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View Full Version : Oil Pastel Tutorial - Landscape painting start to finish..step by step process


raizes
01-12-2018, 02:42 PM
Hey everyone! :wave: I was asked to do a tutorial on how I approach and paint a landscape. My style is impressionistic. I like to paint loose and start/finish the painting in one session. However, for this tutorial, I'm going to slow things WAY down and work through it with you step by step.... Please ask questions...There will be lots of pics. This is good practice for me too. It forces me think about every little step I take. Much of what I do now is so instinctual and intuition plays a huge part in my thinking and feeling..

I do not know the answers to everything, but hopefully with enough participation we can get help from each other. I'm also flattered to be asked to do this tutorial and really want to help others get ahold of this medium.

A little about me: I started with oil pastels around 2010 and came to this forum looking for help, and learning and soaking up as much as I could. Before OPís, I was an acrylic/oil painter and before that drawing was my jam. I'm self taught since childhood with a few painting classes in high school and college.

Big thanks to Christel (Tuscanny) for taking responsibility of managing this forum. You keep the place running Christel and I'm very thankful for the time and energy you put into it. :clap: :clap:

Here we go!!
My ref pic comes from a vacation my wife and I took in Kauai, Hawaii in Nov. 2016. This pic I took from my iphone while driving around and sightseeing. What a beautiful, magical place! We expected at anytime to see a T-Rex or raptor appear from the thick jungle. I believe several scenes from Jurassic Park were filmed in Kauai.

This is from the North part of the island near Hanalei or Princeville at a viewpoint along the side of the highway.

raizes
01-12-2018, 02:54 PM
I chose a difficult photo for this session, and it's obviously a panoramic shot as I wanted to get as much of the overall scene as possible. The lighting is also bad. It's very dark, but I remember in person it wasn't like this.

There are some key elements about this pic I really like and want to recreate. I love the way the light shines through the heavy cloud layer and perfectly illuminates the distant hills. Look at those sun rays!! I also love the lay of the land, and the diagonal lines that the trees make. l love the distance and the element of "atmosphere" this photos gives me. All things I enjoy and the challenge it gives.

What I don't like is how dark it is and how difficult it is to see details. I also don't like the large tree mass on the right side and the guardrail on the left. So these elements, i will leave out.

raizes
01-12-2018, 02:58 PM
Here is the scene after I cropped it and brightened it up a little in Iphoto. I try not to manipulate a photo all the much. I just needed to see a little more light.

raizes
01-12-2018, 03:02 PM
Here are two more photos where I zoomed in. Wonderful to see a little more details and how that light is hitting.

raizes
01-12-2018, 03:16 PM
Here is my setup and tools I use. I'm using Arches coldpress oil paper 140lb and it's 12x16 inches. You can see in the pic what the texture of this paper looks like.

My current palette and setup. I'm using Sennelier and Mungyo Gallery soft oil pastels. I organize them together by color and rip the papers off my mungyo's, but leave them on the senns. You'll see why later on....

I keep my greys separate from the other colors. Also you can see I use various stumps, tortillions, brushes, razors. These all come in handy

I use a fixative on every painting I do now. I find that the Sennelier fixative gives me the best spray. It's very fine and doesn't come out in globs like some of the other brands I've tried.

I have a couple grand senns I use: White and colorless OP blender. The senn white is perfect for me. It lays down thick and can easily cover anything. The OP blender stick, I'm using more and more of that. I like how it lets me blend the mungyos a lot easier.

raizes
01-12-2018, 03:25 PM
I use a 2" and 3" inch brush. These are stiff bristle. That 2" inch brush has been with me for nearly 15 years and has seen a lot of paintings. The 3" brush I just got a month ago. I'll be using both.

Other tools...My value finder and the paper with hole cut out in middle. I don't use these as much as I used too. The paper with hole cut out comes in real handy when you want to just match color for color and block out everything else.

The value finder is helpful if you need to know which of your colors fall in the gray scale.

I also have scrap white textured paper I use to test values and colors before I apply to the painting. Also comes in hand when you want to "sharpen" an OP and create an edge for getting details in.

raizes
01-12-2018, 03:52 PM
I prefer painting on white and using Nupastels for my underpainting. They blend easy, inexpensive. Iíve also used my cray-pas op's for underpainting, Just harder to blend. Iíve done acrylic paint also.

The underpainting serves as a map for me. I study the photo first and pick out just a few colors to represent those parts for my underpainting. Keep it basic and simple. I chose a grey for my mountains and clouds, light blue for sky holes, pale yellow is good for horizon (warm color), dark green for trees, middle-value green for fields and a violet (or pink) for clouds (another warm color). I like a warm light, so I want these warm colors to help exaggerate that.

You can see how I apply the nupastels, broadside of the stick and dragging it across the paper. I simply lay in the landscape very loose and vague. You don't want details at this stage, so keep it loose and simply suggest where the mountains, clouds, fields, etc. will be. ..This will all get covered up, but these colors will come into play.

