View Full Version : October 2015 Oil Pastel Challenge

10-01-2015, 12:11 AM
Hello Oil Pastelists! :wave:

Below are the reference images for October's challenge. There's no specific theme, though I have thrown in a couple of Hallowe'en-related photos because it's getting to be that time of year. There will, of course, be cat photos because I have three cats and have to show them off. :cat: :cat: :cat: I've uploaded my photos to the RIL and will include the links as they become available; some of the photos are still pending at this point. I've also included a few photos from the RIL as well.

Feel free to use your imagination and go wild! You are also free to post works in progress if you need any help or advice.

Please tell us:
What support you used including any surface prep.
The finished size of your painting or sketch.
The brand of oil pastels used.
Whether you have used anything as an underpainting.

Other mediums may be used to complement, but the work must be primarily oil pastels. Oil sticks and oil bars may be used. Wax pastels are welcome too.

You have a month, but the thread will stay open so if you are unable to post by the end of the month you can do it later.

Enjoy! :)

First up is Rudbeckia 'Cherry Brandy', currently still blooming in my yard. It's quite lovely.

I'm a birder. That means I chase birds around the woods and take pictures of them. :D This is a Black-capped Chickadee. In some of our parks, they have been tamed to come to our hands to take sunflower seeds.

A gateway to a lovely garden I photographed a couple of years ago. The sign over the archway says "Show me your garden and I shall tell you what you are. Alfred, Lord Tennyson".
I will post the link to this photo in the RIL in a later post as it is still pending as I type this.

As promised, my three cats, Ziggy, Danny, and Peter :heart: They're strictly indoor cats and spend lots of time looking out the windows.

My hubby carved this pumpkin last year. He was quite pleased with himself.:lol:

10-01-2015, 12:34 AM
Some Mallard Ducks and a Pintail Duck. I love their colors and the details in their feathers.

This fellow is just one of many pieces of garden junk...er...art, in my back garden.

I grow orchids, but this is not one of mine. This was growing in the conservatory of our local zoo.

Some colorful Fall leaves in my yard.
I will post the link to this photo in the RIL in a later post as it is still pending as I type this.

This is my little guy, Danny, in his lion costume last Hallowe'en. At 12 pounds (5.5 kg) he's not really little, but he's smaller than his two brothers. And no, he did not like dressing up. :lol:

I don't take a lot of "landscape" shots, but this I thought this one was kind of interesting of a dock on Vancouver Island; the sea lions were sunning themselves on the floats.
I will post the link to this photo in the RIL in a later post as it is still pending as I type this.

This is a Bonaparte's Gull. This was the first one I'd seen here in Calgary, they're not really common here.
I will post the link to this photo in the RIL in a later post as it is still pending as I type this.

10-01-2015, 12:45 AM
And now a few more Hallowe'en themed photos from the RIL:

Courtesy Lady Carol: http://www.wetcanvas.com/RefLib/showphoto.php?photo=70171&cat=fav

Courtesy WSV: http://www.wetcanvas.com/RefLib/showphoto.php?photo=129434

Courtesy printzessofthenorth: http://www.wetcanvas.com/RefLib/showphoto.php?photo=59355&cat=fav

Have fun and let us know how you're progressing! :thumbsup:

10-01-2015, 08:25 AM
These are really great! I'm a birder, too so I am pretty excited about the bird ones ;)

10-01-2015, 10:19 AM
Thanks, Kara. I hope that you will join in. :wave:

And here's the links to some of my photos that are now in the RIL:

The garden gate: http://www.wetcanvas.com/RefLib/showphoto.php?photo=183764&ppuser=1688579

The Fall leaves: http://www.wetcanvas.com/RefLib/showphoto.php?photo=183766&ppuser=1688579

The sea lions on the floating dock: http://www.wetcanvas.com/RefLib/showphoto.php?photo=183763&ppuser=1688579

Bonaparte's Gull: http://www.wetcanvas.com/RefLib/showphoto.php?photo=183765&ppuser=1688579

10-01-2015, 12:03 PM
It's been forever since I worked with oil pastels even though they're one of my favorite mediums. Looking forward to trying the pumpkin!

10-01-2015, 12:47 PM
Great selection! Difficult to choose. Thanks for hosting, Joanne!

10-01-2015, 06:10 PM
Great photos. I'm really interested in the fall leaves. Great colors and textures. I'd learn a lot. Have to do some chopping though...

