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Rosic
11-13-2003, 11:16 PM
Hey everybody... here is my latest work with oil pastels. I am thoroughly enjoying OP's and hope to get a decent set as a Christmas present from Santa.:D

Coffee brewed its way into American hearths during the Colonial period after the first license to sell coffee in the colonies was given to a woman named Dorothy Jones. During the American Civil War, Confederates who could not receive coffee shipments substituted it with chicory, rye, potatoes, persimmons, peas, and okra, to name a few. Coffee could command up to $20 per pound due to it's scarcity in the south. It is no wonder that Confederate soldiers would often cross enemy lines to swap southern tobacco for Yankee coffee risking their lives for a real cup.

I am working on this one from a photo I took and included in the reference library... Civil War Period Still Life. (http://www.wetcanvas.com/RefLib/showphoto.php?photo=16523&papass=&sort=4) I still plan to put in the eyeglasses and finish the book but am quite slow so I wanted to share what I have so far. Any and all critiques and comments are welcome... I'm here to learn.

Thanks...
Rosic

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Nov-2003/17108-coffeewc.JPG
8x10 / gessoed masonite / oil pastels / 11-03 / WIP @ 6 hours

Stoy Jones
11-14-2003, 12:09 AM
Mmmm..I do love chicory in my coffee! and I'm not Creole either :D. I haven't worked in OPs before so, can't comment on that. I really like the "felt" look you have done on the background! And the colors work well together. I can tell you are enjoying them by the results you are getting so far. Keep up the great job!

Stoy

christmascarolnz
11-14-2003, 01:13 AM
Hi Rosic - that was an interesting piece of history. We have chicory growing as a weed along our roadside...and in our paddock. I have sometimes wondered about whether I should uproot it and try drying and grinding the root...such pretty blue flowers too.
I had a look at your photo ref. Nice shot. Are you going to be true to the colours in the photo? Like the golden orangey colours? Is it easy to go over your op's like soft pastels?
The only thing I see that differs a tiny bit is the placement of the N being closer to the cord than the photo - but that is minor and not going to change the feeling of the painting.
This is going to be a lovely. What do you plan to do with it?
Cheers,
Carol

Dark_Shades
11-14-2003, 02:18 AM
Loved the history ........ and your photo..... I believe I have that already in my favourites...... dont know anything about OP's..... but what I do know is, I like this very, very much...... and I especially like the mug......... I think its fanstatic :clap: ....... cant wait to see your updates

well done

E-J
11-14-2003, 02:45 AM
Rosic, the tin cup and flask are excellent. I don't have anything useful to say, just looking forward to seeing the finish. It is hard to believe you're new to op's!

Kathryn Wilson
11-14-2003, 05:54 AM
Rosic: What a wonderful painting this is already! And in only 6 hours - that is astonishing. The only thing that throws me off is the canteen - it seems the elipses are not quite round, but then I viewed the photo and that's just how it looks too. Is it just an illusion??

You are handling those OP's well and if this is what you can do with an inferior set of pastels, imagine what you could do with a set of Holbeins!

Can you give us a short description of how you went about starting this painting?? For example, did you do an underpainting? What colors are dominant?? Are you layering or using terps to thin down. We gotta know!! :D

sundiver
11-14-2003, 07:00 AM
This has a very painterly look, very classy.
I've never tried o.p.s on masonite. What's it like to work on? Have you used other surfaces for o.p., and if so, how do they compare?

Rosic
11-14-2003, 08:33 AM
Hey ya'll...
Lots of great questions you have given me that I must answer another time... off to work. Hope to tackle them all sometime today/tonight. Thanks for taking the time to look.
Rosic

soap
11-14-2003, 10:30 AM
Wow - you are good in what I want to become good at: expression of materials and surfaces. That velvet is velvety, and that jug..........aaaoooh.....is real copper. Wonderful job. Love it.

Rosic
11-14-2003, 03:32 PM
Originally posted by christmascarolnz
Hi Rosic - that was an interesting piece of history. We have chicory growing as a weed along our roadside...and in our paddock. I have sometimes wondered about whether I should uproot it and try drying and grinding the root...such pretty blue flowers too.

They still use the roots for coffee and tea here in North Carolina... doesn't taste bad either... must confess that I have only tried the store bought variety and never had the homemade stuff.

Originally posted by christmascarolnz

I had a look at your photo ref. Nice shot. Are you going to be true to the colours in the photo? Like the golden orangey colours? Is it easy to go over your op's like soft pastels?