I like to build up the painting by layers. So each layer is just a little more details as you progress..

raizes
01-12-2018, 03:54 PM
I used the white stick to help lighten up the grey and lighten up the horizon

raizes
01-12-2018, 04:00 PM
The next thing I do is take my 3" brush and dry brush the surface back and forth to "set in" those nupastels. When I do this, all those "holes" go away and it smoothes out. The arches paper I'm using does very well with this technique.

raizes
01-12-2018, 04:45 PM
Now I'm ready to start with my OP's. But before I do that, I need to seal the nupastels. This is where the fixative comes into play. I do this outside. The fumes are just too much. So I take it outside and apply a healthy amount of spray and apply the fixative at about 12 inches away from the surface. I make sure I cover all areas. I then bring it back in and wait about 15 minutes to dry. Using the correct amount of fixative is something that comes with experience. You don't want too much, but enough that if you run your fingers across, you don't pick up any color.

The fixative will buckle the paper a little but it will flatten out when it's dry. Also, the colors will appear more saturated as you can see in the pic. That's good. Again, I'll be going over in a several layers and most of those values will get covered.

Sorry for left side looking so dark in the pics. We've had a few days of heavy clouds in the PNW...the studio is not as bright.

raizes
01-12-2018, 05:16 PM
Now we go in with oil pastels. I like to work top to bottom (usually) and back to front. Looking at my underpainting, I need to really tone down those saturated colors. So I grab a silver grey (light grey will work) and a light blue. These are both mungyos with papers removed. At this stage we are starting with first layers, so I'm going to use my mungyos because they are harder than the senns and I can get several layers with the mungyos w/o a fixative. In oil painting this is equivalent to "fat over lean". My senns are "fat" (soft, more oil, more saturated color). My mungyos are "lean" (not as soft, less oil, less saturated color).

I apply the mungyo broadside of the stick and simply cover the entire top half. I apply a decent amount of pressure. I do the same with the light blue where the sky holes will be and water. I then take my OP blender stick go over this several times. This puts more oil/wax to the surface and allow me to blend in the mungyo so much easier. I use my fingers and stumps to blend....This a "feel" thing. If it's not blending easy, then I apply more op blender stick

You can see in the last pic what that looks like when blended out.

raizes
01-12-2018, 05:49 PM
You can see how that silver grey pushes the values back and tones down the violet and darks.

I got some dark clouds here, so next step is to get some of that in there. I grab my medium grey and silver grey mungyo. What I do here is apply the darker grey first (broad side of stick), then go over with silver grey. Then I take a stump and blend these two values together. If its too dark, I just apply more silver grey.

At the horizon or bottom area of clouds, I blend back and forth (horizontal). And at the middle or top of clouds I do circular blend with the stump..

raizes
01-12-2018, 06:24 PM
Ok...Next thing I want to do is get some of those mountains in. I take that same medium/dark grey, and apply broad side. I'm not copying the photo exact. It's an impression. So the peaks and low points are not exact to the photo. This is not realism... Be careful to NOT make pyramids or perfect triangles with your mountains. Vary it up, just at the photo suggests.

After laying in the mountain with the grey, I realized it was too dark, so I took my silver grey and lightened it up. Also, notice my edges of the mountain are not sharp. As things set further in the distance..edges blur. I use my fingers to blur edges.

I really love the silver grey mungyo. It's my lightest mungyo value and can act like a translucent white that blends nice and corrects values.

I then put in a darker mountain on the left side and overlapped. This reinforces a sense of distance. Also left that edge sharp to further indicate that mountain is closer to us.

raizes
01-12-2018, 06:47 PM
Ok. Thats a good start. I gotta go eat and I'll be back tomorrow. Happy Friday everyone!!

tuscanny
01-12-2018, 10:38 PM
Thanks Rich for a great start!
For those of us who haven't got that oil paper I guess it's fine to use MiTeintes or even canvas?

photon
01-13-2018, 01:51 AM
This is great. Thanks for sharing Rich!

Looking forward to the rest.

terriks
01-13-2018, 12:40 PM
Wow! This is terrific already - thanks so much for the time and effort you're putting into this, Rich. And thank you, as well, Christel!

Rich, you have mentioned your dry-brush technique many times, and I've even tried it. BUT - seeing these photos, and how suddenly those darker mountain values popped into view after brushing/blending all those lighter values together - something seriously clicked in my head and I think I understand it much better now. (As an aside: There is an old photographic process called "bromoil" that calls for brushing graphic ink over a bleached-out photograph, and the photographic image comes into view by how one brushes or rolls on the ink - I've done this process many times, and and my brain is now happy with this reference.) ;)

Looking forward to more!

raizes
01-13-2018, 02:45 PM
Thanks Rich for a great start!
For those of us who haven't got that oil paper I guess it's fine to use MiTeintes or even canvas?

Thanks Christel. MiTeintes, canvas or other textured paper or surfaces will be fine. For those using a toned paper, you might need to re-adjust your values. Colors will definitely look different on toned surface vs white.

raizes
01-13-2018, 02:59 PM
Thank you Photon !

Terri - Awesome! I'm glad you can relate to it! The Nupastels and soft pastels in general blend and cover very easy. So the dry brush works great with it...Very easy to get a quick underpainting set in.

