important to keep in mind which color to lay down first when trying to layer or create color changes. I'll see if I can locate a better quality brand because these are definitely fun to work with.

08-08-2013, 11:42 PM
Mary, love you waves and the sweet spot. Those are my favorite blues. Great blending. This is very soothing to look at, :o)

08-08-2013, 11:48 PM
Wow, Vicki, this is awesome. Very professional looking.

08-09-2013, 10:16 AM
Thanks Pat for your comments!!

08-09-2013, 10:23 AM
(I'll try to post the second time this):

I am posting my last August op painting and I promise :D I won't paint anymore for this chall. .. I'll be watching the works of the others.:angel:

"Hay fields in August", 9x6", student grade ops, paper unknown but strong enough for op


Probably the 1st ever landscape I've done with op's.

08-09-2013, 02:16 PM
My comments didn't post here as well. Wonder what is going on . . .

Thanks Pat for your comments - always appreciate your support and encouragement!

08-10-2013, 12:35 AM
I really like the ocean scene. Here is mine. It's an 8.5x11.5 on Strathmore pastel paper. Mungyo and Reeves oil pastel . http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/09-Aug-2013/1111142-image.jpg :)

08-10-2013, 05:36 PM
testing to see if comments stay posted.

Jiemin have disappeared.

Pat Isaac
08-12-2013, 10:54 AM
Great seascape, Jiemin and your paintings always have such energy!


08-12-2013, 07:47 PM
Hi Marna, thank you for your very nice comments on my painting - really appreciate it. There is no other subject that I love to paint as much as the ocean, just speaks to me all the time and OPs are such a great medium to paint the sea with. Thanks so much!

Hi Moscatel, first landscape w/OPs - this turned out great! Beautiful light carried throughout! So glad you tried your hand with one. You nailed the left-side trees, wow they are wonderful - great depth and coloring. Don't be afraid to lay down a little more dark values in the foreground grasses - both sides, that will give some definition.

Hi Jiemin, so glad you joined this monthly challenge - love your ocean scene. I like the texture you managed w/the sea foam - did you use a painters knife or get a thick glob of paint and move around, very effective. Good rock formation and I really like your choice of colors for the water - gorgeous!

08-12-2013, 07:49 PM
I have two underpaintings done: one of the flowers and the same landscape everyone is doing so far (I love this scene).

I'm going to try to get both done this week.

Very happy that WC is back running smoothly! :clap:

08-16-2013, 09:19 AM
Oil Pastel: 8x10
Gessoed Hardboard: Senns, Holbeins and Neopastels

An acrylic underpainting was done on this piece.

Yellow Hibiscus

Pat Isaac
08-16-2013, 10:01 AM
Beautiful,Mary and I like the texture in the flower center. They are gorgeous flowers.
Yes, all seems to be well with the site.


08-16-2013, 11:33 AM
I am very happy OPS is not crazy now. Mary, beautiful flower, your painting always give me a pretty and peaceful world, I like it!

08-18-2013, 06:28 AM
Thanks Mary for your comments on my marbles.

TVX , great to know you too studied programming!!

I am not very strong in landscape so tried one of the landscapes. The photo has come darker than the original.

Looking for suggestions!

Thanks in advance!


08-18-2013, 06:30 AM
Mary your flower looks so real..awesome..

08-19-2013, 11:55 PM
Hi Pat, Jiemin and Dobbi - thanks so much for your wonderful comments on the Yellow Hibiscus. I liked working on this flower, mixing the yellows were fun.

Dobbi, very nice landscape, I like your interpretation of the scene. I couldn't help but notice how well you did in getting the distance, excellent from the path through to the back hills. Nice work on the sky too. Only suggestion to consider is maybe putting of few darks in the foreground wheat on both sides of the path to give the wheat some depth as it moves from front toward the back. I like your trees as well, they show nice highlights from the light and depth.

08-20-2013, 05:18 AM
Mary, great flower! Which brand and colors did you use for yellows? I have tried most yellows in Holbeins (all holbein yellows are cadium free and non-toxic now), couple of non-cadium yellows in Sennelier and one in neopastel (from basic 12 set) and I find that all of them are not rich and strong enough to be used on top of any other color but lighter ones or yellows. Right now, as soon as I see yellow I have to plan to lay it first and work around it just like with bright white color, instead of using it on top when necessary. Even with Sennnelier, non-toxic yellows are not strong enough to layer. I tried Senn's Naples yellow once which does have cadmiun and it works much better but using it is not an option for me, as I'm determined to stay away from cadmiums or other toxics, so if you can recommend a nice soft strong non-toxic yellow in any brand of OP please do.