I was happy getting the colors as close as I did (I have very little experience with OP's as well as color period). I find it pretty easy to do layers with the OP's... in fact... I think the trick is to keep working layer upon layer and then things begin to unfold and develop.


Originally posted by christmascarolnz

The only thing I see that differs a tiny bit is the placement of the N being closer to the cord than the photo - but that is minor and not going to change the feeling of the painting.
This is going to be a lovely. What do you plan to do with it?
Cheers,
Carol

To be honest with you once the "N" (the N.C. is for North Carolina by the way) was in place I noticed the difference but kept it that way because it seemed to work with the folds of the coffee sack. I do plan to make a few more changes a little different from the photo... mainly the book title and markings. The book in the photo is "Casey's Infantry Tactics" which was used mainly by the federal army... can't have that now can I? Will probably make it a Testament... not sure yet. Carol... glad you liked it and thanks for your observations and kind words.

Thanks EVERYONE!:clap:
Hope to knock out a few more questions as I get time at work today.

Rosic

eileenclaire
11-14-2003, 03:36 PM
Rosic,

I'm so glad you're doing this WIP. I am learning how to use OP's and will be watching how you complete this beautiful picture. How will you put the glasses in? Will you scratch it out? What brand of OP's do you intend to buy? I'm thinking about getting a better set, right now I've got the Sakura Expressionist. Looking forward to hearing your answers to everyone's posts!

Eileen

Rosic
11-14-2003, 03:46 PM
Originally posted by Dark_Shades
I like this very, very much...... and I especially like the mug......... I think its fanstatic :clap: ....... cant wait to see your updates

well done

Thanks Dark Shades! I must confess the tin cup is my favorite part of this piece... in fact it's the part that made me stick this one out. I've noticed with my very little experience that one should not be disillusioned when the work looks like 'Crap" to begin with... stick it out and the layers start coming to life. The cup colors (in the painting) look exactly like the one I use in real life. I am a Civil War reenactor and we cook coffee on an open fire with our tin cups.

Rosic
11-14-2003, 04:10 PM
Originally posted by kyle
The only thing that throws me off is the canteen - it seems the elipses are not quite round, but then I viewed the photo and that's just how it looks too. Is it just an illusion??

The only thing I can think it may be Kat is camera lens distortion when I took the original photo. The canteen may have been propped on something behind it thus having a slight lean that would cause this... but it was some time back and I just can't remember.

Originally posted by kyle

You are handling those OP's well and if this is what you can do with an inferior set of pastels, imagine what you could do with a set of Holbeins!

Is that the brand you recommend? Making my wish list up soon! LOL!


Originally posted by kyle

Can you give us a short description of how you went about starting this painting?? For example, did you do an underpainting? What colors are dominant?? Are you layering or using terps to thin down. We gotta know!! :D

Kat... no special recipes here... I simply don't know enough about pastels period to have developed a style or technique. I'm reading all I can from you guys and you all are helping me more than you know. This painting was simply done by sketching out the piece in charcoal and then I started adding the dominate colors of each item. A lot of finger smudging and blending... no thinners used. Then I went crazy adding colors and smudging some more. I wish I would have taken photos from the get go but I never intended this to be a WIP. The first few layers looked quite boring and unskilled... (at this point my two year old sweetie, Olivia, could have done a better job)... but I kept layering and then something shocked me... the cup actually looked real!... couldn't stop there so I prodded on.

Thanks for your comments and critiques as always!
Rosic

Rosic
11-14-2003, 04:54 PM
Originally posted by sundiver
This has a very painterly look, very classy.
I've never tried o.p.s on masonite. What's it like to work on? Have you used other surfaces for o.p., and if so, how do they compare?

Thanks Sundiver...
I like the masonite because of it's rigidity... because I find myself blending those op's pretty hard with my fingers. I prepare the surface with a 50/50 gessoe/water mix which gives a good texture and holds the pastels great. Check out this thread for details about the masonite:Has anyone tried this surface? . (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=144329)
Sorry I can't make a comparison of surfaces for you... this is only my second OP and the first was on masonite too.
Thanks again!
Rosic

Rosic
11-14-2003, 05:11 PM
Originally posted by eileenclaire
How will you put the glasses in? Will you scratch it out?

Thanks Eileen... to be honest with you I'm scared to put the glasses in. Compositionally it will balance the piece better but I am not quite confident enough to try it. But what the heck... that's how we learn... not quite sure the technique I'll use but I'll be sure to post the results.