If you don't have soft pastels, and want to use your op's for the underpainting, this would not work.

raizes
01-13-2018, 03:34 PM
Next step is to get those middle hills set in. Looking at the ref photo, I can see there is a fair amount of green due to the light hitting it so strong. I need to be careful what value green I use here. I don't want it too dark and I don't want it too "green". I need like a grey/green...Looking through my mungyo's I found this Olive green that has a good amount of grey in it. Now I could use the same green I have in the fields, but definitely would need blend in some grey to bring down that value.

My intuition told me go with the Olive green and it worked. They sit back, but still appear closer than the bigger mountains. I lay that olive green down broad side of the stick and apply light pressure and blend. Quick indication of the shape and angles of mountain. No details here, just blocking it out.

After I got that in, I decided to go ahead and define the water. My light grey mungyo has a slight blue tint. I don't want white for the water or even a light blue. If the value of the water is too strong it will pop forward. My gut told me a light grey would be good and it was.

I also put in a little medium grey on that middle hill for shadow. Last pic shows the 5 mungyos I have used up to this point. Very little color, mostly grey values. It's all about getting the values right.

I find that getting the composition and values right from the beginning is very important.

raizes
01-13-2018, 04:24 PM
The left side mountain needed some green in it to make it more harmonious with the hills to it's right. So I added in that same Olive green. Very light pressure, little blending.

Moving top to bottom, the next thing is that distant tree line (closest to water). I'm not concerned about color yet. It's still about getting the correct value. I take my medium grey and apply it in horizontal motion. A fair amount of pressure here. I then take a stump and blend horizontally also, except when it comes to the tops of the trees. When I get to the top of the trees I blend it vertical so that I don't change the value of the water behind it. I study the Ref pic and make sure my tree line varies. Some trees are larger, fatter, bigger, taller, shorter, etc. So I make sure I make that look as natural as I can.

raizes
01-13-2018, 05:16 PM
Ok, moving on down. Before I put in the rest of the trees, I need to get that field in and blend out. Question is, which of my greens do I use here? I know that the green I choose needs to be "more green" than the Olive, but can't be my brightest greens. I need something in the middle where I can go either way. Where I can make it lighter or darker. So a middle green value is needed.

I wasn't sure at first so I took my test white paper and scrubbed in my Olive green and then found a Moss green #232 and scrubbed that next to it and evaluated that. That moss green is definitely warmer but not a lot. Should be ok here.

I apply the moss green broad side over the entire bottom half. Then go over very generous with the OP Blender stick and then blend out with a stump. I leave the bottom portion less blended. If it's not blending easy, then I apply for OP blender stick.

raizes
01-13-2018, 05:40 PM
Ok, so after I got that field in, I immediately realized I have a value problem. That distant tree line is not reading right, it's too light compared to the moss green in front. I guess there are two way to fix this...

#1. lighten up the field. or #2. make the tree line darker.

I chose 2. Make the tree line darker. So i grab my medium grey and go over again with pressure to put more pigment down.. I do not blend here. I want that darker value and blending makes values lighter.. At this stage I also put in a little bit of detail to indicate distant palm trees. You can see that tree line has different shapes indicating different types of trees.

This is normal to have to re-adjust values when placing colors next to each other.

raizes
01-13-2018, 06:19 PM
Now I'm ready to put in the rest of the trees. I take that same medium grey and create straight lines. The lines will get wider as they come closer to the viewer. They also vanish to same point near horizon. If you need ruler or straight edge to make straight lines, then do it. It's most important to get this perspective correct.

I fill in between the lines with circular motion and decent amount of pressure.

Now, lets say that my ref pic didn't have these diagonal tree lines and instead was just an empty field. What I would do then is just add trees, or buildings, or maybe a meandering river or trail in that same diagonal direction to help with this composition. As an artist, I advise to not copy photos to exact. Make the changes to correct composition if needed.

One other point I want to make. You can see in one photo that I have my ref pic right next to my painting, and the ref pic is much smaller. I do this on purpose so that I don't see as many details. I don't want to see details because then my mind wants to put them in, so if my ref pic is small, then the eye doesn't pick out details and I can more easily get the values and composition correct.. This comes with experience. What I do a lot now is just look at my ref pic on my iphone (Small screen). Sometimes I'll print it out, but my print out will be small.

raizes
01-13-2018, 07:03 PM
Ok, so I got the trees in and fairly happy with that. Studying the ref pic I can see that as the field recedes and gets closer to the sun rays, it gets lighter in value. I think I also just need to tone down that moss green some more. So I want to go ahead and indicate that now.

I take my light grey #245, apply broad side with medium/light pressure over the fields, but not over the trees. We will highlight the trees later on.. Any light value would work here. I could have used my silver grey or light blue at this step. I blend it in and then evaluate. I feel I need to even go lighter value right at that vanishing point of the tree lines. I know that the light coming down is strong and the fields there do appear that way. So I take that same light grey and push that area lighter.

raizes
01-13-2018, 07:33 PM
Nice..so far, so good!. Well, where there is light, there is dark also. Light and shadow.

Being that this is also a fairly overcast scene with some dark clouds, I need to find a nice dark color to indicate that, and it will also help with making the light even stronger and brighter. So I need a dark color...but not black. I hardly use black. What I find with black is that it flattens out. So a dark blue, dark brown, or dark green is what I'm looking for.

