View Full Version : OP Classroom - WIP Green Grapes and Yellow Pears

11-15-2007, 12:57 PM
Several people asked me to do a WIP, recently. I explained that I do not work all over, gradually building up my paintings as many do, but rather I start at the top and work down, completing as I go. Here's an example of what I mean. It's a still life, not my normal subject matter, but this photo from the RIL caught my eye. I cropped and resized the photo to 9" x 12" in Painter IX:


Then I used the sketch feature in Painter to capture the outlines and printed the sketch out on my printer (which will take larger sized paper). I traced the sketch onto Dark Green Artspectrum Colourfix using white transfer paper. (I'm more interested to see if I can capture the image's values and colours with OPs than in testing my drawing skills.)

Looking at the photo on my new LCD wide-screen monitor, I applied Sennelier Raw Umber and Caran d'Ache Brown Ochre to the background, then blended and smoothed the OP layer with Zest-It on a largish brush. For the grapes, I made use of my new Holbein set, using all five values of Oxide of Olive, and also Olive Green #1 (darkest). I used my colour shapers to blend the OPs together. In addition, I have used Stabilio Carbothello pencils 635 Bistre for putting in the dark brown between grapes, and 585 Olive Green for the dark end spots on the grapes and for a few of the darkest green areas between grapes. Here are two stages to show how I proceed:



As you can see I work from the top left down and to the right, thus keeping my hand out of my work. I try to complete each area as I go, but I may also go back in and correct things later if necessary. Because I wanted to blend the background with Zest-It, I brought it down to the table-top level - I'll have to be careful not to smudge that area when working on the upright pear. I'll finish the grapes and move onto the pears before tackling the bowl. I'll post more later, assuming that all goes well. Jane

11-15-2007, 01:14 PM
This is shaping up very nicely. I love the earth colors and the dramatic dark background.:thumbsup:

Diane Greenhorn
11-15-2007, 01:40 PM
Hi, I love it. :thumbsup: :thumbsup: Your painting is coming along beautifully. I have a question though. What is Zest-it? I know that sounds like a gormless question, but I have never heard of it before. I have just started working with oil pastels and am interested in learning all I can.
Di:wave: :wave:

11-15-2007, 02:02 PM
Thanks, Continental and Diane. Zest-it is a non-toxic product from England which I illustrate in the 'Getting Started in Oil Pastels' thread at the top of the Forum. I ordered it on-line and it got to Canada in about two weeks. I really like it. Here's a link:


Hope this helps. Jane

11-15-2007, 02:07 PM
This is wonderful - those grapes look good enough to eat! The color is so right on!

11-15-2007, 02:17 PM
Thanks, Becky. I just noticed what looks like a face in the grapes, caused by the dark brown areas between them. I'll have to modify that. Jane

11-15-2007, 05:11 PM
Just beautiful. I've learned so much from you. Your method of working from top-left down to right bottom is so smart and effective. Such a fragile medium needs as little disturbance as possible as I've found, much to my chagrin!

Someday, I hope to get some Holbeins. Are they significantly easier to use in detail work due to the corners, or do the corners wear down pretty quickly? Do you have to sharpen them with a knife? Do you ever sharpen cylindrical OPs, and if so, how do you do this in the least wasteful way?

I'd be interested to know why you use dry pastel pencils in preference to colored pencils for detail -- do they merge better, or perhaps have a better color correspondence? I have to admit that the textural difference between OPs and colored pencils bothers me a little. I love the lustrous surface of OPs, so anything that can merge smoothly with that would be preferable. I'll have to try the Carbothellos out!

Thank you so much for your wonderful sharing. You are a treasure.