I have a confession to make to you all... the reason this is a WIP is because I knew I would chicken out when it came to adding the glasses... but I knew you all would hold me accountable and help me through it.

Originally posted by eileenclaire

What brand of OP's do you intend to buy?
Eileen

Open for suggestions... leaning towards the Holbeins from what I read in the Q&A forum.

christmascarolnz
11-14-2003, 05:56 PM
Rosic thank you for answering our questions. 'tis a great way for us all to learn.
I tried op's but became frustrated with them. I must get back to trying them again once I clear my easel. (Sounds good aye? Not really though - just too many 'UFO's)
Have a go at the glasses. To paint something new is an eye opener. (pardon the punn). You will be surprised how some simple strokes can make something shiny look good.
Why don't you grid them up, sketch and transfer them onto your painting? That way you get the proportions and perspective correct, plus get to learn how to draw them. Maybe cut out the sketched shape from your paper and just work with the outlines. You should be able to faintly scratch the lines in. Use a ruler on the painting to get the straight lines correct - esp. for shiny bits that are straight.
When I do my tracings on large paintings I cut out what I've already finished from the sketch and work with what is left...that way when my pastel outlines have got smudged I can re-do them or check what I have done.
I hope this helps you.
Cheers,
Carol

Rosic
11-14-2003, 06:04 PM
Carol...
You have made some great points that never dawned on me. Thanks!

Anyone else got any suggestions?

Unfortunately I won't be able to work on the piece tonight...
just plain tired:o ...

CarlyHardy
11-14-2003, 06:43 PM
You're doing a beautiful job with the subject. The painting takes on an almost antique feel.

One thing you might want to check is the bright fold in the fabric which drapes down in the center over the subject. Toning it down a bit would push it back and give more focus on the objects.

Hope to see your finished painting! I keep thinking I'll do something with my oil pastels and when I see work like this, my fingers get itchy!
carly :)

Dyin
11-15-2003, 10:38 PM
Rosic..you are doing an awesome job with this WIP...don't be afraid of the glasses...the glass is so clear in the ref that I don't see any reflections...I don't which OPs you are using...but if you have a good edge you should be able to do it without scratching it in. You could also lay in the color and then clean it up with colored pencils...if you're still looking for suggestions then I'd say start with the shadow first, in a nice cool color and then work the shape of the glasses off that...the gold of the glasses picks up a lot of the cloth color...you might need to scrape for the the bright areas though. You've really done an awesome still life here and the glasses really aren't any different than the other pieces...you got it aced!
PS....I'd tell Santa you want Holbeins!!!!:D

Rosic
11-16-2003, 03:37 PM
Originally posted by CHClements
One thing you might want to check is the bright fold in the fabric which drapes down in the center over the subject. Toning it down a bit would push it back and give more focus on the objects.
carly :)

Carly...
Thank you so much for your insight... Critiques like this enable my art to reach a higher level.


Dyin...
Thank you also for taking the time to look and comment. Your advice and confidence about the glasses is both reassuring and helpful. Hoped to work on it today but the plate is loaded with family stuff... maybe late tonight.

Rosic

Mikki Petersen
11-16-2003, 03:44 PM
Wow! This one just jumps off the page at you. Great work! I did not realize it was a work in progress untli reading further into the thread. Have a go at the glasses if you wish, but I don't think they are needed here.

Rosic
11-16-2003, 03:52 PM
Originally posted by 1mpete
Wow! This one just jumps off the page at you. Great work! I did not realize it was a work in progress untli reading further into the thread. Have a go at the glasses if you wish, but I don't think they are needed here.

Thanks for the vote of confidence Mikki but I've got to put them in just cause they scare me so :cool:! LOL!

Mikki Petersen
11-16-2003, 04:00 PM
That's a great attitude, Rosic. You will go far with that kind of tenaciousness! Good luck with the scary stuff. If you could do all this, you will get the glasses just fine!

Mo.
11-18-2003, 07:18 AM
Originally posted by Rosic
Hey everybody... here is my latest work with oil pastels. I am thoroughly enjoying OP's and hope to get a decent set as a Christmas present from Santa.:D

Coffee brewed its way into American hearths during the Colonial period after the first license to sell coffee in the colonies was given to a woman named Dorothy Jones. During the American Civil War, Confederates who could not receive coffee shipments substituted it with chicory, rye, potatoes, persimmons, peas, and okra, to name a few. Coffee could command up to $20 per pound due to it's scarcity in the south. It is no wonder that Confederate soldiers would often cross enemy lines to swap southern tobacco for Yankee coffee risking their lives for a real cup.