Going through my palette, I do not have a suitable dark mungyo. But do have a very dark green Sennelier #87. First time using a senn, up to this point it's been all mungyo.

I apply the senn perpendicular to the paper in a circular motion, If I want darker I just add pressure. I apply the dark green over all of the closer/larger trees and also to some of the trees in the distance...but not all. I also added in some additional trees to vary up the diagonal lines, but still keeping the perspective. If I were to add that dark green to every tree line, even the distant ones, it would flatten out my scene. So I vary that and careful to not go too dark at those distant trees.

raizes
01-13-2018, 07:49 PM
Here's another tip...I hear a lot that with oil pastels, it can be a challenge to get details or lines if you need.

Here's how I handle that. I take my op stick (mungyo or senn). I'm using my senn #87 for this example and hold it perpendicular to a heavy textured paper, (sand paper would work too). I then rub back and forth until I see a nice sharp edge. I can then use that edge to draw a line - tree branches, grass, straight edges on buildings, water lines, etc.

When it gets dull, then I just sharpen it again with same process.

raizes
01-13-2018, 07:59 PM
I think thats good for today. Here's where I'm at and it's coming along quite well. I feel that I'm at a turning point with this painting. It's starting to become it's own now. The composition and values are working, and there is enough here for me to continue without looking at my ref pic all that much.

Next will be working on the sky :clap: :clap: That should be fun! It will be challenge but so enjoyable as it comes together. I'll be back tomorrow for a bit. Sunday is busy day at our household, so we'll see. If not tomorrow, then Monday.

I will check back to see if there are any questions. Thanks everyone!

tuscanny
01-13-2018, 10:50 PM
Thanks Rich! I've started on mine and will show soon:crossfingers:

terriks
01-13-2018, 10:51 PM
Thank you Photon !

Terri - Awesome! I'm glad you can relate to it! The Nupastels and soft pastels in general blend and cover very easy. So the dry brush works great with it...Very easy to get a quick underpainting set in.

If you don't have soft pastels, and want to use your op's for the underpainting, this would not work.
Yes - I realized as I looked further that the Nupastels are actually soft pastels, which explains why they blend so readily with the brush (as opposed to Cray Pas or any other OP, I suppose). I do happen to have a set of Faber-Castell soft pastels, which I've used only sparingly in hand coloring (always preferred oils). They have the advantage of being squared, like the Nupastels, so I am hopeful they will spread as nicely when I want to try this technique again. The dry-brush technique has been somewhat helpful on OP's, the edges do soften, but nothing as dramatically as what you have demonstrated here with the soft pastels- and now I can fully appreciate why. This also explains why the Senns workable fix spray caused such a deepening of colors after you sprayed your underpainting.

It's all been extremely interesting and useful info. The devil is in the details, right? ;) And this is what you're supplying here, which is so helpful as you walk us through your process.

I really appreciate all the extra tips! The trick of rolling the soft OP's like Senns onto paper to get a flat edge is something I thought I was very clever to have thought about doing. It's very nice to see an experienced artist doing the same thing and let me know I'm on the right track. And, I love the little cut-out window trick, too - will definitely be using that one!

Looking forward to seeing more.

tuscanny
01-14-2018, 08:22 AM
My go at the landscape so far, 11x8, and I decided to try out a gessoed masonite board:lol: Not enough gesso leaving way too much texture - oh well.
I found using a brush with my softies lifted the softies rather than spread them, so back to using my fingers for that.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Jan-2018/1256189-DSC_5582.jpg
My first day of the oil pastels trying to achieve reasonable colors as I don't have all the colors as mentioned
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Jan-2018/1256189-DSC_5583.jpg
It does look as if the painting needs much more ops to cover all those holes.

raizes
01-14-2018, 01:28 PM
Terri - Those soft pastels should work. Before I went to nupastels, I was using a cheap set of soft pastels with only like 8 colors. It did the job!. What I like about the nupastels is less dust and they stick to the paper better.

The dust of soft pastels is the reason I chose oil pastels instead. I needed something less messy and the idea of continually cleaning up the dust turned me off. Not only that, but I'm sure those dust particles get breathed in, and could pose some serious health problems over time.

raizes
01-14-2018, 01:35 PM
It's looking great Christel. I'm so happy you're painting along side with me! Your fields and tree lines are looking great! I like that yellow that you have in there. Warms it up, and looks very attractive next to your distant mountains.

raizes
01-14-2018, 01:38 PM
Hey everyone! I'm just checking in. I love the questions and feedback and also seeing Christel's version is inspiring. I'm not sure if I'll have time to paint today. I hope I can!

terriks
01-14-2018, 03:42 PM
Terri - Those soft pastels should work. Before I went to nupastels, I was using a cheap set of soft pastels with only like 8 colors. It did the job!. What I like about the nupastels is less dust and they stick to the paper better.

The dust of soft pastels is the reason I chose oil pastels instead. I needed something less messy and the idea of continually cleaning up the dust turned me off. Not only that, but I'm sure those dust particles get breathed in, and could pose some serious health problems over time. Rich, thanks for the comments. I have read that soft pastels can put out a lot of dust and inhaling them over time is a genuine concern. I want to try this Faber brand since I have them, and see if they lift off as easily with the brush technique as the ones Christel was using in her version up there. If they do, I'll be back to all-OP's as well! I also have soft pastel pencil sets, but can't imagine they'd be much use in broad applications like this.