On the other hand, I don't know if I have any black paper around. But the orchids would be a good challenge for me.

Pat Isaac
10-03-2015, 09:09 AM
Wonderful photos....so many nice images for October. That is a great carved pumpkin...Dod you do it?


10-03-2015, 06:52 PM
Hi Pat, yes, I drew the features and then my husband carved it. He really wanted it to have a tongue for some reason, so I just stuffed one of the "eyes" into the mouth, and voila! a tongue. :)

10-04-2015, 04:32 PM
Mainly Niji & Cray-pas Specialist with a bit of Pentel, Holbein and Neopastel thrown in on 9x12 black Canson Mi-Teintes


Pat Isaac
10-04-2015, 04:56 PM
Nicely done....I do love the little chickadees that frequent our feeders all year.


10-04-2015, 07:25 PM
Nice work on the Chickadee, Kara. You captured his busy nature perfectly. :)

10-05-2015, 11:18 PM
I had a go at the Black Cat. Wow, black fur can sure be tricky. I used a black colored pencil around the eye a bit, mostly just pushed the OP around with it. And now that I'm seeing this posted here, I think I'll need to do a bit more tweaking. :wink2:


10-05-2015, 11:24 PM
Lovely work on the bird, Kara!
Great start on the cat, Joanne! I like the background colors!

10-06-2015, 05:21 AM
My version of the flower, A4, Rolfes sketch paper, Pentel ops

10-06-2015, 06:47 AM
Im new to Oil Pastels and was excited to find a challenge, so many great refs! Love the works posted so far, I see I have much to learn...
Seagull seat, No name OP from the stationary store, little colored pencil and white acrylic for pop on Strathmore Pastel Paper, my scanner tends to overexpose...this is much softer and richer in color otherwise..C&C always welcome

10-06-2015, 08:20 AM
Beautiful, Raini!

Pat Isaac
10-06-2015, 08:37 AM
This is great and I do love that background. Really sets off the black cat.


10-06-2015, 10:53 AM
Christel, I really like your interpretation of the rudbeckia. Lovely colors in the petals, great dimension, and your background suits it perfectly.

Raini, great job on the Bonaparte's Gull! Your details in the feathers and the wood are amazing and you've captured the light beautifully.

10-06-2015, 12:09 PM
Thanks for the comments everyone, thought I would try the Rudbeckia...and realized that I dont have patience for flowers lol:lol:...so I went a little abstract with this one. OP on Colored Cardstock, CP for outline

10-06-2015, 02:53 PM
Thanks Joanne.
Lovely abstract Raini. The background works beautifully too.

10-07-2015, 11:10 AM
My orchids on black card. White acrylic was used as underpainting for the flowers. My Pentel white isn't too effective so I resorted to using a bit of oil paint:evil:

10-07-2015, 11:39 AM
Wow, your orchids look great, Christel! I imagine using white OP's was challenging, eh? Great job! :clap:

10-07-2015, 11:35 PM
Thanks Joanne! I did wonder about the plant growth in the background!

10-08-2015, 12:14 AM
Yeah, as I mentioned in Crabby2's thread, the orchids in the photo were mounted and I think they're surrounded by air plants (Tillandsia) and Spanish Moss. If I'm not mistaken, they ended up having to redo the display (which was huge) as I don't think the orchids liked being mounted. That works fine in the jungles and rain forests where they grow naturally, but in Calgary, it's really dry, like semi-desert dry and I'm thinking they had a hard time keeping the plants properly hydrated.

10-08-2015, 06:55 PM
Sennelier on Colorfix. 6" x 8"

My version of the orchids. I posted the earlier version in a separate thread. Got really great feedback. The colors here look different than at home!

It was suggested that I add some foliage. My original was just floating in a dark bg. I took the cowardly way out and used sgraffito to put in stems/vines. Never could discern any leaves! If it looks too weird I figure I can warm up the bg and so go back to plain old dark. But I kinda like this...

Christel. White acrylic underpainting! Aha! Great idea. I always had trouble with white colored pencils on dark paper but I thought OPs would be a piece of cake!

Please comment and criticize as much as you want. I learn so much from all of you.

10-08-2015, 09:07 PM
That background looks cool! Your orchid is beautiful! :thumbsup:

10-08-2015, 11:07 PM
Diane - beautiful! Your background works well.

