View Full Version : MARCH 2014 Oil Pastel Monthly Challenge

03-01-2014, 12:17 AM
Hi there, Thisí Allan Mak. Your host of March Monthly Challenge
Scarcely to jump into the breach and host this month event. I had also prepared ahead. But I accept recommendation and suggests for l have never achieved perfectly.

Challenge has some rules to follow.

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.
Oil bars are also acceptable here
There is no extra challenge this month.

All these images are my own so free to use, but where stated for 'this challenge only' please use only for this. I've tried to select something for varying tastes and abilities.

These are my photos of various topics & themes
Pick your choice and get set go !



3)Chinese Garden with Terraces

4)Chinese Garden with Bridges

5)Chinese Garden with Arbour

6)Chinese Garden with Parvilion

7)River Mountain

:clap: :wave:

03-01-2014, 12:21 AM
There are more photos for this month MARCH . And l chosen the below photos
as demo . l wish you enjoy and learn something . Happy oil pastel painting .

Pat Isaac
03-01-2014, 01:11 PM
Great pictures, alan, Love those flowers. Thanks for hosting this month.
I moved the thread to the studio forum as they start out here and are eventually moved to the library.


03-01-2014, 06:48 PM
Lovely, cheerful photos! I'd like to try the gloxinia, but all of the scenes are gorgeous too. Hmmm...

03-01-2014, 07:21 PM
Nice Chinese photos, may I ask where they were taken?

03-01-2014, 09:46 PM
All are beautiful varieties!
Can't wait to see the paintings!

03-01-2014, 10:09 PM
Great photos, Alan. I too want to know where is the Chinese garden located. And where is the river mountain from?

Btw, I'm originally from Hong Kong. Your compatriot?:lol:

03-02-2014, 11:54 AM
Thank you for your interest. Amaryllis are from a resident . He/She has a see-to-believe Amaryllis garden . Unbelievable! . Gloxinia is my cultivated home plant . I have purple, Pure red, and Red with lace edges. They bloom more then twice a year. Each times they bloom up to 4 to 5 flowers. So pretty.

oK the Chinese Garden is in Hong Kong at Lai Chi Kok Garden . It's TV favor filming place of creating historical episodes. As you see here , there're so many arbors and pavilions here along with White, pink, orange & red Azaleas plants nearby, a leisure walk is quite an enjoyment.

The green pavilion here is surrounded by a koi pond. By night, there are countless frogs sing love songs(only in summer).

If anyone want High resolution version of above photos. I have to send them to oil spiel . But can I do that Pat?

03-02-2014, 12:04 PM
River mountain is from a Facebook friend .

03-02-2014, 12:53 PM
Nice to have you join in and host the monthly challenge Alan - beautiful crop of photographs!

03-02-2014, 05:45 PM
Lovely scenes - than you.

03-03-2014, 09:29 AM
it is quite fun to be an host of monthly challenge. Will consider next available challenge. :angel:

03-03-2014, 09:31 PM
Here is a go at that beautiful mountain. It Is 9x12 in my multi medium sketchbook. Plain white paper without gesso or under painting. the sky was blended with solvent and the mountain was blended with a shaper. I purposely tried to leave the pasture loose as I normally focus on details. I used my erengi oil pastels instead of me new senns. While I still like erengi I could tell a difference from the senns.


03-04-2014, 12:58 AM

good block in . the mountain is a good choice of playing colours. it could take all the colours from the palette. But don't let the colors fool you , it is easily to astray from the point of interest or focus point of the painting. l found the mountain and the prairie almost take over equal amount of space. so choose which one you want to focus .

l just used Winsor Medium surface cartridge pad A4 size and used mainly of
Pental and Talent Van Gogh first

keep on !

Pat Isaac
03-04-2014, 12:53 PM
Nice interpretations of the mountains. I like the energy in your painting, Alan.
Lostjedi...I like the looseness of the foreground and the hints of color in the flowers.


doctoring in arts
03-04-2014, 02:27 PM
Beautiful photos..
MAS.. nice work..
Allan.. I like the mountains.. lovely colors..

03-05-2014, 03:24 AM
Beautiful photos, Alan.
Good mountains, Alan and Mike!
My crop of the amaryllis on sandpaper with light pastel and grounding for the flower.