I'm following along with great interest - not certain I'll have time this week to give over to starting this, but we'll see. Either way, I'm really enjoying this thread.

terriks
01-14-2018, 03:44 PM
Christel, looks like you're off to a great start! So your soft pastels lifted right off the board with the dry brush? I fear that's what might happen with this brand I have, but it could be the Arches Oil Paper is helping them settle in, too. If I find I do have time to devote to this, I will reach for one of those sheets to find out.

purpletrader
01-14-2018, 04:36 PM
Rich, great tutorial. I was wondering how you manage to keep track of which OP you are using with the labels removed. I have managed to use the wrong one even without the labels removed.

Ed

tuscanny
01-14-2018, 10:29 PM
Thanks Rich and Terri. The green was too blue/green and I used my golden yellow ochre.

raizes
01-15-2018, 12:58 PM
Rich, thanks for the comments. I have read that soft pastels can put out a lot of dust and inhaling them over time is a genuine concern. I want to try this Faber brand since I have them, and see if they lift off as easily with the brush technique as the ones Christel was using in her version up there. If they do, I'll be back to all-OP's as well! I also have soft pastel pencil sets, but can't imagine they'd be much use in broad applications like this.

I'm following along with great interest - not certain I'll have time this week to give over to starting this, but we'll see. Either way, I'm really enjoying this thread.

Terri- if they lift off easy, then you can certainly just re-apply or use more pressure, and maybe just less brush work. I'm really glad you're enjoying this thread and following along, it helps to hear that feedback and gives me confidence to do more tutorials in future. Yesterday I spent some time online looking at cameras for taking live video. I really want to make some youtube videos. Just need to get a better camera and light setup. My iphone is just not the right setup.

raizes
01-15-2018, 01:09 PM
Rich, great tutorial. I was wondering how you manage to keep track of which OP you are using with the labels removed. I have managed to use the wrong one even without the labels removed.

Ed

Hi Ed, Thanks for following along! When I paint, I pick out the sticks I use and then keep them together as my current palette for that painting. So they are separate from my overall palette. Hope that makes sense. I also keep all my greys separate.

I also have a list of all the colors in my mungyo and sennelier set along side with corresponding numbers. Very helpful when you need to re-order. For example, I know I go through pale yellow, silver grey, light blue, light/medium/dark greys and a light pink more often than my other colors, so I have ordered extra of those and have plenty of backups

terriks
01-15-2018, 06:53 PM
Rich, I will be interested in your YouTube videos, definitely! But these are very good photos and explanations, too.

I think I'll work with the Arches paper again when I try working with soft pastels, since you're showing good results with it. As much as I enjoy trying new papers, it's funny to think I started with the Arches and felt I should explore since no one else ever mentioned it. :lol:

raizes
01-16-2018, 02:52 PM
Rich, I will be interested in your YouTube videos, definitely! But these are very good photos and explanations, too.

I think I'll work with the Arches paper again when I try working with soft pastels, since you're showing good results with it. As much as I enjoy trying new papers, it's funny to think I started with the Arches and felt I should explore since no one else ever mentioned it. :lol:

Terri, I think it's great that you try different papers or support. That's a great way to increase skill level. Had I just stuck to my canson or strathmore, I would have never pushed myself to try different techniques. By trying other papers, it forced me to use the oil pastels in different ways and I learned a lot that way.

raizes
01-16-2018, 03:04 PM
Hey everyone! Yesterday was busy, and I had just little time to paint. I did make some great progress late last night and again this morning. My painting is actually finished, so I'm gonna post the remaining steps. I find that I really need to just flow through a painting...too much stop and go and I loose the energy, flow and mojo.

There's something about letting that energy and feeling let loose.

These next post are about getting that sky in and remaining details. My sky will go through many changes as I evaluate and re-work to my liking and satisfaction.

Ok. here we go. To get going in the sky I grab my Silver grey mungyo (my lightest mungyo value). I make circular motions in middle and top of clouds and horizontal motions toward base or bottom of clouds. Very light pressure here. I then blend carefully and light with my fingers. I'm not using the stumps, just my fingers. I can get nice "cloud-like" softness with fingers much easier than with stumps.

raizes
01-16-2018, 03:07 PM
You can see how the silver grey looks. But I need to go lighter than that to capture the strong sun light. I grab my Senn white and carefully hit the tops of clouds in circular motion. Sennelier white is really strong and opaque, You don't need a lot. I then blend with fingers.

raizes
01-16-2018, 03:26 PM
While in the sky I needed to touch the part underneath that is closest to horizon of the water. I use my light grey #245 (same value I used in water) and apply that. In the second pic, you can see where those colors sit and how they look together. Use my thumb to blend in the light grey and use a horizontal back and forth motion to blend.