Pat Isaac
10-09-2015, 09:06 AM
Yes, the background does work well. I always found white OPs hard to do on black paper. Sometimes I put a thin oil wash on first.


10-09-2015, 10:11 AM
Joanne, thank you for the wonderful photos! Love your version of the black cat profile - so dramatic and beautiful! You got that little nose so perfect, great ear, wonderful fur textures and luminous eye. Good background to set her off!

Kara, great chickadee! Love the accuracy and that outline that sets it off, something very dramatic about that and the background fades back well.

Christel, beautiful red Rudbeckia. Like the softness of the background and the volume and detail on the flower, well done! Your orchids are magnificent, love the textures and subtle shading in the whites to give them volume. They look opalescent.

Raini, very cool treatment of hte Bonaparte’s Gull. Love the strong blues and subtle hue changes on the bird and the post, great atmosphere and color harmony. Your version of the flower’s great, a little abstracted but clear enough and so lively!

Crabby2, wow! Very dramatic orchids. I like the strong darks and cool shadows on it, still reads as bright white but has so much volume. Great dark background further brightens the flower. Excellent detail and protrusion on the center!

10-09-2015, 09:00 PM
Black Cat Final, just a little bit of tweaking, but I'm done.

9 x 12" Arches Oil Paper, Sennelier OP's.


10-09-2015, 10:03 PM
She's perfect! Congratulations. Such a beautiful eye. Toning down the highlights worked well, still love the nose and muzzle. Simultaneously real and abstract, this is a fabulous, magical painting. Love it!

10-09-2015, 11:33 PM
Thanks Robert!
Jonne - beautiful!!

10-11-2015, 11:10 PM
Here's my gull, birds are rather difficult to pull off! The picture looks a bit too yellowish but I'll post it anyway :angel:


10-11-2015, 11:27 PM
Very well done! I really like the texture on the post. The yellow gives it a warm sundown effect. Lovely. To neutralize a too yellow color I've added a pale mauve which cools it beautifully.

10-12-2015, 12:58 AM
Wow, that's gorgeous, Scalene. Like Christel says, the textures in the post are awesome. The light is glorious, I wouldn't touch it.

10-12-2015, 06:33 AM
Hello all

I laught when I saw the cat in the liondress, cute.

You all have done beautiful paintings.
When I saw the first orchid painting I thought it was an oil painting. You used
acrylic as an underpainting and then oil paint over that.

Did you let all that dry and then you painted with op over that?

I am painting on a black paper and have difficulties in one are to paint with a light color because the op is weak and transparent. I have both seen and neo when I tried it. So its really great to see that one can use acrylic and not being limited to light color papers.

The other orchid is also very beautiful and you managed to paint with lighter colors on dark background!

I like the effects and contrast in all your paintings here, well done!!!

Pat Isaac
10-12-2015, 09:31 AM
This is nicely done and I do like the sunlight effect. Gives it all a warm feeling.


10-12-2015, 01:14 PM
Annalisa- yes the acrylic paint has to dry first. I paint it in the direction of the petals so that any formeed ridges won't interfere with the subsequent ops

10-12-2015, 03:30 PM
Tuscany, I need to clarify my question. :) I do understand that the acrylic has
to dry, but how did you do with the oil paint?:)

Since the op don't dry, the oil paint has to dry, but it takes a while to dry.
So did you let the oil paint dry and then you painted with op on top?

And then the oil paint use up the tooth on paper? Maybe you didn't use a gritty

Its a wonderful painting.

10-12-2015, 04:07 PM
I haven't participated in this forum for a very long time. Hope ya'll don't mind me jumping in. I don't have time to comment on everyone's lovely work just now but will return later to do so. I tried one of the pumpkins on Bristol Smooth, 6x6"829863

10-12-2015, 11:33 PM
Annalisa - if I use oil paint on top of the ops, it is blended into the ops. I make sure that the paper is sealed with the acrylic or op before applying oils as oil yellows the paper!! I then leave the painting to dry for a few days before I do anything more to it. If you use oils as an underpainting, make sure the paper/canvas is sealed or use the paper specifically for oils.

Cem - Beautiful! You are very welcome to 'jump in' any time.

10-13-2015, 12:34 AM
Thanks everyone for your comments! Sorry for not commenting on the works posted so far, though I did admire them all. I'm so busy with all this work in college and I'm so upset I don't get to paint anymore...

