View Full Version : Oil Pastel Challenge October 2014

09-30-2014, 10:27 PM
Hello again, long time no see! I've got some fun photos from San Francisco this time and of course the world's most photogenic cat, Ari. He managed to retain his Kitten Cuteness all the way into age 14, got quite a following on Facebook too and is refreshingly unselfconscious about his beauty.

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!

Never be embarrassed to post, because we all had to start somewhere, and sometimes fresh eyes can see what is needed to fix etc if you ask for help.

Please only critique if asked.

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.

PLEASE NOTE: Oil Bars, (solidified oil paint sticks may also be used in this challenge, as they are so similar and not included in other forum)
It's not mandatory, we are just a nosey bunch.

So let's have some photos!

Garden Scene from San Francisco General Hospital's Memory Garden

Colored Glass, Cut Aquamarine and Crystal

Fabulously Fluffy Ari Cat posing on the bed!

Pink Lilies outside someone's house

Gateway Inn in San Francisco

09-30-2014, 10:35 PM
And some more photos...

Lavender Rose

Mystery Flower, no I don't know what it is, but also from SFGH garden

Painted Lady fancy SF house

Twilight Lightwell - this view always looked Dickensian to me.

Watermelon and Mangoes - they tasted so good!

09-30-2014, 10:45 PM
Of course you want more of my cat. Everyone loves my cat. He's actually on my lap while I'm typing this and he suggested it!

Ari Cat last October, he still looks that good. But this is in yellowish indoor light, his eyes really are blue rather than that grayed yellow color. Pale blue.

Rosebud! Also from SFGH garden

Pillared white building that looked grand and fancy, in San Francisco.

Fuchsia - this is what the color comes from, this plant. Same garden.

Pink spiky flowers, which aren't snapdragons but are snapdragonish.

Enjoy! There's a round 15 references to play with. I didn't get any good people shots other than my selfies, these are culled from my art references and I haven't been out anyplace that's wilderness either. But there's lots of flowers and of course a lovely cat.

10-01-2014, 02:53 AM
No Halloween-themed pics? :(

10-01-2014, 06:45 AM
Hello Robert!

Thank you for posting these Beautiful Pictures. As we here have short summers, a Little bit longer automn (dont remember how to spell that) and
long Winters, I really enjoy that you show us flowers. Its sunny here today
so one can feel a Little bit of the summer yet.

I have never painted in a challenge here on WC but when I saw your Lovely
cat it inspires me to maybee take the challenge:)

I saw your Beautiful red flower painting with the softies, I really like the different shades of greens on it and all the other colours as well.

Well, now I have to see what paper I have to start on

10-01-2014, 09:05 AM
Hi Rob...I don't do oil pastels, but these photos are too good to pass up with the softies! I'm inspired to try a couple this month. ('Course, not posted here, though)

Shirl Parker
10-01-2014, 10:03 AM
Ari looking gorgeous as usual :clap:

10-01-2014, 12:25 PM
Oh purr thank you! Sorry, George, I didn't even think of the holiday. Seasons here pretty much look all the same and all you folks in colder climates - a lot of those flowers are still blooming. That garden is full of flowers right now. I think pink spiky has given way to purple foxglove looking ones and the roses come and go but they really are year round. There's always at least one or two.

From the land of endless summer... enjoy a glimpse of endless summer!

10-01-2014, 02:38 PM
Robert, nice pics. I believe the mystery flower is a hibiscus.


Pat Isaac
10-01-2014, 04:34 PM
Thanks for hosting this month, Robert. Great pics, especially of Ari.


10-02-2014, 08:25 AM
Beautiful photographs Robert. I love Ari - she doesn't look 14 years old at all, her fur is gorgeous with those beautiful eyes.

10-02-2014, 11:04 AM
What a lovely variety to choose from, Robert. Thanks for hosting.
I tried to do the gem. It's 4x5 but I don't think it's too convincing.http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Oct-2014/1256189-gem_ops_oct.jpg

10-02-2014, 11:51 AM
Oh wow! Christel, it's beautiful. It reads true. The color's rich and beautiful, you captured the nuances of the shadow and reflection, it's got depth, it's lovely. You got its identity perfectly!

10-02-2014, 02:28 PM
Thanks Robert.

Pat Isaac
10-03-2014, 08:06 AM
You are fast Christel.....nicely done and the color is perfect.