Tip: Fingers need to be clean when working in the sky. Any residue color from the foreground will show up. I also use all my fingers, even the pinky. I just make sure that before I touch the sky, that my fingers are clean. I like using disinfecting wipes to clean my hands before each application if needed.

raizes
01-16-2018, 03:36 PM
I then take my medium grey mungyo and reinforce the darks of the clouds. Very light circular motion and blend with fingers. Second pic shows what that looks like. I'm not close to done with the sky at this point. Wasn't satisfied with it yet.

raizes
01-16-2018, 03:51 PM
Time for some 2" brush action. I take that (make sure it's clean first), and apply in back and forth horizontal motion. Very light pressure. I'm not really pressing down on the surface. I go back and forth over the entire sky for a few minutes. You will see it change before your eyes. It's very subtle, but the values will change and the sky will push back some.

I paint standing up and work about 12-24 inches from surface. I continually step back about 5-6 feet to see the painting as whole. I also will blur my vision or squint my eyes to see how it reads. Very important for me (impressionist) to make sure it's all working from about 5-6 feet back. So it's kinda like a dance. I work for a few minutes, then step back and evaluate, then work again, then step back...I do this over and over and over.

raizes
01-16-2018, 04:05 PM
Alright...so far so good. Time to get those sun rays in. I take my mungyo silver grey, hold it broadside of the stick against the surface and carefully, using light pressure make straight lines. Very careful.

I imagine the sun is off and above the painting and then do my best to make straight lines as it spans across the scene.

raizes
01-16-2018, 04:18 PM
I blend in the sun rays with my fingers and makes sure that the texture is smooth. I also flip the stick in more horizontal fashion and pull down with light pressure, but not all the way to the mountains. Then blend again with fingers....

raizes
01-16-2018, 04:31 PM
As I was working in the sun-rays, I was also affecting the values of mountains underneath and in distance. I use my medium grey and touch up the tops of the distant mountains, and then blend down. I do the same with the Mungyo Olive green for the middle hills.

raizes
01-16-2018, 04:39 PM
More work in the sky. I reinforce highlighted clouds with the senn white and also remove one of the sun rays so I can see the highest peek in distant mountains..

When I use the senn white, it's very light pressure followed by light blending downward using my fingers. I try to keep top of the clouds untouched to keep it bright as possible.

terriks
01-16-2018, 05:03 PM
This is an excellent tutorial. So many intricate steps! Heck, I find it very intrusive on my own developing "work flow" to stop and grab a WIP shot - I can only imagine how laborious this task is. So different from your fast & loose style of completing a painting in one sitting!

It is greatly appreciated. My week is getting away from me as far as time to get going on this (or anything!), but I am so glad to know this tutorial will just be here for us. Thanks again.

I'm glad to note you have referred to the Senns white as your lightest value - I have thought for some time that it's the brightest white of any set I have. The Mungyo white is not nearly as clean or opaque, and I've reached for the Senn to go over it more than once. Not my imagination!

I also like seeing some of these extra Mungyo colors that aren't included in my initial 48-color set. I love the Mungyo grays! But that silver gray is missing, and so is that tantalizing ice blue. Yum!

Where do you find your open stock Mungyos? All I've seen at Jerry's are 6-packs of the same color, and I'm hesitant to do that yet.

raizes
01-16-2018, 05:39 PM
Thanks Terri! I really appreciate the encouragement. There are tons of steps...and the way I work, the painting can make lots of changes. It's all about that feeling, that just can't be taught. I think a video where I can just flow through it would be most helpful...I'm working on that.

I get my open stock mungyos from jerry's artarama. Here is direct link -> http://www.jerrysartarama.com/drawing-illustration/pastels/oil-pastels/mungyo-gallery-artist-soft-oil-pastels

The 72 count box I bought initially was like $60.

raizes
01-16-2018, 05:58 PM
Ok. so enough with the sky for now...I'll return to it because it's not done yet. But what I need to do now is illustrate where in the scene those light rays hit. Also, it's good for me to move around the painting and not get stuck in one spot for too long..

Looking at the Ref pic, I know I need a warmer green. So I go through my set and find a Sennelier #46 and then test that on my practice sheet. There you can see how that green looks against the other two I've already used. I use very light pressure when applying the Senn and blend in. Last pic shows what that looks like. My goal here is to warm up the parts of the hill where the sun hits.

raizes
01-16-2018, 06:10 PM
Ok. so that's better, but I really want a warm light and it's just not there yet. So I need a warmer green. I find Senn #205 (very warm and light) and give that a try. I tested it first on my practice sheet.

I make sure I apply that very light and loose, providing breaks so that it indicates a sense of terrain..

raizes
01-16-2018, 06:43 PM
Hmm...still not quite right. I want warmer. I want that light to really sing to the viewer. I do not have another green that would work here. Looking through my set I find a mungyo #203 Orangish yellow. I love this color for sunsets and it's my goto for that. So I grab that (gut instinct) and my sapphire blue #220.

Why these colors? Because a warm value sitting next to a cool value makes your right brain hemisphere very happy. And it's all about that... I'll use that orange and pop that sunlight and use the blue for shadow.. That's what I do here and wow....instant love! Always need to keep in mind, where there is light, there is shadow. Don't be afraid to step "out of the box" and try values you would not think would work.

I also apply that same blue to the distant trees to bring the middle section together.. Definitely works here.

I use a diagonal stroke with the blue to match the same diagonal stroke of the orange. I know those hills have terrain.

raizes
01-16-2018, 07:04 PM
So I really like that middle section now, but it's not harmonious with the foreground. I need some of that warmth in the fields too. This will help tie these two parts together. The grassy fields are a little bit further away from the light so I don't want to use that same orangish yellow. Looking through my set I find my Ochre (like a dirty orange), still warm but not as much as the orangish yellow. I apply that with light pressure to the fields, but only the top half. So as the fields recede in the distance and get closer to the light they get warmer.

I also don't blend it. I want the fields to have textured look because they are closer to us. That broken color is perfect to make that work. As a result it looks like the sun is sparkling off the field.

raizes
01-16-2018, 07:29 PM
So now that I got the middle section and nearest fields to my liking...I need to also bring that same warmth to the sky. Pink is a great color for this., but not my brightest pink.

I find a Mungyo light purple violet (has a pink tint to it) and apply that over the greys in the clouds. Very light pressure in circular motion. Sorry, I don't know the exact number for this stick. Any light purple with a pinkish tint would work.

You can see in the last pic how I applied that and where it went.

I also dry brush the middle section again to help set it back some. Very subtle...Making sure my brush is clean before I use it here.

raizes
01-16-2018, 07:39 PM
So now that I got the middle section and nearest fields to my liking...I need to also bring that same warmth to the sky. Pink is a great color for this., but not my brightest pink.

I find a Mungyo light purple violet (has a pink tint to it) and apply that over the greys in the clouds. Very light pressure in circular motion. Sorry, I don't know the exact number for this stick. Any light purple with a pinkish tint would work.

You can see in the last pic how I applied that and where it went.

I also dry brush the middle section again to help set it back some. Very subtle...Making sure my brush is clean before I use it here.

raizes
01-16-2018, 07:40 PM
Oops. double post here.

raizes
01-16-2018, 07:46 PM
Sorry about the double post. Lots of steps here...

Moving on. Evaluating my sky and mountains, I need to bring some warmth to those distant mountains. I know that as objects get closer to light or the sun , they get warmer in value. This holds true for mountains, clouds, trees, buildings too.

I use my salmon pink to very lightly add some warmth to the tops of peaks of the distant mountain. Very careful to not overdue it.

raizes
01-16-2018, 08:05 PM
I'm liking how it's working...Those sun rays need to be warm too. I need a yellow for that. I take my Mungyo Pale Yellow # 243 (one of my fav's) and also my Sennelier brush #12 (perfect for getting into tight places). I load that brush by scrubbing it with good pressure against the pale yellow. I get as much pigment as I can on the brush....and then apply that directly where the light rays are. I do this a few times for each light ray. Reloading the brush between each one.
That pale yellow really works here. I also touch some of that pale yellow to where it hits the hills as you can see in last pic.

The bristles on the Senn brush are really soft. Not stiff like the 2 and 3 inch brush I have. It works great to move pigment around in tight places and has a nice soft effect.

raizes
01-16-2018, 08:15 PM
At this point I made a judgement call to change up the clouds to a little bit more dramatic. I used my senn white and medium grey to simulate light piercing through a heavy dark cloud barrier. I played around with this a bit...

I also added some very slight highlights to tops of trees in nearest foreground.

raizes
01-16-2018, 08:25 PM
Further playing in the clouds....Going for more drama here.

You can see the colors I've used in the sky. I also dry brush several times after I change something in the sky to help set it back. So I apply color, blend with fingers and then dry brush back and forth.

raizes
01-16-2018, 08:35 PM
Almost there kids.

Just gotta wrap up the foreground and put in final details. I grab a nice dark green, Senn. #87 and very loose scribble in trees at the bottom corner areas. I try to convey branches..etc. But I keep it loose. I do not want tight details here because then the eye will get stuck in the corners and bottom. So it's very loose and very impressionist.

At this point I clean up my 2" brush and start blurring out the edges on both sides, bottom and corner. I like this effect and how it focuses the eye. Kinda gives it movement too

raizes
01-16-2018, 08:43 PM
Final details. I added in two closer buildings with a dark shade. Also added in slight fence lines and highlights to bottom trees.

Very little to no blending in foreground...I like the broken color. That alone acts like details and tricks the mind.

raizes
01-16-2018, 08:58 PM
Here it is. Finally done! :clap: :clap: :clap:

Included some close-ups as well.

I'm sure it seems like a ton of steps, but trust me, I move very quick through all of it. A painting like this typically takes me close to 3 hours. I do take breaks and wip shots along the way.

As I paint, I'm continually checking my work from about 5-6 feet away. Very important you do that to not get tunnel vision.

I really enjoyed doing this, even though it was a very laborious process of taking, resizing pics and the annotation. Next time though..it's gonna be a video on youtube and I'll just post the link...

I hope it was enjoyable for you all as well, and hope you got some things out of it.

I'm gonna go have a beer and watch a basketball game now...:lol: :lol: :lol:

terriks
01-16-2018, 10:58 PM
Beautiful result! Thanks again for all the extra details. It's a mite overwhelming atm for a beginner like me. My brain gets exactly what you're doing, but to translate that to my own brain and flowing from my own hands remains the challenge. ;) But practice, practice, practice!

