View Full Version : July Oil Pastel Monthly Challenge

07-01-2014, 07:34 AM
Hi everyone, my name is Mary and I'll be hosting the Oil Pastel Monthly Challenge for July 2014.

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.

All photographs were taken from IRL Library of Reference Images.

First is from Stribb
Second is from Rod

Third is from Gia

Fourth is from Smudger

Fifth is from Mereth T.

Sixth is from JEFrantz

Seventh is from katfre
Eighth is from andylavallee
Ninth is from mithila

Pat Isaac
07-01-2014, 08:05 AM
Thanks, Mary....what great images....so many to choose from.
Happy 4th all.


07-01-2014, 08:31 AM
Thanks Pat - Happy 4th to you as well!

07-01-2014, 12:28 PM
Lovely selection of photos, Mary!

07-01-2014, 01:43 PM
Wow, Mary, these are wonderful! You went right to my heart starting off with the cheetah. There's a cat in it, improves any challenge! I also love the shells and landscapes. This rocks. I know I want to do several of them!

07-01-2014, 02:26 PM
Thanks Christel! Thought of you for the cheeta - isn't it beautiful?

Thanks Robert! I saw a beautiful cat thought of you - so glad that you like the cheetah, don't you love the face! Hope to see some of your paintings.

07-01-2014, 03:41 PM

great images. i prefer the cat and the landscapes.


07-01-2014, 03:53 PM
Thanks Ed, looking forward to your paintings!

07-01-2014, 10:29 PM
Thank You for hosting, Mary!
So many beautiful choices!

07-02-2014, 08:11 AM
Thanks Tatiana!

07-02-2014, 11:12 AM
Good variety of images. Am liking the cheetah, pears/dish and grassy path.

07-02-2014, 12:27 PM
Hi Ann, so nice to see you. Looking forward to your paintings!

07-03-2014, 10:43 PM
Mary ,these pictures are very beautiful ! I tried the fall on a 8*10 board,Gallery oil pastels. I am been super busy this summer, runs in business class and part time job;miss all of you!http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Jul-2014/1111142-image.jpg

07-03-2014, 11:02 PM
Mary, wonderful pictures! Thank you. Like the cottage and fall boats most.

07-03-2014, 11:13 PM
Hi Jiemin, we have missed you too! It's a good thing that you're busy right?

So glad that you could join us - just love your interpretation of the boats in the Fall this is an awesome painting. Beautiful thick strokes, but loose - your choices of bright and vivid colors are excellent for the scene.

I haven't selected the ones that I'll be painting, but there are several that are calling out to me.

Hi Os2013 - thanks so much and looking forward to having you join us!

Pat Isaac
07-04-2014, 09:25 AM
Nice to see your work again Jiemi. I always enjoy looking at your painterly paintings. Your work has so much energy.


07-04-2014, 11:05 AM
Lovely thick impasto strokes Jiemin.

07-04-2014, 04:03 PM
Inspiring photos! Thanks, Mary, for hosting!

What wild cat is this?
I'm trying to figure out how to learn to paint cats mostly with oils but why not with oil pastels, too. I have at home one spotted tabby, a Bengal kitten, she has a little bit similar markings as this wild cat in the photo. So, this photo is an excellent practice.

student grade oil pastels on Arches Dessin 130 g/m2 (60 Lbs), 6x5 in


07-04-2014, 04:06 PM
.. another one I did yesterday. I don't like this painting but husband likes it so I post it.

student grade oil pastels on Arches Dessin 130 g/m2 (60 Lbs), 6x4 in


07-04-2014, 04:11 PM
Hi Moscatel, thanks for joining in - great to see you.

Beautiful oil pastel paintings. The cat is a Cheeta and you've done a fantastic job with her coloring and spots. Her face is lovely, those eyes are real nice. Student grade has more wax and are tougher moving around the surface, but you've managed nicely to get complete coverage.

I also like your plum painting - beautiful blended colors on the fruit and nice values. Only suggestion I would make is perhaps get a slight shadow under the plum to seat it. Other than that, I agree with your husband and am glad you posted this one!

Pat Isaac
07-04-2014, 04:27 PM
Nice paintings and with the student grades...:thumbsup:
You have captured the gesture of the cheetah, hard to do. I agree with Mary about the shadow.


07-04-2014, 04:38 PM
Thanks, Mary & Pat! :wave:

07-05-2014, 02:10 AM
Lovely scene Jiemin!
Moscatel, you've captured the cheetah beautifully with your student grades!
The stripes in the face are thought to be necessary for temperature control of the cat. This cat is the fastest land animal but it can only reach these speeds in short bursts. The young are at greatest risk of predators and only a small percentage survive.
My version, A4, with a mix of Student and Pentel ops.

Pat Isaac
07-05-2014, 08:34 AM
Good job, Christel...and nice whiskers....


07-05-2014, 09:09 AM
Beautiful work Christel - nice fur texture and colors, but his eyes have me.

07-05-2014, 01:37 PM
Thanks Pat and Mary!

07-06-2014, 06:50 AM
Wonderful photos Mary. Jiemin, love your gorgeous colours. Moscatel, very nice renderings. Christel, your cat looks great, like how you depicted the stripes.
I had a go sketching this scene.


Pat Isaac
07-06-2014, 10:31 AM
Wonderful strokes....they all have a purpose.


07-06-2014, 10:50 AM
love the mood created by all the greens ai2ai.

I had a go at the grassy path. Landscapes are out of my comfort zone but I want to get better at them. I used some Pentel oil pastels I was given as a gift. They are quite soft for student grade but quite hard to layer. This is 8 x 6 on Derwent pastel paper which I wanted to try with OPs.

Pat Isaac
07-06-2014, 11:36 AM
Nice work with the pentels, Ann. Really like the sky and bare trees against it.


07-06-2014, 12:26 PM
Hi ai2ai, nice to see you again! Beautiful painting - your loose linear strokes gives a quiet energy to the scene. I like how you made the green work for this landscape and the blues breaks it up nicely.

Hi Anne, turned out great. Real nice pathway leading to the background. Sky work is great and with the stark tree branches, they work beautifully in the scene. I like your loose strokes as well, especially in the dried grasses - good color choices too.

07-06-2014, 12:32 PM
Very nice sketch Aiai! Lovely color combination.
Ann, wow you have achieved some fine branches! Lovely work!

07-07-2014, 06:19 AM
Hi all

I haven't done oil pastels for a while (or any art for that matter). And when i finally had some time last week, i could not get down to doing any art. Browsed around a bit and came across the July challenge which inspired me. So here is my attempt at it. Used Miteintes A3 paper and Sennelier oil pastels. C&Cs greatly appreciated.

07-07-2014, 09:04 AM
Hi Rekha, nice to see you again! So glad that you were inspired to paint by the images for this months' challenge - that's nice to read. Happy that you joined us.

Lovely painting, you captured the fall spirit of the scene very nicely - I like the nice thick strokes you used on the boats, gives a heavy/weathered textured appearance.

07-07-2014, 12:23 PM
Lovely painting Rekha!

07-07-2014, 01:06 PM
Nice sketches and paintings, everyone! I think this month's selection of images is one of the best I've seen in my time here at WC. Mary, great job at picking images without a lot of noise in them.

07-07-2014, 03:09 PM
Pears and blue glass bowl, 12" x 18", fine homemade grit on matboard using Van Gogh, Cray-pas and Guitar Oil pastels.


07-07-2014, 11:26 PM
Thanks George, glad you are enjoying the images - hope to see you join us for this challenge.

Ah Carol, this is beautiful! Nice way to handle the background, the cobalt blue bowl is wonderful - nice reflection and shadows too. I like how you handled the table cloth colors - beautiful whites and shadows. And love the pears. Nice to see you again!

07-08-2014, 01:07 AM
Lovely still life, Carol! Just love the bowl!

07-08-2014, 02:28 AM
Thanks Pat, Ann, Mary, Christel for your nice comments.
Ann, great work, especially like the beautiful blending in of the sky with the trees.
Rekha, nice strong complementary colours.
Carol, you handled the blue bowl very well.

07-08-2014, 03:59 AM
Really hard to believe there is so much good art being created in a monthly challenge, but there is :) Seems there are some new members here? Lots of styles used in the pieces! Sometimes I think folks underestimate the potential of OP's. Anyone here played around with heating OP's?

I actually can not wait for the fall season to get here. I am funny that way. My wife says that I am completely done with winter on January 1st, and done with each season a week into it. Still, fall and the Christmas holiday really make me happy.

07-08-2014, 11:34 AM
Thank you for the comments. Great photos and paintings all round. I have my eye on the lemons next.

I had a play with heating OPs using an embossing gun, (a lightweight heat gun) which help a little to blend an even background. I saw one artist on Youtube use a lighter to melt OPs, may be a bit risky on paper!!

07-08-2014, 02:23 PM
Ann, we placed the OP over a candle but it just left the end of the stick like butter and once the OP hit the paper it became a blob of wax in appearance. Drawibg with the sticks produces something closer to what I am wanting to try, but that means working in the humidity here, so no thanks :)

07-08-2014, 04:40 PM
Here is my take on the summertime boat scene. On my scene I increased the value of the lights, decreased the green somewhat and increased yellows. I am so not a painter of boats - here is to all of you that paint in proper proportions! C&C are welcome.

Oil Pastel, 11x8.5 on cream tinted Mi-Teintes pastel paper.
Senneliers and Neopastels, some Holbeins

Resting Boat


07-08-2014, 06:48 PM
After a couple of hours, I decided to take one more crack at the boat - raised the height on the left-side and it seems to read better. I think that I'm going to sketch with pencil and paper a few boats to gain a comfort level with them at least before I paint one again.

Couldn't quite get good lighting for taking the picture, but I think you get the idea.

Onto something new. C&C welcomed.


07-09-2014, 02:03 AM
Lovely work, Mary! It does seem as if the boat is lifted up at the right side because the brown and blue lines should be more horizontal.

07-09-2014, 06:39 AM
Its great to see such lovely work from everyone! Thank you for comments, i hope to get around to doing another one this month...

07-09-2014, 07:39 AM
Great job Mary.

PS when I said lemons before, I meant pears!! (was thinking about another still life!).

07-09-2014, 07:56 AM
Thanks everyone for your feedback.

Christel, I think I know what you are talking about w/the right side of the boat - perhaps lower the entire right-side slightly (by 1/16 or so). I'm going to go back in and see if I can work with that side a bit more. Thanks!

Pat Isaac
07-09-2014, 08:04 AM
Nice painting, Mary, and the work you did on the boat helped. Christel is right about the boat being out of the water, maybe some darker values on the left side of the boat. Boat anatomy is very difficult. I've been known to draw them many times before I got it right.


07-09-2014, 01:59 PM
Here is my last update on the boat scene - thanks to everyone for your feedback.


07-09-2014, 02:22 PM
A very nice improvement on the boat, Mary! I also like the reflections of the boat!

Pat Isaac
07-09-2014, 04:08 PM
Good changes...I'd leave it alone now...


07-10-2014, 08:13 AM
Thanks Christel and Pat!

It took me longer to photograph the painting than make the fixes, LOL!

07-13-2014, 09:42 AM
Hi All,

This is my version of the plum. I need help with the water drops. The plate also didn't come out properly. :-(

Mary, very nice photos.

Happy Sunday everybody,


07-13-2014, 11:21 AM
Hi Doobi, nice that you've been able to join us this month. Lovely painting!

I think your plate design came out nicely - the details are so tiny and yet you managed to keep them clean.

I love the rich colors you've blended on the fruit - beautiful.

Pat Isaac
07-13-2014, 11:58 AM
Nicely done, Doobi and I think the plate is just fine. Nice rich color. I'd think of the water drops as a little ball, light on top fading into shadow.


07-13-2014, 01:27 PM
Lovely painting, Dooby! Gorgeous reds!

07-14-2014, 12:26 AM
here is my version of the path in the woods. i am generally satisfied. there is some blue and purple in the sky that didn't copy. i think if i wanted it to look more finished i should have put a thin coat of color underneath the plants on the bottom half to eliminate the white of the paper showing thru. since it was just a sketch i didn't bother. all comments appreciated.


07-14-2014, 02:03 AM
Very nice purpletrader! I do notice that your photo is overexposed since you mention some colors don't show. Adjusting the exposure will also help to bring in more values.

07-14-2014, 08:07 AM
Hi Purpletrader, so happy to see you. Very nice landscape. I like your minimalist approach to handling the trees, it works beautifully to simplifying what could be a complex scene.

I agree with your comments about the foreground, but the white showing through keeps with a simple approach and in your painting it works.

Christel offered good advice w/re to the camera and possibly being set on too high exposure. I've done that a number of times w/my paintings and only realize it afterward.

07-14-2014, 09:35 AM
Thank you Mary, Pat and Christel.

07-14-2014, 11:23 AM
Thanks for the comments Mary and Christel.

My painting was scanned and not photographed which generally works well for me. the colors that didn't show up in the sky were fairly light. i may try rescanning with different exposure to see if it works better.


07-14-2014, 06:39 PM
Here is my version of the bowl and pears. You'll notice many of the colors were changed from pear colors, to the background and table setting ~ C&C are welcomed.

Blue Bowl and Pears
9x7: black tinted Mi-Teintes pastel paper


07-15-2014, 01:52 AM
Beautiful, Mary! I might just add a little light blue to the bowl as a highlight to make it pop a bit more?

07-15-2014, 08:39 AM
Thanks Christel!

Good suggestion. There are some highlights w/n the bowl itself and also light blue highlights as reflective color on the backside of the right-pear, but the photograph is showing darker than what the painting is and the highlights aren't showing as much. I'll go back in to it - thanks again.

Pat Isaac
07-15-2014, 08:47 AM
Nicely done purpletrader.....O like your grasses.
Mary, what a nice old master feel to this. I agree with some lightening of the blue bowl, just enough to bring it out a little more.


07-15-2014, 12:43 PM
Thanks for the nice comment, Pat. The more i do the better the results.


07-15-2014, 01:06 PM
Mary, your boat scene and still life are such a delight, the latter's oil paint look and treatment works really well. Very masterful!
Doobi, nice juicy plum, perhaps it's a little wide, excellent plate patterns.
Purpletrader, very nice illustrative style.
My second sketch on that misty landscape.


07-16-2014, 07:20 AM
Thanks Pat and ai2ai!

Love your landscape ai2ai, the use of color and lower values gives a nice depth to the scene. I do like your loose and sparse style with this piece.

07-16-2014, 08:03 AM
Thanks Mary, glad you like it.

07-16-2014, 09:49 AM
Gorgeous bowl and pears, Mary. Great depth and color, I love its deep richness and perfect curves on the bowl, quirky individuality on the pears.

Ai, wow, that landscape draws me right in! Glorious!

07-16-2014, 10:27 AM
Thanks Robert!

07-16-2014, 12:28 PM
Thanks ai2ai for the nice comment.

I like your version of the same scene because the bright colors and loose style create considerable interest.


07-16-2014, 01:51 PM
Lovely landscape ai2ai!

07-16-2014, 11:58 PM
Many thanks, appreciate your comments - Robert, Purpletrader, Christel.

Pat Isaac
07-17-2014, 05:20 PM
Lovely piece ai2ai.....your strokes are always so wonderful and say so much.


07-20-2014, 01:54 AM
Thanks Pat, always a pleasure to share and learn from one another.

07-25-2014, 01:34 PM

My version of the pears. Proportions are little off. Any suggestion to improve?


Pat Isaac
07-25-2014, 04:45 PM
Nice work on the pears, though I think you could add some darker values to the shadow side so that a light direction is evident.


07-26-2014, 09:59 AM
Hi Doobi, lovely painting showcasing the pears!

The proportions of the pears work for me and I like your color choices, I agree with Pat about increasing the darks on the shadow side of the pears. Nice work with the blues on the bowl and table shadows.

07-26-2014, 11:43 AM
Another challenge! Two Seashells, 12" x 16" done on homemade fine grit applied to matboard.


07-26-2014, 12:06 PM
Hi Carol - how cool is this?! Love your shells, beautiful whites and the management of blues throughout, I do like the browns/burnt sienna for the dark parts of the shells. Nice light reflections off the larger shell in the back as well.

Pat Isaac
07-26-2014, 12:22 PM
These are wonderful, Carol. I like you you have carried the background color throughout. Nice strong color.


07-26-2014, 06:00 PM
Carol, love your shells! That's an incredible painting. Gorgeous strong values and dimensional depth, beautiful colors, so well knit together.

Doobi, very cool pears painting! The only proportion I see off hand that's different is the bucket's more of a cone than it was, angled sides with smaller bottom, big deal if it's a different shape of bucket. Pear shapes great. Agree with Pat a few more darks in the pear shadows would help, but other than that no suggestions other than "Don't worry about shapes of buckets as long as it's plausible." It's eminently plausible AND translucent, effectively translucent! Wow on the bucket and pears.

07-26-2014, 10:56 PM
Thank you Pat , Mary and Robert.

07-31-2014, 01:29 PM
Thanks to everyone who participated and commented, it was my pleasure to be the host moderator this month.

07-31-2014, 05:18 PM
sorry I haven't been too active for the last couple of months. I've had so much to do with 2 displays to organise and a couple of commissions.
Not a lot of time.