I am working on this one from a photo I took and included in the reference library... Civil War Period Still Life. (http://www.wetcanvas.com/RefLib/showphoto.php?photo=16523&papass=&sort=4) I still plan to put in the eyeglasses and finish the book but am quite slow so I wanted to share what I have so far. Any and all critiques and comments are welcome... I'm here to learn.

Thanks...
Rosic

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Nov-2003/17108-coffeewc.JPG
8x10 / gessoed masonite / oil pastels / 11-03 / WIP @ 6 hours

Outstanding work :clap:, and you say these are cheapy OP's? WOW!...and only 6 hours work, double WOW!

The colours are rich, luscious, you have certainly captured the feel of the metal mug excellently.

Love it all! :clap:

Mo.:)

Rosic
11-23-2003, 01:37 PM
I think I'll stick a fork in this one... she's done!:D

Finally got a chance to finish the glasses last night. Was scared to do it at first... but glad I did... the piece is so much more compositionally balanced now.

Total of about 8 hours in this piece. Carly... thanks for the advice about the folded cloth... I toned it down like you said. Dyin' thanks for your input about working the glasses in... found it very helpful. I decided to leave the book "as is" due to the fact that the one I used in the reference photo was Casey's Infantry Tactics which was used by the Yankee army... just seemed kind of contradictory. My reenactor friends would have noticed it right a way and ribbed me about it... we are sticklers for authenticity.

Thanks for the help everyone... finished I think... but still open for comments, suggestions, and critiques. Sorry the uploaded photo shows a purple-ish cast... it isn't on the real McCoy.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Nov-2003/17108-coffeefinishedwc.JPG

Close-up of glasses:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Nov-2003/17108-closeupglasseswc.JPG

Dark_Shades
11-23-2003, 02:20 PM
Bravo!! Rosic..... :clap: ...... loved it before, love it more now

..... absolutely well done

Rosic
11-23-2003, 03:33 PM
Originally posted by Dark_Shades
Bravo!! Rosic..... :clap: ...... loved it before, love it more now

..... absolutely well done

Thank you very much Dark_Shades. I'm excited about finally being able to move on to another piece... do you ever feel that way?

Dyin
11-23-2003, 03:50 PM
Ya...KNEW ya could do it!!! And they really came out good..I KNOW you're happy with them!!! Overall it's a very nice still life...tells an interesting story for one and you very skillfully handled the different components. Very pleasing to the eye. Sooo...do you plan on framing it and selling it at one of the re-enactments??? I'm betting any Civil War buff would like to have this piece. :clap: :clap: :clap:

Atrsy
11-23-2003, 03:54 PM
Rosic,This is wonderful! Thanks for pointing me in this direction. I'm glad you added the glasses. They look awesome.

I haven't tried OPs since college. I wouldn't know how to even frame them. Do they go under glass? Do you mat them? I would be afraid the oil would migrate into the mat or would leave a film on the glass.

About the history, did you know the north also had to make substitutions on a favorite drink? The were unable to get lemons for in their lemonade so they boiled red sumac berries and that is where the original pink lemonade came from. White berries are poison, but red ones taste just like lemonade! We learned this in a survival course in college and tried it. It really is tasty.

Atrsy

Mikki Petersen
11-23-2003, 04:23 PM
Rosic, this came out so well! You should be really happy with the result. Were the glasses as hard as you anticipated? They sure look good as does every other component of this great still life. Bravo!:clap: :clap: :clap:

eileenclaire
11-23-2003, 05:57 PM
Rosic, wow! I love it! So glad you decided to put the glasses in. I love how you handled the oil pastels. It's very inspiring!

Eileen

pencils4me
11-23-2003, 10:22 PM
Bravo Rosie!

I love this ref pic! There is a wip right now in the cp forum - interesting to see how 2 different artists handle the same subject with 2 different mediums.

You did an awsome job, love the color palette, and the glasses look perfect to me!

:D

TJ

lisilk
11-24-2003, 02:42 AM
Just suberb ! :clap: :clap: ( Love the cup and glasses esp. )

Li

E-J
11-24-2003, 03:44 AM
Rosic, I wondered how on earth you were going to put those glasses in with the background already laid in so heavily ... you've done a great job on them!! They make the picture :clap:

Matt Sammekull
11-24-2003, 06:33 PM
This is so good! That cup is so outstanding and beautiful...

I didn't even know you used pastels... well you obviously do, and do it great!


An ocean of respect,

//matt