03-05-2014, 05:20 AM
Just don't fellow your temptation to copy the photo view , color of the sky, clouds and what is there ! You could alternate the view to an artistic approach .
It is the way to free yourself from slave to artist.:eek: :eek:

03-05-2014, 05:29 AM
Smart ! Tuscanny. like your way to change the leaves posture to magnify your flower glory..do a pair of flowers . Don't worry it is half way done or just block in . Post it anytime you like.

03-06-2014, 04:59 AM
Yes I learn from a Canadian artist who suggests me to use it the photo for reference . Use your mind to finish the colors & composition . That's way you blow new life & spirit into the painting although it is the hard part .

Thank Pat. Keep on everyone

03-07-2014, 11:02 AM
this is my update . the picture said it all .

03-07-2014, 11:28 AM
I like your improvements!

Pat Isaac
03-07-2014, 12:44 PM
Nice work on the amaryllis, Christel. I like the crop.
Nice energy in this piece, Alan and I too like the changes.


03-08-2014, 12:33 AM
Though I like details but I still love loose and free style. That kind of approach like lostjedi here is quite rapid and honest of interpretation. Sometimes I understand myself more when l listen

03-08-2014, 03:20 AM
My version of the gloxinia on sandpaper. Not too happy about the background as it dulls the painting.

03-08-2014, 06:32 AM
Tuscanny , that's great ! you got the pedals rendered perfectly, as l expected , the flower back and front creates a sense of depth , this visual effect really helps to push the farthest flower to the background. And the dark green leaf on the bottom pinned that flower down. you could make up your background instead of using what is there ! You could do that l believe.

03-08-2014, 09:03 PM
i did a quick take on the waterfall. it was probably beyond my ability level but it was fun to do anyway. i was most concerned with getting movement in the water. it is about 5 by 6 in. with mungyo OPs. comments appreciated.



03-09-2014, 04:20 AM
Christel, I really like the light on these flowers. I think the background is great! I' m not sure if some shadows in the background might help?

Ed I like how you've tied the painting together with blue on the rocks and in the sky. A nice composition.

03-09-2014, 05:48 AM
hi Purpletrader,

welcome to this month challenge , water streams is quite challenge, you might try to create waterfall by smudging the area of the waterfall hangover with your finger, push or swipe the gray or black hangover rock colour pigments up or down, that will imitate water reflections . And after then ,add back some white , gray, deep blue line strokes or board strokes on the hangover but don't over done that. You might consider to add more deep blue colours on the pond and on the streams .

The pond reflects the white clouds was very good, l like that . Choosing different gray colours to paint the rock help to create sense of depth. Keep on . great painting !

03-09-2014, 10:47 AM
Thanks for the comments Cath and Allan. I wanted to see what I could do quickly, particularily with the water. It was lots of fun and I'm sure I could do better next time.


03-11-2014, 09:38 AM
Purpletrader, good going!
Thanks Cath. I added some shadow and feel better about it.

Pat Isaac
03-11-2014, 09:55 AM
Looking good....nice background color.


03-11-2014, 11:10 AM
Christel, Love this piece!

03-11-2014, 12:21 PM
hi , this is an update view of the mountain , though looks nice but l think it would be better if l tried hard. Anyway , l hardly paint landscape but it is fun and exciting . l was exciting to reach the goal , overcome some difficulties makes one cheek up .

l like your more complete look of gloxinia Tuscanny. it gives a sense of gravity pull and makes the pot seated right there . GREaT PainTING . 100 Likes Keep on !


03-11-2014, 02:58 PM
Thanks Pat, Russel and Allan. Allan, it looks very good! Your yellows and reds show up nicely against the greens.

03-12-2014, 12:26 AM
Anyone try the Chinese garden ? l did one but l want to show it later. Chinese garden is quite a challenge . It has so much in the view and capture its spirit is not easy. The more and hard challenge is waiting . Try it . Keep on !:clap: :wave:

03-12-2014, 04:27 PM
Hi Allen. Great picture selection.
Tuscanny, I really like the way your gloxinia came out.