08-20-2013, 10:09 AM
Hi os2013, thanks for the nice feedback. Working with yellows for me is always an experiment and I usually end up mixing and blending to get the colors that feel right for the painting.

I used the following yellows at various times in the process, all depended on the shadows and petal folds:
Senneliers: white, pale yellow, naples yellow
Holbeins: Chrome Yellow (3), Antique yellow (3), Antique Orange (3,5)
Neopastels: cream, pale yellow
Mungyo/Gallery: Pale Ochre, Golden Ochre, Ochre, pale yellow

It was such a combination with the different brands, but I needed to do that to get a nice combination of yellow. If I had used lemon yellow - it would have been too bright and greenish.

For the folds, I used gray-green (mungyo/gallery) for the folds, light beige (neopastel) and warm grays (Holbeins #2 and #3).

For the shadows, I used Antique Orange (Holbeins #3 and #5) and a bit of Burnt Sienna (Holbeins) and a touch of Indian Red (Mungyo/Gallery).

You can tell I like to use lots of colors - my problem is knowing when to stop. Like in the middle, the white area, should have been just white (true nature of the flower) but my yellows/cream got to close to the area and when I layed down the senn white it didn't cover as I would like. I could probably go back in and lay more in now that it's has rested, but maybe later.

Hope that this helps - let me know if you have any other questions.

Pat Isaac
08-20-2013, 10:13 AM
Yes, yellows are always a challenge for me as they are so transparent. I do use Sennelier #13 for grayed areas. It is a beautiful yellow gray.


08-20-2013, 11:03 AM
Oh Pat that sounds like a great color and would have been perfect with this painting - I'm going to have to get a stick next time I order.

08-20-2013, 03:31 PM
Mary- your flower is great! I've been working on a picture of this flower too and looking at yours, mine has a long way to go yet!

08-21-2013, 02:08 AM
Thank you so much for detail answer and suggestions! I will stay away from Naples Yellow (this one has cadmium in it according to Blick) but I will try the others from your list. So I guess there is no silver bullet solution for working with yellows and one needs to experiment with them on case by case basis... :)
Did acrylic underpainting help with this for your case with the flower? Do acrylic yellows behave better in terms of colouring power than OP?

08-21-2013, 09:17 AM
Thanks AJC, appreciate your comment! Looking forward to seeing your painting, I'm sure it's gorgeous after seeing your others that you just posted.

Hi OS, thanks - for me the underpainting was my guide for values and color. I also use black and white - three pieces I'm working on now, all B&W for proper values and it's interesting to say the least. If I did B&W on the flower I'm not sure how it would have turned out, might have made it darker than I would have liked.

Anyways here is a photo of the acrylic underpainting, hope it helps:

And, the finished painting so you can compare, notice how the whites of the flowers didn't stay - I think the white got mixed with the creams and yellows:

08-21-2013, 09:50 AM
Really enjoy everyone's work, here's my little sketch to share.

Pat Isaac
08-21-2013, 10:05 AM
I just love your figure sketches...they are so full of life.


08-21-2013, 10:28 AM
ai2ai, awesome and brilliant handling of the subject. I'm in love with your loose, yet purposeful strokes and color combinations.

Fantastic painting and hope you have this one framed!

08-21-2013, 04:21 PM
ai2ai, I really like this one! Amazing what so few strokes can do.

08-21-2013, 08:16 PM
Hope the posts won't fly to the other forums this time. :D
Mary, thanks for commenting my landscape! I like a lot your yellow flower. Looks really good! You are so talented with op's.:thumbsup:

08-21-2013, 11:56 PM
Thanks so much Moscatel for your nice comment, really appreciate it.

08-22-2013, 12:05 PM
Thanks Pat, Mary, Thevaliantx for your nice comments.

08-22-2013, 10:49 PM
Hi Everyone, My ocean scene is done on wood, no gesso ,and a mixture of different brands but also including my new Senneliers. I would love comments, good and bad. Am an addicted oil pastel convert from colored pencils. Eleanore

08-22-2013, 11:42 PM
Hi Eleanore, what a great painting! I like how you handled the wet rocks, sand and beautiful water colors. The sea foam is looking beautiful, you're showing some transparency and nice thick foam - wonderful!

Pat Isaac
08-23-2013, 09:00 AM
Looks good Eleanore, do wish it were larger, but the sea and foam look good. I'd be careful the horizon line is straight or it could be the angle of the picture.