11-15-2007, 07:07 PM
Thanks, Pandemonium. (I'm going to tell my husband that, since I'm a treasure, he needs to appreciate me more. :) ) Holbeins do retain something of their shape if you keep turning them as you work. They lose their corners but can retain a flat edge. I also try to keep turning my Senns. as I work, but they do get flattened to some degree. I don't sharpen them - I look to see which part is sticking out most and use that, although sometimes I misjudge and get the OP where I don't want it. If I have a really small area to fill, I either use my pastel pencils, or scrape some OP onto my colour shaper and apply it that way. The reason I use the pastel pencils is that they are fairly soft and usually can be applied over OPs without gouging into the surface. They are a bit gritty, so they don't feel as smooth if you need to blend them. I prefer them to the Walnut Hollow oil pencils for this purpose, because I find those don't blend as well. Hope this helps. Jane

11-15-2007, 07:16 PM
Jane, your process is so neat in many ways. It's like peeling back the wrapping paper of a present and watching the treat emerge. I've tried painting this way in a few different mediums and I'm afraid I don't have the self-control to finish that way. I think it takes good planning rather than a "general idea" of where you're going. By contrast, my paintings tend to emerge from a fog. :lol:

11-15-2007, 07:21 PM
Wow. I can see why that photo appealed to you, Jane. It's beautiful and the lighting is wonderfully dramatic. And it looks like you've got a great start going. It must be so helpful to have a full range of values with those Holbeins for the grapes. They look terrific so far and I can't wait to see what you do with that lovely reflection of the pears in the side of the bowl.

About your habit of working from top to bottom: do you have a photographic memory, Jane? I only ask because I just can't imagine working that way myself (like Julie, "emerging from a fog" is the way my own paintings tend to develop :D) and recall that a architect I once knew who had a photographic memory was able to work on drawings using a similar approach. He had a perfect picture in his head of what the drawing was going to look like when done before he even started on the sheet.

Looking forward to the finale. :)

11-15-2007, 07:44 PM
Julie, if I paint all over a painting at once, it looks like fog (or worse) and I give up and trash it. I can't seem to work through the "ugly" stage that people talk about.

Nope, no photographic memory, Annie. I think I paint this way because I learned to paint in watercolour, from a painter who did fairly tight realistic work. He would do a detailed drawing and then fill in small areas with watercolour, finishing each area as he went. That way he kept the watercolour fresh. I never know how things will turn out, but since I'm staying fairly close to the source, I hope I can technically pull it off. I could always mess up when I get to the tabletop (I'm not sure what colour to make it - any thoughts?), but it's a risk I take. If I get invested early in the painting, I'm more likely to really try to make it succeed. I can usually tell in 20 minutes if it's worth continuing with a painting I've started. They don't always turn out as well as I'd like, but they are usually acceptable. Whatever method works for you is the one to use. Jane

11-15-2007, 08:48 PM
Thanks so much for sharing this with us. What fun to follow you in watching this lovely piece come together.

11-15-2007, 10:31 PM
Thanks, Annette. Here's the next stage. I have been struggling with the pears, trying to get the yellows to cover the dark green paper. I have scraped the OPs onto a painting knife and applied it to the paper to build up a fairly thick layer, which I then used Zest-it to blend. I have added some more OP over that. They may still need some work, but trying to add anything more at this point just ends up removing a layer. I used Caran d'Ache Golden Ochre and the rest are Senneliers: Yellow Ochre, Yellow Deep, White, Brown Madder, Raw Umber and Chinese Orange. Jane

11-15-2007, 10:59 PM
Technically perfect, but lacking your spirit, I think, Jane.

A beautiful painting without a soul is just a painting.

11-16-2007, 03:48 AM
Oh good I got my chair out just in time! This is looking good so far Jane. I can't wait to see the next steps.

Pat Isaac
11-16-2007, 07:33 AM
Missed this yesterday as I wasn't around much.Thanks so much for doing this Jane and it is coming along beautifully. Nice richness of color and I know what you mean about the pears....
Interesting to watch your process, I would be so lost that way.
I LOVE that background.