10-13-2015, 12:07 PM
Cindy, your pumpkin looks amazing! You've really given it great form. :thumbsup: How was the Bristol smooth paper to work on? I've got some of that paper but haven't tried OP's on it.

10-15-2015, 01:36 PM
Hi, this is my first post on the OP board, I am pleased to have a go at your challenge but its a work in progress really as I will be changing it tomorrow when its drier. Its totally in my new 72 set of sennelier oil pastels, which I havent used much yet, on 140gsm white cartridge paper (hardly any tooth) and I painted it today so its very slippy at the moment. I've also taken a pic in electric light (in the uk and its evening now) so its a weird colour. I found it difficult getting the right colours for the gull although I have 72!!! Blending on the background was with liquin light gel. I painted it on A3 but have cropped down to A4.

Pat Isaac
10-15-2015, 03:49 PM
This is just beautiful...love the warm rich color. Nice texture on the post. Looking forward to seeing more.


10-15-2015, 05:39 PM
Thanks Pat, I have a fair bit of work still to do on the wing as the tonal balance within the feather arrangement needs to be closer in value. The gull has a black spot on the side of its face, so I think its a black headed gull with first winter plummage. They are sleeker and more solid-looking than I have made this one look so that might be put right too with the tonal improvement. I am hoping the sens dry enough overnight for me to glaze the wing with a liquin and grey sen mix without lifting.

Edit... I've just noticed that Joanne says its a Bonaparte gull, they are smaller than the smoother black-headed gulls that we have here, but look very similar.

10-15-2015, 05:55 PM
Tazzels, this is really beautiful so far, as Pat says, the textures in the post are great. :thumbsup:

10-16-2015, 12:38 AM
Great work so far, Tazzels! Looking forward to seeing your update.

10-17-2015, 12:04 PM
Hello all! This is my first time posting in this forum, and I am relatively new to OPs and new to Wetcanvas. I've been working on Arches Oil Paper, and then started working on Canson Mi-Teintes (thanks to Robert Sloan's recommendation on his web site), and just got some small pieces of Ampersand Pastelbord to try. So I thought I'd use one to join in the October challenge.

Here is the chickadee, done with Sennelier and a few Neopastels, on a small piece of Pastelbord. Sorry about the quality of the photo (taken with my iPhone), and C&C welcome!


Pat Isaac
10-17-2015, 12:14 PM
Nice color and use of the oil pastels. It has a painterly quality. I might mute the background a little so that it does;t compete with the chickadee. Welcome to our forum and hope to see more.


10-17-2015, 12:29 PM
Welcome to the forum Holly! Lovely painting of the bird. Pat has a good point with the background.
Looking forward to seeing more of your work.

10-17-2015, 01:22 PM
Thanks Pat and Christel! I have always loved painterliness and color, so that's a very encouraging compliment. And I will definitely try to mute the background (and post more of my work and get up the courage to comment on other oil pastelists' work!). Thanks for the suggestion!


10-17-2015, 06:35 PM
Hi Holly! Welcome to the OP Forum :wave:

Your chickadee is great, I love the bright colors. Thanks for participating, and don't hesitate to do another piece (or two or three :D ).

10-18-2015, 01:28 PM
Thanks, Joanne, and thanks for the great photos to choose from. I may well do another. I have my eye on those cats sitting on the windowsill...

Vivien Maloney
10-20-2015, 11:02 PM
Beautiful work from everyone!

tazzels - You lucky person to have a 72 set of Senneliers! That's my dream but they are just so expensive in New Zealand, I may have to go without. In the meantime, I'm plodding on with my NeoPastels!

Joanne - Lovely photos! Thanks for Hosting.
I'm having a try at your frog, garden ornament. Such a cute little guy! (He probably won't be by the time I'm finished with him!) I'm underpainting and using Odourless Solvent for the first time. I'm not that keen on the look of it, but will see what develops. Hopefully, I will get it completed before the end of the month.