10-03-2014, 09:25 AM
Thanks Pat! Lovely having you back! Hope you are feeling much better.

10-05-2014, 06:30 AM
Ari is gorgeous and I'd love to see her in person. The coat colors are beautiful. My version on A4 yellow stock card with Pentel ops.

Pat Isaac
10-05-2014, 08:25 AM
What a wonderful version of Ari, Christel. You have captured his look and wonderful fur.


10-05-2014, 12:54 PM
Excellent texture on the fur. REally well done

10-05-2014, 02:21 PM
Thanks Pat and Rich!

10-06-2014, 06:41 AM
That's my fuzzy boy! Oh you got him so perfect, Christel! The yellow paper makes it feel like he's under yellow light, but that's so him! Wonderful face and eyes, he is so sweet and adorable! I love this painting. Gorgeous depth and luminosity, great fur texture, you have him so dimensional I could reach in and scritch him, or touch his paw and get batted. I love those ears and his beautiful shining eyes. Great white whiskers too! You got him! PURR thank you! Love this painting. He's my sweet boy, right there under a golden light!

10-06-2014, 08:06 AM
Thanks Robert! Glad you like my painting.:cat:

10-06-2014, 10:10 AM
Beautiful, beautiful work on this painting Christel - you captured Ari purrfectly!

10-06-2014, 11:21 AM
Thanks Mary!

10-07-2014, 09:26 AM
Dear Robert Ari cat is just gorgeous. What fun I had . It is a mixture of OP and yes gads oil stick. The inexperienced among us will try anything! I like the cover up qualities of oil sticks and onlyhave a few so colors are mixed not so gresat Im glad he suggested that we paint him. Mydogs are always telling me things!!! Eleanore

10-07-2014, 09:32 AM
Sorry for all bad typos. It is 9 x 12. Strathmore wet media Probably shouldn't put oil stick over OP but am not concerned about archival stuff. Just dabbling in my old age and loving looking at life from this view. Love all your insights Robert. Eleanore

10-07-2014, 11:25 AM
Thinking of trying Ari just because that's Robert's baby. The crystals look challenging. The alley-scape looks like fun!

10-08-2014, 12:44 PM
I haven't been in this forum for quite some time so thought it was past time to try my hand at op's once again. Couldn't resist beautiful Ari cat although I could not do him justice.
Christel...your gem and cat are great as all your work is!
Eleanore...your cat is lovely!

Here is my attempt on sketch paper with Caran d'Ache Neopastels.816928

10-08-2014, 01:37 PM
Lovely cat Eleanore!
Thanks Cindy! I love your version too! Those blue eyes are great with the black face!

10-08-2014, 02:04 PM
Eleanore, he's wonderful! Let me know how the oil stick over oil pastels worked. It might or might not peel up over time, depends on how much it mixed in maybe. The problem is changes as the oil stick layer dries completely and the oil pastels don't, causing distortions. WOW the painting is gorgeous. Love the way you got the soft subtle hues of his body and the overall fluffy bulk of him, also his bright round eyes. His eyes are so pretty! You got his sweet look perfectly.

Cindy, yours is so great! It's him! You both got the likeness so well. I feel as if I could touch his cold little wet nose and scritch under his chin, feel his purr. His eyes are so luminous in your painting, so true. His expression is there, that haunting look of love he gives. Perfect proportions and texture, he's so beautiful and so very much himself.

All three of you have really done justice to my cat! I love this! Thank you!

10-08-2014, 02:22 PM
Those pictures are very inspiring Robert.
Hi I joined last year but had not been participating due to busy schedules, but i would like to join you all great artist and practice some oil pastel work, if it ok to join late in this months challenge.


10-08-2014, 03:13 PM
You guys are fast. All the paintings are wonderful.

Haha almost everybody want to paint Ari.
I am almost finished with my painting/drawing. I took a photo
of this stage but it was too yellow because its Indoor Lighting so I will
take the photo tomorrow with better light instead.

Cem, one can not Believe its neos, it looks like oilsticks. Nice

My photos use to come up so big, what format will be good to a smaller
Picture of the painting?

10-08-2014, 04:50 PM
Thank you AnnaLisa.
I resized my photo to 600 as the larger number. Hope this helps.