11-16-2007, 09:17 AM
Thanks Paula, Rain, and Pat, for your comments. Paula, I think it's easier to capture something 'more' in a subject matter that we respond to emotionally. For me, that's animals and the landscape. But it's good for me to pose a specific technical challenge to my skills now and then, in order to improve my painting. In one of my books on painting (can't remember which), the author suggested there were three stages in one's development as a painter. The first is mastery of your particular medium, the second mastery of the elements of design and composition, and the third was the development of a unique response or style. These are not mutually exclusive but an overall trend in becoming an artist. I'm certainly still working on learning how to use my OPs to best advantage, and as this was a requested WIP, I'm emphasizing technical aspects. Jane

11-16-2007, 11:41 AM
Hi, Jane! Since I was one of the people who requested you do a wip, I am so glad to see this! Thank you so much for showing us how you work!!! I also work top left to bottom right! I think for me, it is from working in soft pastel. You don't want to drag your hand through that either:)
I haven't been here a couple days and I almost missed this! This is a gorgeous piece! Beautiful Rembrandt-like color in the bg that really pops those grapes! It really helps to see your process!
Thanks again!

Tracy Lewis
11-16-2007, 12:45 PM
Lovely work Jane

11-16-2007, 01:27 PM
Nice progress, Jane! The pears are looking great. :)

I'm just musing here, but I wonder if, when working on a very dark support, laying down areas of opaque white acrylic or gouache might make it easier to use the light OPs such as the yellows. It wouldn't work for all pieces, especially those where small areas of lights are interspersed throughout the painting, but for light areas like the pears and the bowl in your piece, do you think that might help?

Thanks for taking the time to do this WIP for us!

11-16-2007, 02:21 PM
Thank you for doing this WIP. I'm another "emerge from a fog" person. I have a plan when I start but I am compelled to cover most of the paper fairly early on (the uncovered paper is too intimidating?). It's amazing to see what OPs can achieve when in the hands of the masterful artists :)

11-16-2007, 03:53 PM
Thanks, Reisa, Tracy, Annie, and EP. Annie, interesting idea. I'll have to experiment on a small piece of Colourfix to see what effect the acrylic paint might have. I wonder if the smoother surface might change the look of the OPs compared to the areas of matte paper? I have painted OP landscapes on gessoed canvas board where some variation in texture is OK, even desirable. I don't remember ever trying an OP still life on canvas so I don't know if the yellows will stick better on the acrylic surface or not. I'll let you know what I discover. I've just had my flu shot and my whole upper arm is sore - not my painting arm, but I still don't feel like tackling more of the painting itself today. So I'll give the acrylic test a try. Jane

11-16-2007, 05:41 PM
Jane: I'll be looking forward to the results of your experiment. If the acrylic surface turns out to not have enough tooth, or a texture noticeably different from the rest of the paper, it occurs to me that Colorfix primer in white or some other pale hue might also do the trick. Although Colorfix primer creates a surface somewhat less toothy than Colorfix paper, the difference might not be so noticeable once the OP is applied.

11-16-2007, 05:59 PM
Interesting thought, Annie. I have some white Colourfix Primer, so I'll add that to my test. Have to have dinner first, though. Jane

11-16-2007, 08:24 PM
While waiting for the gesso and primer to dry on my Colourfix paper to try Annie's test, I thought I'd provide some information about procedure from Alla Prima by Richard Schmid. He lists several ways to 'start' a painting (note, he's referring to oil painting, but it has some relevance to us as well):

- line drawing followed by mass block-in with thinned paint
- transparent oil monochrome block-in where all the values are worked out
- loose colour sketch
- full colour accurate block-in
- selective start - this is the one that resembles my approach. He says:

"I did not learn this one at school...a number of years ago I asked myself why was it necessary to paint something almost right and then correct it? ...Why couldn't the first strokes of a painting be correct....if I could see the colors and shapes of a subject well-enough to correct them, then I could also get them right the first time..."

Granted that I start with a tracing or a sketch, but the rest of my procedure follows this idea. So I feel that I'm in good company with my approach, even though it's not the most popular way of proceeding. Jane

11-16-2007, 08:57 PM
Oh my, those grapes look so tasty. Great job on this thus far.:clap: :thumbsup:

11-16-2007, 09:27 PM
Thanks so much, Elizabeth.