10-20-2015, 11:59 PM
Hi Viv, nice to see you here. :wave: I'm glad you're giving that reference a go, isn't it a cool frog? He's actually a solar light and his body lights up green at night. :lol:

Those white lights to the left of the frog's body are more frog solar lights. :angel: I kind of have a thing for frogs. :D


Vivien Maloney
10-21-2015, 01:40 AM
Joanne - :D great minds think alike! Love your solar light frogs!
I used to collect frog ornaments, many years ago, and had quite a lot from our various overseas holidays. Then friends began giving them to me and I had to stop collecting them as I was in overload with them. I still have some garden ones but after 4 grandchildren and assorted puppies over the years, the ones I have left, are looking the worse for wear! I have one in the consevatory, hidden amongst my pots, thats barely recognisable as a frog, as Pippa puppy has had a really good chew on it! :rolleyes: :lol:

Vivien Maloney
10-21-2015, 08:23 PM
I've finished my frog ornament Oil Pastel - 21cm x 22cm - on Bockingford 300gms watercolor paper - Neocolors OP's, underwashed with Odourless Solvent.

The first time I've used solvent, and underwashed with it. I like the background effect and would use it for that again.
I've vignetted the bottom left-hand corner - I've never done that before either, so decided to try it for a change. I quite like the effect, but don't think I'd use that again - always good to try new things though.
I used my Color-shaper, extensively at the end to push the color into the texture of the paper. I really enjoyed working on this Oil Pastel!


10-21-2015, 09:35 PM
Viv, that is wonderful, I love all the textures you've achieved. Your background is really beautiful and the frog and flowers have great form. I love it!:clap:

Vivien Maloney
10-21-2015, 09:41 PM
Joanne - Many thanks! Your garden frog, was such fun to paint! :thumbsup:

10-21-2015, 11:32 PM
Great work on your frog, Vivien! He really has quite an appeal with the hat and glasses!

10-22-2015, 02:58 AM
Hello ! Well i just drop in . These are wonderful works here ! Tazzels' seagull is beautiful and completed . Vivi i love your choice of color and the frog ornaments had such a joyful atmosphere !

10-22-2015, 07:45 AM
Great frog ornament, Vivien. I love the texture and colors. This underwashing with solvent sounds intriguing.

Ren Bing
10-22-2015, 07:47 AM

Pat Isaac
10-22-2015, 08:53 AM
This is just wonderful Vivien. Great color and I really like the texture of the paper coming through.


10-24-2015, 01:39 PM
[QUOTE=Vivien Maloney]Beautiful work from everyone!

tazzels - You lucky person to have a 72 set of Senneliers! That's my dream but they are just so expensive in New Zealand, I may have to go without. In the meantime, I'm plodding on with my NeoPastels!

Hi Vivien, Yes, I have treated myself, They worked out less than a British pound each in the set which was cheaper than singles, however I'm just using a few favourite colours as I suspected I would. My white is a heavily used so I have bought a transparent blender to try instead. I've also bought a couple of Neopastels to try in the underpainting as I have read that they are harder and can be sharpened.

The fixative will have to wait as I have spent enough and I am experimenting with grounds to save on buying sanded paper! I didn't do any more to my gull as I got distracted by a rooster (fur and feather challenge). It's good to see everyone's work.

10-29-2015, 05:44 PM
Munygo OPs and CP, a little white acrylic on 9x11 Cardstock. Happy Halloween!

Pat Isaac
10-29-2015, 05:52 PM
Really like that background and the chickadee is nice and fluffy.


10-29-2015, 07:32 PM
Raini, that's just lovely! I agree with Pat, and I like the way you cropped it. :thumbsup:

10-29-2015, 08:24 PM
Thanks Joanne and Pat, I'm getting better at not turning everything to mud by forgetting which blender I need to use lol😀

10-29-2015, 11:11 PM
Raini- lovely! Cool background!

10-30-2015, 08:20 AM
Raini, I really like your use of color and the various textures you've gotten here. So much detail without looking busy.

10-30-2015, 08:34 AM
Thank you Tuscanny and Hello Holly...Welcome to WC! 😀

10-30-2015, 10:30 PM
Thanks for the welcome, Raini! I've just started back doing art after many years, and I'm happy to have discovered oil pastels and Wetcanvas. I must say I'm enjoying both immensely and learning so much from everyone on the forum.

10-31-2015, 05:00 PM
And here's our gallery for October. Thanks for participating! :clap:


Vivien Maloney
10-31-2015, 10:01 PM
Thanks for Hosting Joanne and the lovely Gallery! :clap:

10-31-2015, 10:17 PM
Thanks Joanne for hosting! Love the gallery 👍

11-01-2015, 12:16 AM
Thanks for a lovely gallery Joanne!

Pat Isaac
11-01-2015, 08:05 AM
Thanks for doing that....looks great.


11-02-2015, 05:27 AM
Awesome work everybody!