08-24-2013, 07:31 AM
hi .. i am new here and actually new to OP , but your drawings are so inspiring .. learnt alot :D
this is my first attempt on A 4 sketch . it was quite a challenge :thumbsup:
i had really hard time with the shadows ... thought i will never finish but here it is :)

Pat Isaac
08-24-2013, 09:06 AM
Welcome to the oil pastel forum, lelo....:wave: You picked a hard one for your first attempt, but did a very nice job. The colors and reflections are working, but I'd try to get rid of some the the black outline and use the color instead.
What kind of oil pastels did you use?
Looking forward to more ...


08-24-2013, 11:33 AM
Thanks Mary and Pat. Yes I should have done bigger. Am messing with scrap wood but have lots. also you caught me being sloppy with horizon line. Thank you Am looking for a product t0 make wood smoother. Gesso works but needs several coats. I own a "great work" done on wood and it is very smooth. Any suggestions? I love this site with the wonderful ideas and your great critics. Eleanore

08-24-2013, 12:40 PM
thanx Pat for your comment :-) yes it was really hard but it was interesting trying to make this transparent shiny texture i didnt know it can be done using OP ! i had to try it myself :D
i was wondering about the black out lines too but i felt it was pale ! dont know maybe coz um not used to it yet.
i used a cheap $2 set found in my drawer ... wasn't helping at all :clear:
maybe next challenge i will go and buy new decent set .... um from Egypt we dont have the same brands you use i'll do some research before getting one!
thanks again i had really gr8 time :)

08-24-2013, 12:46 PM
Hi Lelo, welcome to oil pastel forum at wetcanvas - nice to meet you! :wave:

Very happy that you joined us for the monthly challenge! Oh yeah - you choose a real challenge, but for me that helps you learn the medium. I think that's a good thing.

Good work on the marbles - considering this was your first try with OPs the painting shows nicely. You've captured the highlights, reflections and shadows nicely. I agree with Pat that you might want to consider not using black as the outlines of the marbles, but rather take the marble colors and use those colors to form the shape - this will let you blend into the other colors and produce a more natural look. Unless the black outline was your intention, as it is with some artists.

Looking forward to seeing more paintings.

Pat Isaac
08-24-2013, 12:51 PM
Eleanore...have you tried sanding between the coats of gesso. That usually makes the surface smoother.


08-24-2013, 01:25 PM
thanx Mary yest the out line was intended as i said coz i felt it was kinda pale now i feel it was a mistake ... actually i had a before pic without the outline ... what do you think

08-24-2013, 01:35 PM
Much better, but it's all in what you want for the outcome to look like.

08-24-2013, 11:32 PM
Thanks Pat, I must learn to take time to gesso and sand many different sizes of all kinds of wood so that when I quickly decide to paint I have a prepared surface. 24 hours between gesso coats means i must plan ahead!!!! Paper on wood pleases me too. Just read how to affix paper to a wood back. Eleanore

08-28-2013, 08:19 AM
Eleanore, that looks great. Lelo you did well, definitely better without outlines. I too struggled with the marble even just one!


Pat Isaac
08-28-2013, 08:28 AM
Lelo, I do like the one without the outline.
ai2ai, nice rendering of one marble and good vibrancy of color.


08-28-2013, 09:48 AM
ai2ai, very nice marble - nice reflection and use of color. The green gives the eyes a break and I really like how fluid your lines are.

08-28-2013, 04:25 PM
thanks Pat :)
ai2ai ... wow ! your colors are amazing so live and cheerful.

08-28-2013, 07:47 PM
ai2ai, your colore are wonderful !Are you Valentino ciusani Art in Facebook?

08-29-2013, 05:29 AM
Thanks everyone, glad you enjoyed my little sketches.

08-30-2013, 04:20 PM
Hello Everyone, :wave:
This is my first time here, really enjoyed all your artwork :thumbsup: , I drew this OP sketch of the summertime on an A4 canson, hope you like it :)

08-30-2013, 04:58 PM
Hi Kyko. Welcome to wetcanvas and the oil pastel forum - so nice to meet you! :wave:

What a wonderful painting - lovely light filled seascape scene. Don't you love the little girl - she's having a ball and you did a great job showing this. Nice work on her outfit and body form - works nicely as well as the sun-filled beach.

What was the name brand of oil pastels? Do you paint with them often?

Looking forward to more of your paintings!