Well, I tried Annie's idea of adding acrylic paint (I actually used gesso) or Colourfix primer to the dark green Colourfix paper. I encountered two problems: the paper buckled somewhat, and I have brush strokes in these areas. I'm not sure how to avoid the first. With the brush strokes, I could probably sand, but I'd have to be awfully careful not to sand the adjacent paper. What the test does show is that the yellows - Sennelier Yellow Deep and Yellow Ochre don't go on very well, as compared to the Sennelier Brown Madder which I used as a comparison. It's not just that the yellows are transparent, because while that is true of the Yellow Deep, it isn't of the Yellow Ochre, which is normally classified as opaque. They both seem to have an odd clumping tendency, and won't spread evenly. Here's my test sheet of Colourfix dark green. First, the three OPs by themselves and then applied on the gesso and primer. Jane

11-17-2007, 05:03 AM
Thank you so much for again sharing so much useful information. The painting is coming along beautifully. I especially love the grapes and the stems of the pears, but it's all lovely.

Did you feel that you needed all 5 tints of the Holbeins in modeling the grapes? My understanding is that Holbein is going to reduce the number to 3 in future sets. I suppose that will make them more affordable, but do you think it will make them any less useful?

I've been experimenting with gouache as an underlayment and/or edging medium. It does buckle the paper if used over too large an area and thus can only be used in small areas. It gives a nice toothy surface, but it is a flat matte look as opposed to the luminosity of the ops, so you do have to lay down a goodly amount of op to get that lustrous surface again. One really weird and unexpected thing I noticed in my experiments is that I was able to use gouache for detail on top of Caran d'Ache once it had a few days to harden up a bit. I have no idea what the archival consequences of this might be.

11-17-2007, 08:31 AM
Jane: Thanks so much for trying the idea out - I'm disappointed it didn't seem to work so well, although it does appear from the photo that the lightness of the yellows works better over the white background (maybe there are things that aren't visible in the photo, but are apparent IRL).

Further musings: I suppose that one could try using something harder and less absorbant (such as gessoed masonite) as a support to overcome the buckling problem, and then use two different values of Colorfix primer to create a sort of grisaille. And perhaps, if masonite was used, the brushstroke issue could be reduced by thinning the primer and applying several very thin coats, rather than one heavier one. I personally find the brushstrokes created when using the primer desireable, because they create an interesting texture when the OP is scumbled on the surface, but that's a personal preference of mine, and others may not like it. An alternative might be to create a template out of cardstock, and then apply the Colorfix to the light areas with a roller. I may play around with this idea myself, so your experiments are much appreciated.

Pandemonium: Thanks for the info you've provided on your experiments as well. I'm curious: on what paper did you apply the gouache?

One of the things I really love about OPs (and the WC OP Forum) is that there are so many new things to try, and people who are so generous in sharing the results of their experience.

11-17-2007, 09:57 AM
Pandemonium, I decided to buy my set several months ago when Jerry's had a good price on them and an additional 20% off coupon. I knew that they wouldn't be available in the future, so I went for it. I have used all five values of one hue in several paintings now and I really appreciate them. Previously, I would have had to change the hue to get the required value range, and now I see that it's much better to be able to stay in the same hue. Of course, once I use up the 2 and 4 values, I may not be able to replace them, but for now I'm really happy I got the complete set. Thanks for reporting on your experiments with gouache.

Annie, you've got some great additional ideas there. How about trying them out and letting us know what you discover. (I don't have any masonite). I like texture in landscapes, but for this subject matter, I like to be able to smooth the surface. I suppose the simplest thing to do is to start with white Colourfix paper when you have yellow objects to paint. Jane

11-17-2007, 05:18 PM
AnnieA: I used Stonehenge cream. I like the way it grabs the ops, but I haven't tried the alternatives yet. I was repelled by the sandpaper types, coming as I did from airbrush, with perfectly smooth bristol as mainstay. I'm eager to try the Arches, as I'm more accustomed to it.

I'll try to post the study so you can see the effects. It's just a 2"x5" study, a bit of a piece I'm working on. You can see the gouache background on the right petal, left section and the gouache detail in the white line painted on that right petal.

11-17-2007, 07:13 PM
Thank you for your assessment of the 5 value Holbein sets. I wish I had sprung for them, but I went with Carans and Senns.

Is it my imagination, or do you find that no brand of ops have a good chartreuse? All the yellow-greens seem minty to me, not really like a good carthusian yellow or linden green. It's such a useful color in vegetation, and I notice that the grapes in the photo have a tad more yellow than the Holbeins seem to give. I've been bumping up against this. Maybe I'll try using a yellow underlayment of gouache overlaid with the (minty) pale yellow greens of the ops?

11-17-2007, 08:19 PM
Pandemonium, thanks for your illustration with gouache. The only OP that I think of as close to chartreuse is Sennelier #72 Green Yellow Light.

Here's my next installment - the bowl. As you can see I simplified it, removing the pattern because I found that I couldn't fit my OPs into the spaces and didn't want to use that much pencil. I also think it focuses attention on the fruit more this way. As you probably have already noticed, I am working from a photo that I lightened compared to the original. All my dark values are shifted toward the lighter end of the scale. Let me know what you think so far, and give me suggestions for dealing with the table top. I'm not intending to put in the corner or the front of the table. I think they're too distracting. Jane PS. It occurs to me to think that, had I planned ahead, I could have used Lacey's technique of scratching back for the pattern on the bowl. But I didn't think of it until now. It would have required me to have used white underneath the blue, so it's too late.

11-17-2007, 10:25 PM
Jane: It is looking splendid. I would be so tempted to do the bowl design detail in gouache after letting it sit a while. I really like the gold from the pear reflected on the bowl. Will you be darkening up the central shadow section on the bowl? I love the drama of that in the photo. Are you thinking about keeping the cloth texture for the table? A dark polished wood with front to back grain might also be nice. You work so fast and so skillfully, it's inspiring.

11-18-2007, 02:20 AM
The painting's coming along nicely; I particularly like the luminosity of the grapes and the reflection of the pear in the bowl.

PS. It occurs to me to think that, had I planned ahead, I could have used Lacey's technique of scratching back for the pattern on the bowl. But I didn't think of it until now. It would have required me to have used white underneath the blue, so it's too late.
You should still be able to do the pattern, but you'd have to work in reverse: cover the blue with white, then scratch back to the blue.

Pat Isaac
11-18-2007, 10:13 AM
I really do love the pear reflection in the bowl. Well done.


11-18-2007, 10:20 AM
Pandemonium, Pat, and Bob, thanks for your comments and suggestions.

Bob, my nerve fails me in thinking of trying to cover the blue with white. I haven't used sgraffito before. I need to do some small practice work - an idea for the sketch thread. I've never mastered the art of negative painting in any medium. I don't seem to be able to think that way, and in a way, sgraffito seems a form of negative painting to me.

Pandemonium, I'm not sure about darkening the shadow. I may give it a try - I always find shadows nerve-wracking. I think, with regard to the table, it needs to be dark. I'm going to look at some paintings of still lifes and see if I get any ideas. I thought of wood, but I wouldn't launch into attempting wood without an example in front of me. All our furniture is light pine to go with our log house, so that doesn't help.


11-18-2007, 02:16 PM
If there's a furniture store nearby you might be able to get a photo of a nice tabletop from just the right angle. Perhaps just giving a dark fabric a bit of graceful wrinkling to give it interest would work. That would eliminate the necessity of having to insert invented reflections, as you would with polished wood.

It's a lovely moody piece.

11-18-2007, 07:23 PM
Wow, coming along nicely, Jane. Those pears really made the painting come to life and the bowl just enhances it.

11-18-2007, 10:09 PM
OK. Here's my final version, pending comments from you on things that need fixing. I went with a dark brown table top and had to wing it as far as the reflections are concerned. After looking at various old-world still lifes, I decided to add the fallen grape. They often strewed their table tops with various things. I used the same Raw Umber and Brown Madder that I used in the pears for the right part of the table top and on the left I used Raw Umber and Yellow Ochre. So let me know what you think. Jane

11-19-2007, 01:43 AM
Absolutely gorgeous! Very masterfully done! The only thing is my eye keeps coming back to where the pear stem just touches the blue line of the bowl and distacts a little from the rest of this wonderful work. Thank you so much for taking the time to show us you work in progress.

11-19-2007, 10:40 AM
Thanks, Annette. It's true that does catch the eye. I'll try to shorten the stem and maybe I'll try to darken the central area of the bowl as Pandemonium suggested. Jane

11-19-2007, 11:44 AM
I've made those two changes. I'm going to experiment with the sgraffito technique separately and, if successful, I may try to put the pattern on the bowl. Jane PS this photo is a little duller than the actual painting. See previous version for better idea of the colours.

Pat Isaac
11-19-2007, 04:35 PM
This is just fantastic, Jane. I like the fallen grape and I think you solved the tabletop. The reflections on it are perfect and give it a nice shiny look.


11-19-2007, 07:43 PM
This is beautiful - the changes you made are perfect. I'd try a still life, but I don't know that I'd be clever enough to add the fallen grape....

11-19-2007, 10:17 PM
Jane....I've been trying to lay off on the comments while I've been getting some things done before another trip, but I had to add my congratulations on your still life. Great job all around!

11-19-2007, 10:43 PM
Pat, Becky, and Ed, thanks so much for your comments and encouragement. Jane

11-20-2007, 03:57 AM
Jane: It's wonderful. I love the reflection of the fallen grape -- your winging it is perfection. And the darker shadow adds drama and makes the pear reflection on the bowl pop nicely. It's lovely. I can almost taste the fallen grape!

11-20-2007, 05:49 AM
Hi Jane, What a fantastic WIP! :clap: :clap: I love everything about this - the shading and reflections are exquisite and it was such a great idea to add the fallen grape. Amazing work! :)


11-20-2007, 11:25 AM
Thanks, Pandemonium and Barry. I'm glad you like my addition.

With regard to my experiment on sgraffito, I'm trying it both ways: blue over white, which I would have done had I planned ahead; and white over blue, which is the approach I'm left with now that I painted the rim blue. The Holbein Prussian blues I'm using (all five values) went over the Sennelier white much better than the white went over the blues. I will have to apply at least one more layer of white before proceeding with scratching back. Here's the experiment as it stands - I'm waiting for the OPs to set up before adding more white. First panel is white over the five values of blue - you can see that the underlying blue mixed somewhat with the white, despite letting the blues set up over night. Jane

11-20-2007, 07:09 PM
Well, I made a bit of a hash of my pattern scratching - it's going to take some practice to master sgraffito. I can say that the blue over white worked best for maintaining the value gradation from light to shadow. I didn't have enough white on the bottom layer, though, and scratched back to the green in some areas. For the white over blue, I had to ladle on the white with a painting knife. While the particular pattern looked more correct in this case, the white really dominated and the pattern was almost the same from light to dark. As a result of these mediocre results, I'm not going to try to add the pattern to the bowl. Much more practice needed. Jane

11-20-2007, 07:33 PM
What a great thread! The grapes literally make my mouth water, and I like the bowl as is. It's a beautiful piece.

About underpainting for light colours, I have tried a thin wash of white acrylic mixed with clear pumice gel on AS paper, and liked the results. I can only think of one example right now, my tidepool painting. (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=421322)

I've not been able to get sgraffito effects with sanded surfaces.

11-21-2007, 12:26 AM
Jane, thank you for your generosity in sharing this lovely work. Seeing how you use your colours, rather than looking at colour charts online, really helps me in deciding what oil pastels I need.


Tracy Lewis
11-21-2007, 03:37 PM
Fantastic work, and thank you for sharing it with us.

11-21-2007, 04:27 PM
Jane, it's great to see the progression on this painting and demonstration of your method. The final result is fantastic!

11-22-2007, 12:56 AM
Great conclusion, Jane. While I'm a bit disappointed we're not getting the decorative band on the bowl, I quite understand not wanting to screw things up right at the end of the work by trying out an unfamiliar experimental technique. Not doing it doesn't affect the luminosity of the grapes or the voluptuousness of the pears or the drama of the lighting in the least, and I like the addition of the lone grape--it rounds out the composition well. Thanks again for the WIP.

11-22-2007, 09:39 AM
Thanks Wendy, Wendell, Tracy, Rebecca (nice to hear from you), and Bob. I'm sorry that I couldn't do better with the decorative band, Bob, but clearly that technique needs practice. I do think from my experiment that the order of colour makes a difference, and it would be preferable in this case to start with white. Thanks for prompting me to give sgraffito a try - I learned a lot, and I'd been meaning to try it for some time. Jane

11-23-2007, 03:37 PM
Jane, it came out as a really nice still life. And I must say it's very inspiring as well, I think I'm going to try painting grapes very soon - they look very challenging yet attractive and painterly and I hope I manage to achieve similar results:)

11-26-2007, 12:31 AM

Thank you so much for this post and for sharing your beautiful painting. It is absolutely inspiring! I've learned quite a bit about surfaces from this thread, but if you, or anybody else, ever get the chance, I would love to have an individual thread on how to apply the different surfaces you mentioned, e.g. colorfix. For those of us that are art illiterate, understanding how all of that works would be wonderful:)

Again, thank you so much for taking us through your artistic process, and sharing your experiments!

11-26-2007, 04:51 AM
This is an amazing painting and I just looooove the silky softness of the painting!!!!

Question - what is Zest-it????

11-26-2007, 11:34 AM
Thanks Tanya, Serena, and Stacey for your comments. I hope the WIP has been helpful.

Stacey, have a look back at post #4 in this thread where I answered a question about Zest-it.

Serena, I'm not quite sure what you want to know, but here goes. You can buy Artspectrum colourfix paper already coated - that's what I used for this painting. But you can also buy it in a jar - it comes in various colours - and apply it to a paper of your choice with a brush or a foam roller. See my "Getting Started in Oil Pastels" for pictures. I apply gesso with a brush to prepare my canvas boards. Annie's suggestion of applying different surfaces in only some areas of a painting is a new idea for me - I haven't ever tried it. I gather that Wendy has, so if that's what you are wondering about, perhaps you could PM her, and ask to her to post a demo of that. I would be interested to see what she does, too. Jane

Diane Greenhorn
11-26-2007, 12:05 PM
Thank you Jane for the info on the Zest-It. I really enjoyed your WIP, keep up the great painting!!!

Di:clap: :clap:

11-27-2007, 01:52 AM
Jane, Thankyou for doing this WIP. I work mainly in soft pastels and have had trouble blending the oil pastels, so I dragged a tv tray over to my computer and used your thread like a tutorial and I'm very pleased with how the colors came out. Since I came to this thread late I read in advance about the bowl trim, and it worked! However it's now almost 1:00 am where I am and I have to get up at 7:00. I have no concept of time when I'm painting :) -Sandy

11-27-2007, 10:12 AM
Diane and Sandy thanks. Sandy, welcome to the Oil Pastel forum. Glad to hear that you were able to get the rim pattern to succeed. Why not post your version in a New Thread so everyone will see it. (The New Thread button is at the top of the main Op forum page.) Jane

12-02-2007, 05:13 PM
Thanks Jane for answering my questions :)

12-02-2007, 07:29 PM
Very impressive. I like that you added the fallen grape. It balances the painting. I, too, thank you for the step by step.

http://oilpastelblog.blogspot.com (http://oilpastelblog.blogspot.com)

12-07-2007, 10:51 AM
Hello Jane.

Here is my paint.. which i painted folowing your Wip:


I am not very happy especially with the blending for the grapes and Pears(van gogh oil pastels over cansor) .:eek: :eek:

I think..... if you can ADD i little WIP about just only a grape or pear to show us the blending procedure very detailful .....would be very nice from you:clap:


12-07-2007, 06:11 PM
I missed the finish on this one and it turned out beautiful. I love the reflection of the pear on the bowl.:clap: :thumbsup:

12-09-2007, 12:24 PM
Thanks, Julia and Elizabeth.

Marsias, I've done a very quick demo of how I did the grapes. I used Holbein Artist Oxide of Olive Green in 5 values. The first grape which represents ones in full light has the four lightest values, while the second represents one more in the shade where I used all five values. I apply the OPs in vertical bands and then blend together with my colour shaper. Hope this helps. Jane

12-09-2007, 02:08 PM
This has now become a Classroom thread, so if any of you would like to post your version of the Grapes and Pears in this thread, please feel free to do so. If you have any other questions about my technique I'd be happy to demonstrate.

Marsias, I think with your pears it would be better if you could add some more red and brighter yellow to them. I think they appear a little too green at the moment, too much like the grapes. I realize with your OPs on Canson you will be limited as to what you can do, but see if adding a warmer colour might brighten up the painting. I think the bowl and the grapes are fine. You just need a little more colour in the pears. Jane

12-09-2007, 04:04 PM
Hello Jane and everybody,
what a GREAT idea to make this WIP a Classroom thread!!!!! Thanks:heart:
Here is my version on a dark brown sand paper 20 x 25 cm Senns.
I have had a lot of difficulties with the shadows and I never achieved the smoothness of the pear's peel.
Your C&C always appreciated


12-09-2007, 05:03 PM
Elena, thanks for joining in :clap: You've done an excellent job on yours. I see you included the table corner and the dark blue table cloth - very well done. I like the way you handled the strokes on the pears when you couldn't get them to blend. You've got a good reflection of the pear in the bowl, and your grapes look nicely translucent. Jane

12-10-2007, 01:46 AM
Thanks Jane for the demo of the grapes.

I cant add another layer to the grapes..

Vang Gogh oilpastels are hard and i have already applied to much layers!.

I have not applied any Green color only Yellow... the Green which appears in the Painting are the Papercolor.

in the Meanwille i have destroy the painting ...

I have receive my 24 Senneliers assorted colors.

I have not the Holbeins Greens 1...5 therefor i cannot follow in the Grapes.

I have make another Painting with Grapes which i will post later.


Pat Isaac
12-10-2007, 08:14 AM
Great job, Elena. I really like the way you have handled the grapes and the bowl reflection is well done.
Hope to see your new painting Marsias, sorry you destroyed the other one as it had some very nice qualities.


12-10-2007, 09:18 AM
Marsias, sorry to hear about your first version. I found Canson not to be strong enough for OPs myself in the past. I can see now your problem with the green of the paper showing through your student OPs. I hope you'll really enjoy your new Senneliers. You can probably still use the Van Goghs for an underpainting layer and then add the softer Senns on top. Did you get Yellow Ochre in your set? It would be a good base colour for the pears, to which you can then add a brighter yellow in the light and a reddish brown in the shadow. What colour paper are you using for your new painting? Your grapes in the first version were pretty reasonable so you could use the same colours for them and just change the pear colours. Looking forward to seeing your new painting. Jane

02-24-2010, 01:17 AM
Hi there,

I have joined recently. I was browsing through the forums and hit this one. I liked the subject so I thought I will give it a try. I am not sure whether this thread is still active. I am posting my WIP here. It is done on canvas. I need to add more layers as still some canvas is showing. Comments are welcome as thats how I can improve.

There is a problem uploading image.


02-24-2010, 01:31 AM
I tried uploading but it fails with error. "You are only allowed to post images or URLs to other sites after you have made 2 posts or more."

02-24-2010, 01:32 AM
Here is the image:

Pat Isaac
02-24-2010, 08:26 AM
Hi Ram and welcome to the Op forums....:wave: This thread is in the library and not really active. Some will see it, but it would be good if you could post it in the Studio forum with it s own thread. Here is a link to the forum. http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=393
You will get a lot of comments and help there.
This is a great start and you have nice strong color. I would get some more values on the grapes. What kind of OPs are you using?


02-25-2010, 01:26 AM
Thanks Pat for your encouragement and suggestion. I have created a new thread:

04-02-2010, 02:43 AM
Jane, your work is great! It looks so realistic.