Thank you so much, and I am looking forward to the first youtube!

tuscanny
01-16-2018, 11:24 PM
Wow! Thanks for a super tutorial, Rich. Now to get my painting finished too.

tuscanny
01-17-2018, 07:30 AM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Jan-2018/1256189-7.5x11_rich_arriagada_ops_tutorial.jpg

raizes
01-17-2018, 01:16 PM
Beautiful Christel! I love your version and those light rays are perfect! I like how they come from top of the painting. Really nice and loose impressionistic feel.

tuscanny
01-17-2018, 10:36 PM
Thanks Rich!

ntl
01-17-2018, 11:26 PM
Super tutorial, thanks. Great instruction, wonderful detailing. Beautiful finish!
I hope to have a go at it, soon. Thanks.

talinka
01-18-2018, 04:35 AM
Hi Rich,
Thanks for the excellent tutorial! It was very interesting to see your work process. Interesting that you use the prismacolor sticks for a first layer, do you always use them? are they good and opaque to use on a colored surface? Why do you block them in before adding the OPs, do they blend with the OPS if you don't? I have the sennelier fixative, my experience is that it leaves a sticky feel to the painting, what's your take on it? How long do you leave it to dry, perhaps I used it wrong. Also, I'm interested how you clean the brushes after use. Do you have to use turpentine? Sorry about all the questions, it's fun to pick your brain... :-)

raizes
01-18-2018, 12:38 PM
ntl - Thank you! I appreciate that and would love to see your version!

Tali - Thank you! I've been using the prismacolor sticks for the last couple months. I really like that they produce far less dust than the cheapo soft pastels I was using. Since I like to paint on white surface (paper or board), they work great for that. I have not used them on toned paper. I don't think they are opaque enough for that. Perfect for white.

I block them in with fixative because they are dusty and I don't want the particles to mix in with my op's. I have gotten that sticky feel with the senn fixative before. I think it's because I just sprayed on too much. What I try to do now is very light applications a little bit at a time....let it dry and then add more if needed.

When I do that first spray with the fix over the prismacolor sticks I put on a healthy amount and it's not sticky. I think soft pastels absorb it. It has a nice gritty texture to it which is wonderful to work with.

When I use a fixative as a final spray to protect the painting, I have to be careful and not overdue it, otherwise I get that sticky feel. I also try to let the painting dry out for week or two before. I think might have something to do with it too.

To clean my brush I use those disinfecting wipes and clean with those. It does a great job cleaning the brush (no turp, or water/soap needed). I just use those wipes and clean thoroughly and then dry with cloth rag.

I love the questions and engagement :)

terriks
01-18-2018, 03:23 PM
Christel, wonderful job with this painting! Your sun rays are beautiful.

tuscanny
01-18-2018, 10:39 PM
Thanks Terri. I was very careful not to overdo it.

Trier
01-20-2018, 11:04 AM
Thanks Rich!

This has helped me in a big way, and I can appreciate the great amount of effort it took to 'produce' this.

I think this should be a permanent 'sticky' so that other beginners can easily find it.

An excellent contribution.

Regards,
Trier

raizes
01-21-2018, 11:16 AM
Thank you Trier! I'm happy it helped you. I'm not sure how to make it a sticky, but I think that's a good idea... Perhaps Christel knows how to do that.

tuscanny
01-21-2018, 12:11 PM
Trier - there is a subforum for oil pastel tutorials at here (]http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=433) and I'll move it there in time.
Rich - your thread is stickied already:)

La Pelouiniere
02-10-2018, 11:48 AM
Thank you so much for such hard work and it was so helpful and informative. Absolutely great.:heart:

PATFROMSA
02-11-2018, 02:02 AM
I'm learning such a lot - thank you so much. Never thought of using soft pastels as an underpainting but will definitely give it a try. Instead of using Sennelier fixative over the soft pastels (which in my country is uber-expensive) do you think hairspray would do the same job?

Thanks so much for sharing. Looking forward to the next installment.
Pat

tuscanny
02-11-2018, 09:17 AM
Hairspray has been used extensively for soft pastels until someone found out that it adversely affects the paper due to the oils in the hairspray. I use a thinned solution of Tough as Nails Varnish from Creative Talents.

raizes
02-11-2018, 03:05 PM
La Pelouiniere - I'm very happy it was helpful. Thank you!

Pat - Thank you! I've never used hairspray, but I've read from others that have. I don't know how it would work. As Christel has said, it might damage the paper. I guess you could try it and see how it works for you. Maybe it would work on thicker paper and a very careful application

JenieJo
05-29-2018, 04:23 AM
Ok. Thats a good start. I gotta go eat and I'll be back tomorrow. Happy Friday everyone!!

This is wonderful. I am just starting to use oil pastels. You are answering a lot of my questions and saving me lots of trial and error time.

Thank you.

JenieJo
05-29-2018, 04:43 PM
Ok. Thats a good start. I gotta go eat and I'll be back tomorrow. Happy Friday everyone!!
I have completed atepa up to here. Just have to say ... I hate landscapes, never do them because they all look ordinary. Last night ... Creating the background worked. :clap: My blending technique offers new opportunities. :)

Many thanks