10-08-2014, 09:40 PM
Thank you so much, Robert. Ari is a gorgeous cat. I am a crazy cat lady around here. I have one house cat and feed 11 semi-ferals. Love them all! Hubby thinks I'm nuts but lets me enjoy them:):)

10-09-2014, 01:22 AM
Hi Magandie! Welcome to the ops forum! Of course you are welcome to join! Looking forward to seeing your artwork!

Pat Isaac
10-09-2014, 08:49 AM
Looks like Ari is taking center stage. Nice interpretations, Eleanore and Cindy.


10-09-2014, 08:21 PM
Robert, I learned from your excellent articles not to put oil sticks over oP The slim OPs were my choice for painting your lovely Ari but I made mistakes and oil sticks covered them immediately.Thus sticks over OPs I have also varnished some large OP paintings and they look good a year later. I love the oilstcks because this will no longer be an issue though the oil pastels have such a great feel. Eleanore

10-09-2014, 08:21 PM

10-10-2014, 11:19 AM
Thanks cem, I will try to post a Picture at a not finished stage.

I am not used with op, this is my 3rd unfinished painting.

About the paper, its canson touch and I must say that you can go on and
on, on that paper...it takes some time to cover the paper. It feels like those
papers you prime yourself. But then when I have layered for a while and used Senn it got somewhat greasy and I dont know if I can lay more on that.

The colours on the painting doesnt show up correctly on the computer. Its a
common problem I have noticed.

The painting looks a Little bit funny and the bed he lays on I have just started, so bare with the funny strokes:)

Now I will try to upload the Picture

10-10-2014, 11:21 AM
Hmm the Picture is too big.

The different colours in the boarder are colours I just played with when testing this paper

10-10-2014, 02:16 PM
The size of the photo looks fine to me. The cat looks super so far, Anna Lisa.

10-10-2014, 02:41 PM
Thank you Tuscany.
One need to rest the hand now, this paper gives you a lot of work:)

10-10-2014, 02:42 PM
Size is fine now. Very nice work on Ari. Good job on his face/eyes and fur. Well proportioned overall.

10-10-2014, 07:20 PM
Oooh there is my sweet boy! He looks so soft and cuddly. You got his sweet expression just right, his eyes are wonderful. Lovely sense of depth and solidity to how you got his body. I could reach in and pet him. Great anatomy. Beautiful flow to his silky soft thick hair. Ari is a champion shedder and you got both the softness and the directional flow so perfect. He's very 3D and rounded too, so gorgeous. Love how you got his bright beautiful eyes.

I love this! Y'all are doing great paintings of my beloved cat! I still need to get out my Senns or Neopastels and do his portrait too!

10-10-2014, 10:20 PM
Annalise. He is simply gorgeous. I love his convincing fur and fabulous head. You are very fine. Eleanore

10-11-2014, 11:38 AM
Thank you cem for your kind comments!

Robert, I am so happy and overwhelmed by your sooo kind comments!!!
This is my first challenge here on WC ever, and it is Ari who was the first,
so therefore I am so pleased that you like it, even though in this stage.
You are so kind Robert:) Ari is really a Champion. He is so sweet.

(I can say that without my dog being jealous because she is outside):)
Thank you!

Maela thank you for your comments as well!

10-11-2014, 01:45 PM
My version of the hibiscus on A5 paper. A very unusual flower for me to draw.

10-11-2014, 02:22 PM
Nice colours, you also included the shifting between the cooler area and the warmer on the flower-leaf (dont know how you say that in English)

10-12-2014, 10:08 AM
Christel, beautiful rendering on that flower! I don't think it's a hibiscus exactly, it was shorter plant and very different - just don't know the name of it. But there are hibiscus in the garden too. It's some sort of low growing plant maybe 12 to 14" tall. Lovely flower, so much detail and you captured the rich texture on the petals along with the subtle veins and haze of light. Wonderful painting! Love the dark variegated background too, that makes the flower glow!

10-12-2014, 01:49 PM
Thanks Annalisa and Robert. I showed it to someone who seems to know flowers and he says its a different type of hibiscus.

10-14-2014, 06:43 PM
Oh wow. I had no idea a hibiscus could grow on such a short plant - they come up in the same spot every year and are very florid but I had no idea what they were. The coloration is more like a pansy, two quite dark petals and then lighter ones below it. I painted it from life once in watercolor and took photos several times, now I'll really need to look at the leaves and compare them to the big hibiscus shrub that I also got photos of.