08-30-2013, 05:18 PM
Hi Mary, :wave: thanks for your comment.:) Yes, that little girl is what derived me to paint this painting, she's so lively and lovely. Actually I don't do much OP, basically, most of my work is oil painting. but after seeing all of your work guys I was tempted to give it a try :) I used Faber-Castell permanent oil pastels in this one.

Looking forward to next month challenge :)

Pat Isaac
08-30-2013, 05:57 PM
Welcome to the oil pastel forum Kyko.....:wave: Nice to have you join us.
You have definitely portrayed the the joy of summer and that little girl is so filled with joy.
That is one of the reasons I like oil pastels. I am an oil painter, but love to draw...best of both worlds.


08-31-2013, 12:25 AM
Kokyo, that's an endearing painting you created there! I love the bow in the child's hair, the vibrancy of the colors of the beach ball and the child's footprints in the sand. I would love to see more of your work. :thumbsup:

08-31-2013, 10:12 AM
Welcome Koky. I've learnt a lot in this forum already. So have fun.

08-31-2013, 01:25 PM
Hi ! First post for me today. I painted the red flower with neopastels on small sennelier oil pastel pad.

08-31-2013, 02:14 PM
Hi Pouli, so nice to meet you. Welcome to WetCanvas and the oil pastel forum - we love having new members! :wave:

Wonderful floral painting - how did you like painting with neopastels? I really enjoy how they perform and the color choices are great. What size surface did you use?

I like your pinks and scarlet color blends for the flower petals - they look silky, very real nice. You might want to consider just adding a touch of purple or magenta right at the edge of the petal at the throat opening (the one on the left) it will help to bring some depth and prominence to the focal point which is the throat. If you see on the reference image the darker color doesn't extend the whole length of the edge, it's just a little and that's all you would need.

One other area - the left background green leaves. Consider adding just a bit of darker green or darker blue (just a touch) to deepen the greens back there as they are more shaded. It will help the flower stand out a bit more.

Your painting is so nice, bright and cheerful and would look wonderful framed.:thumbsup:

Pat Isaac
08-31-2013, 05:44 PM
Welocme to the oil pastel forum, Pouli.....:wave:
I really like the neopastels also...they have some lovely colors.
Your flower is so bright and cheery and the use of complements is very nice. I'd be careful about some of the black or dark outlines around the leaves. I'd have them blend in more.


08-31-2013, 06:43 PM
Hi, thank you for the welcome.
The size of the pad is 16*24cm (6,5"*0,5").
I added some darker shapes on the background left and tried to add some purple to the left petal.
As for the dark oultines around the petals, it is mostly du to the scan outlining the dark colors. The second reason is that I used charcoal to make the initial drawing, and it seems I made the stroke too strong (1rst time I use the sennelier oil pastel pad). How do you usually make your initial drawing ?
Here is the result taken with my camera (since the scan makes the dark colors I added really dark). The real color is between the scan and the camera picture.
I like the neopastel (I also have the 24 set sennelier, but didn't try them, I first want to get used to the neo). Some of the color I have are difficult to blend (like the dark red I used to make the outline of the petals), but maybe it is because I bought them not new, and maybe there are quite old (some have light grey cover on them).

09-02-2013, 02:32 PM
Hi Poulpi, so sorry I completely forgot to comment on your re-post.

Nice work on your changes. The darks used in the background is staying back there and allowing the flower to pop a bit. I see you laid in more deeper purple around the inner edge of the petal - don't be afraid to lay to use one or two values lower when painting the flower petals to create folds and bends in the petals it will allow you to render without too much dark that which gives the flower a 3-d appearance. One suggestion with the throat of the flower - if you look to the left side where it is slightly darker against the whitish edge of the flower petal, I might make the inside the throat against that portion of the flower petal darker. Because you'll be helping the viewer see the depth of the flowers' throat.

It might be that the reason your neopastels are difficult to move around they could be because they are older or of student grade quality which would have more wax in them. The grey is a bloom on the oil pastel that was created because of age. Generally neopastels are great to work with. You'll find the Senns creamy like butter and are wonderful for smooth coverage.

It's great to have you join us, I've enjoyed your work and hope you continue to show us your wonderful oil pastel paintings.

Pat Isaac
09-02-2013, 02:40 PM
I do like the changes that you have made. Charcoal ofteen tends to mix with the oil pastel causing an muddy wffect so it is not recommended and neither is graphite pencil. You can use oil based colored pencils - Lyras, polychromos, and even prismacolor. I found a new oil pencil that I like. Marshall's oil pencils, but they have a limited range of colors. These are all good to do the initial drawing with.