03-13-2014, 03:50 AM

The hill and valley are refined and darkened to push back to the mid-ground . l also used Indian Red , Brown as trees shadow colours. Not to limit only dark green or olives. The sky, mountain and valley are put together as the most interesting focus now.

The meadow in front contains one third of the whole painting. And chrome yellow is so intensive in saturation. This area becomes so attractive and eye-catching. And after l had put pink flowers, lavender purple splash and pale blue , the meadow becomes more intense in visual expression. l think this is over emphasised . isn't it ? Or it is alright now. Maybe l put some pane tree shadows to cover it and shrink the yellow meadow smaller size. after all that's fine . I don't know but it was a lovely painting adventure. :angel:

03-14-2014, 12:25 AM
Thanks Lorigina your comments and sharing your thought here.

03-15-2014, 09:05 AM

Your mountain is taking shape. It looks better every time you post.

03-16-2014, 11:10 AM
Thanks Lostjedi.

Actually l am thinking to suppress the powerful intensity of Chrome Yellow , it is necessarily need to have it in foreground but it was too eye-catching. Maybe l'll add some tree shadows casted by tree beyond the foreground.

l want to demo a oil pastel painting (or plain-air). l hope everyone may benefit from this study. it is for everyone who interested in solving complexity into simplicity. l chosen the chinese pavilion here as demo . When l start this , l put into everything l like in the painting and realises that this will bring me problems later. But these problems will be eventually solved as l proceed further.

03-17-2014, 03:17 AM
Hi everybody

l start the Parvilion firstly cause it's my interest in the painting. Then l go to the artificial rock pavement and trees on the background . Both of their forms are too much to depicted and beyond comprehension . So l just drew the form of them instead. Here l used coarse and board strokes which work well for rocks and trees here. l show you later.................. an newer update .......

03-17-2014, 12:16 PM
Oh sorry I completely forgot the size and medium l used . I started with Pentel
And used some talent Van Gogh . I used acid free paper Winsor Field Sketch Pad
A4 size . Use some acid free paper because you want your painting looks as good as it was did yesterday. Use thick paper because I do crazy things sometimes and the paper has to die hard.

03-19-2014, 01:16 PM
half month is gone but don't stop , keep going try more challenges .

here is the chinese garden demo . hope you learn somethings.

if you look at the rock which is blue and grey colors in photo, but l redefine it with another colors. the parts the sun brightened area were painted pink,yellow and ultramarine to give a shine feel.And To make these bonsai rock appearance , board strokes were all drew parallel to each other to create natural rock alignment. Rock sizes are various and have no defined edges , so they're look one piece or separated sometimes. The Prussian Blue is to suggest shadows and hidden areas. remember the form is important than the objects and the impression of your view is the main subject.
here l showed 2 updates , one is the modified rock view , the other is the background trees and branches all added olive and grass green to suggest their bodies color either fresh or tawny. l will make these trees darkened more as l proceed further to the end. i recommend you not just plainly painting what you see, but involving some thoughts and thinking while you working .

03-23-2014, 07:32 AM
hi Again. 2 more updated versions.

l worked more on the artificial rock , l put more royal blue and grey blue to suggest shades . And as it closes to the light source , you see l used grass green, yellow and pale orange to make my center rock pieces stand out strongly . Because there are too much in the background and they make viewers confusing and wondering. To stop this , all background trees are shaded down its bright intensity and also reduced their depth of field no more further. after then the pavilion is more standing out .

Now l add more details on the background trees;more branches and leaves, yet l don't brought them up too strong, and then more jade and emerald colors on the pavilion. The sky and the buildings are not to be drew sharp. they should be out of focus.

Now the pond redesigned to use purple,lavender and sky blue rather than moss green as the reflection of the sky. You could do anything or substitute colour which is not there . Trust me that's more interesting. The pond is actually too big, l will show you how to trim and cut its size later . stay tune l 'll be back soon. wait for another update next !


03-23-2014, 02:49 PM
:wave: Hi! Everyone!Happy weekend! I tried a quick paint today. It is on Canson paper11x14in. MUNGYO and Reeves pastel.http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Mar-2014/1111142-image.jpg

03-23-2014, 03:23 PM
Allan and Jiemin, your paintings are super!

Pat Isaac
03-23-2014, 05:05 PM
I always so love looking at your paintings Jiemin. They are so full of life and energy...nice paint quality.


03-23-2014, 07:38 PM
WIP for the Chinese Garden with Bridges.
Crayola Portfolio (you can see the colors used on the picture) from the picture printed in black and white (our printer is only black and white and I could not get the picture from the screen of the computer because the children were already playing with the computer).
I think I will like to imagine the colors instead of trying to get the "true" colors).


I can see that some lines are not very straight, will try to rectify this next time.

03-23-2014, 11:12 PM
Poulpi, What a great start. Jiemen , that is so lovely. I wish it was BIG Guess I just love big. Eleanore

03-24-2014, 12:43 AM
Howdy ! Just to say thanks to all viewers who interested in this thread.

All I can say is Wow . I been dissipated in hope that Chinese garden was an hard test. After all it is not. Anyway jiemen your painting is lovely , you got the clues to solve the visual problem , it's quite successfull of your approach.

Thanks Maela49, Poulpi Pat, Tuscanny commented here your voice are important here.

Pat Isaac
03-24-2014, 09:39 AM
That is a great start, poulpi...had to do from a black & white, but it gives you a good idea of the values.


03-24-2014, 08:26 PM
Thanks all, thanks, Pat. I learn a lot from WetCanvas.

03-25-2014, 06:10 AM
hello everyone

Poulpi l love to see your next update of your artwork. l hope you learn a lot in this month of challenge . thanks again for all the supports and shares of your art in progress. thanks Lostjedi Lorigina, Yannse, Jiemen and Pat. all your shares of thoughts.

Here are 2 update of my Chinese Garden of Pavilion . Showed here is the latest update of how l done on the background trees and the pond . the trees were darkened further more to make the brighten and contrast stronger which will give the pavilion another highlight boot. l thought the green and complex water pond was very difficult to render. Instead of reflection of surrounding scenario , l would like the sky to takeover it . l used Hyacinth violet, Prussian blue , Sky blue, and l used several block strokes to suggest the building reflection etc. And because the interest is not the water, so l covered the right corner of the pond with artificial rock. and trees. The viewer are now push to view the center of interest more dramatically rather than wondering on the pond area or the fountain.

if you like me don't satisfy with the skyline , want to create a another new cloud system to suit your evening splendid , you could add extra colour to it or substitute another new view from another reference photo. Whatever you want.

OK , l looked at my painting and ask myself any necessarily changes l would like to do >>>>>>>>.....................................Wait for next update and debut. Allan

03-25-2014, 06:11 AM
hello everyone

sorry computer clash?

03-25-2014, 06:11 AM
sorry computer crash and don't know how to delete this accident message.

03-25-2014, 11:53 PM
Hi everyone

My next post will be the final painting of the pavilion
It will be fine tuned in composition and color .


03-26-2014, 12:08 AM
Allen,you are a treasure I every way ,love your painting crash or not Maela49

03-26-2014, 12:08 AM
Allen,you are a treasure I every way ,love your painting crash or not Maela49

03-26-2014, 12:08 AM
Allen,you are a treasure I every way ,love your painting crash or not Maela49

03-26-2014, 12:13 AM
Hi Allen, you are a treasure in every way crash or not Loved your paintings and descriptions of technique. Maela49

03-26-2014, 12:14 AM
Hi Allen, you are a treasure in every way crash or not Loved your paintings and descriptions of technique. Maela49

03-26-2014, 05:32 AM
Hello ,

Maela49 Thanks your comments , Well, everybody comments as good as my mother advices though were lengthly and long tongue
Are All Welcomed. Judging your artwork likes this is not new, critics help you to paint better and better, you work will come to life and implant with spirit if you do that. It will breathe

03-27-2014, 06:18 AM
Hi folks, i'm kinda new in here ... just got my account approved!
I'm an italian architect experimenting oil pastels. These challenges are so cool and inspiring that I couldn't wait to finish my work before posting something :angel:.
Here's my landscape WIP. Feel free to leave comments and critics.


03-27-2014, 11:30 AM
hello Arteflice 71

welcome to join in this monthly challenge . l think your painting is looking great, it surely will turn out as one of your best oil pastel artworks. your painting colour is fresh and vivid. l think you must be a perfection lover. l like to see your work when it is done. Keep on . ........:clap: :wave:

03-27-2014, 12:36 PM
Hey Allan, you got it right: every time I think of letting my hand go down on the paper with long and hard strokes I end up controlling every single inch of colour I put on the painting! I definitely am a perfection lover, though not sure if it's always the best for my works ...
Here's the final version of the landscape, it's 27x18 cm (10'5/8x7'1/8), Maimeri Oil Pastels on Fabriano F4 rough paper. I'm using these pastels since last summer and though the dark ones are pretty good, the light ones are too waxy and hard to use. Could somebody please give me an advice about what kind of pastels are best?
Thx and please CC :wave:


03-27-2014, 01:18 PM
Arteflice ,
Your painting is beautiful , as an architect ,I guess you will look at everything important ,it is clearly understand here in your painting. The details somehow look abstract and geometrical . It's your style I like it. But explore more skill and technique to open more possibility of expressing your style.

I don't say which is good or great to use, mostly people choice is Neopastel & senneiler . Neo is medium soft and Senneiler is like lipstick. I used them both because together there will be a wide range of colors to choose .

Hard one good for blockin ,then medium soft after, on top of soft is lipstick. If you use them the Other way around ,the hard will lift the soft up , hard goes on firstly and the soft could cover it up or blend in easily.

03-27-2014, 01:53 PM
Thx Allan, I really appreciate.

03-27-2014, 11:41 PM
Artefice Your work is lovely Allen has the oil pastels absolutely correct.I find that inexpensive ones work for fillers or background .Buy as many different types as you can afford and you will soon feel the differences. I also like the noes in tandem with the Senneliers. Eleanore

03-28-2014, 05:39 AM
Beautiful landscape Artifice! I like your detail too.

03-28-2014, 06:02 AM
Thank Eleanore and Christel, I'm glad I found this community on the web. It's so important to practice, share and confront each other!

03-28-2014, 06:02 AM
Thank Eleanore and Christel, I'm glad I found this community on the web. It's so important to practice, share and confront each other!

03-28-2014, 11:17 AM
Lovely landscape, Paolo! I am new to oil pastels and have fallen in love with my Neopastels from Caran d'Ache. I have yet to try Senneliers. Maybe when I can afford to spend more money:)

03-28-2014, 06:51 PM
Update of the painting (with Crayola Portfolios).
I hope the perspective is better than the previous one.
I first tried to paint the background temple, but finally chose to make some uniform green background because I did not want to spend many time on that painting.


03-29-2014, 12:51 AM
The barricade is well done, Lighting is perfectly absolutely beautiful. l think your fence was done so well and was an hard work, The perspective is correct and set . You're success in this month challenge , reward yourself with a cup of coffee or so.

03-29-2014, 12:53 AM
hello , everybody

this is the final look of the pavilion .

03-29-2014, 12:57 AM
Monthly challenge

The final painting have changed a lot of things.the trees on the right side had added yellow green strokes to eliminate over done dark green patches ,and the busyness of the trees is now more placid .

The artificial rock just on the bottom right corner now changed to grey color .it looks more natural and acceptable. It stays calm.

Water reflection where it starts from top left down to the bottom left side is an additional pruning to cut the pond size down further . Your eyes are deceived to believe that the pond is only in the center only. I think this' it. Unless one thinks that's the world l drew without being is horrible. Maybe I add a a pair of lovers sitting inside the pavilion . Hmmmmm ...........?

03-29-2014, 04:09 AM
I like your version of the pavilion! Good going Allan.

03-29-2014, 10:46 AM
Beautiful painting Allan - I enjoyed watching it progress.

03-29-2014, 03:09 PM
Lovely work Allan, I really like the way you paint.

03-31-2014, 11:31 AM
hi Everybody

this monthly challenge is over . Everybody receives A+ . You're all success and make progressive change in your skill . Hope you enjoy this month demo and shares of your artwork in progress photos . You may use the photos l posted to do your artwork . Oil pastel painting is fascinating !

Allan meet you soon in the coming future.

03-31-2014, 11:57 AM
Thx Allan, it's been a pleasure! I'm just looking forward to see next month's pictures ...