10-15-2014, 08:28 AM
You have flowers year round there Robert? It sounds that you have a very
nice weather. Now we are down to 7 grades Celcius above 0, but I dont know
how many farenheit it is. Next month it usually start to snow....

10-16-2014, 07:17 AM
Here is an update. I didnt have so much time to paint but I have worked a Little on Ari and also on the bed.

I have to learn how to handlw Whitebalance on my camera. The bed is way too Bright blue, as last time....its not that Bright blue in reallity.

Here we go

10-16-2014, 07:19 AM
The almost White line on the tail is not that light in the reallity also, and not White eather

10-17-2014, 03:05 PM
Oh he is coming along so beautiful! I like the way you made the bedding a warm blue to complement his eyes, it's a great color harmony. I love the softness of his fur, you really worked on his body quite a bit. That fluffy tail does catch the light sometimes. I can see the photo exaggerated the highlight, thanks for letting me know. The way his hair breaks where his body turns is wonderful, so true and accurate. The softness here is glorious! I could reach right in and pet him. You also captured the longing in his gaze, he is such a loving cat!

10-27-2014, 03:29 PM
Thank you Robert for your nice comments. You have trained Eyes and understood that I wanted the bed to complement the eyes:)

I have not been able to paint for a while. It is really a huge different to paint
in the day with the light from outside, which make it easier to see the
colours. The sun starts to go down around 3.30-4 a Clock pm but it is not
dark but really early its dark...

First I didnt plan to be picki picki when painting the bed, but then I was thinking that I can make it as a training for painting fabric. There are soo many colours in the bed. I put some colours from the cat in the bed and used many colours from light green to violet.

I am not finished yet:)

You can put layer upon layer on his paper, you can go on for a looooong time. When its greasy its difficult but when you wait a day or so you can
even put hard pastels on it.

Here is un update. NOTE that the colours are not as in reallity. The background looks funny very Bright yellow and the ochre colour is not so Bright in the painting. I have some work to do on the bed and the background yet.

Pat Isaac
10-27-2014, 04:44 PM
He looks wonderful....nice work on the fur and his expression, also the folds in the cloth.


10-28-2014, 10:12 AM
Thank you Pat for your nice comments:)

It is the october challenge and I must finish Before the end of october haha.
I really need to be able to take a better photo of him since the colours
are so Bright in some areas in the earlier photo.

This is the 3rd painting I have ever done in oil pastels and it is really a good
material because you dont have to have a facial mask when painting as you need when painting with softies.

10-29-2014, 07:45 AM
I have painted a Little yesterday, and now I will put the painting aside for
a while.

Here is the last photo of the painting. Its boring for you guys to see the
same painting over and over:)

As usual the darks are darker in reallity and I see the light violets doesnt show up good eather. I put the WB to automatic

10-29-2014, 07:47 AM
The red colour up right corner is from colour testing Before I used the paper.
The 2 marks like an upside V is because the paper is a Little bit damaged.

10-29-2014, 06:29 PM
Oooh he is coming along so well! I like the changes and your subtle refinements to what was already a spectacular painting. Love his fur color. Love his expression. The depth in the painting is great and he's right there. I could reach right in to pet him or tickle his tummy and get bit. And with those longing eyes, he wants me to, he's just begging for my attention!

So beautiful! That's my fluffy boy with his scruffy whiskers and haunting eyes and wonderful personality. Gorgeous hair. You really captured both this hair quality and the bulk of his body. He is a little more muted, less golden in real life but that may be your photo as much as mine. Still very close and depends on which light is on too.

10-30-2014, 07:28 PM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-Oct-2014/1111142-image.jpg Tried it on sketch book, 6x6in. THanks !:heart:

Pat Isaac
10-31-2014, 08:58 AM
I just love the energy and color in your paintings...nicely done.


10-31-2014, 12:53 PM
Lovely painting with beautiful colors and a neat little size Jiemin!

11-16-2014, 04:53 AM
Yannse, thank you for finishing up my challenge with those beautiful fuchsias! I love that photo and yours are so elegant. Wonderful strokes and textures and shading. You improved on the photo by a lot, the colors and shapes just jump out at me and they are so dimensional and rich! Beautiful!

11-16-2014, 12:40 PM
Robert! There you are! I posted some of my kitty pictures just for you in the November challenge thread. Come see! :wave: