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serenasocean
10-01-2008, 12:30 AM
Hi folks,

I have the great pleasure of hosting this month's OP challenge. I had a lot of fun deciding on which pictures to use.

The first picture was taken this summer at the Chicago Botanic Gardens.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-Sep-2008/65034-005.JPG

The second image was difficult to decide on... should I pick an animal or do something more related to the fall season? In the end, I went with this image from the RIL:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-Sep-2008/65034-pumpkin_1.jpg

A larger version may be found in the RIL at:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/RefLib/showphoto.php?photo=70170

Please feel free to crop, color and rotate these pictures as needed. I think I'm going to try my hand at the waterlily.

I hope you all enjoy!

:)

sundiver
10-01-2008, 06:05 AM
Gorgeous, both of them. I can't resist waterlilies, and I can't resist pumpkins. I'm just gonna have to make some time for the Challenge this month!

(Pat, since I was the first one in here this morning I stickied it:))

Pat Isaac
10-01-2008, 07:06 AM
Thanks, Serena for hosting this month. These are gorgeous.
Thanks, Wendy.

Pat

Scarefishcrow
10-01-2008, 09:37 AM
Great photos, Serena, and two quite different subjects. Great challenge. Thanks for hosting this month!.


Bill

wabbitt
10-01-2008, 11:44 AM
OMG, it's October already and I totally missed September. Great references, Serena. I might have to do both to make up for last month.

Scarefishcrow
10-01-2008, 06:21 PM
OMG, it's October already and I totally missed September. Great references, Serena. I might have to do both to make up for last month.

Does that mean Oct is going to go slower than September, Julie, if you will have time to do both???:lol:

Just kidding. When I made the resolution to do all the challenges this year, it seemed like " Gee, a whole month. Who can't get a teensy little paining done over a whole month!"

Right. Lately it seems I'm hurrying just to keep my resolution and wishing I had spent more time than I end up doing!

I love waterlilies and am always taking pics of them and wanting to paint them but chickening out. Maybe I'll do both, too. Sort of a side challenge, I do both if you do both, Julie???

I don't know why I do this to myself.

Bill:confused:

truck driver
10-01-2008, 08:16 PM
so thats what the orange oil pastels are for.. all those yellows and cadmium colors... water lillies or pumpkins? good thing I dont have to decide :)

RG

truck driver
10-01-2008, 08:21 PM
Maybe I'll do both, too. Sort of a side challenge, I do both if you do both, Julie???

Bill:confused:


I am not julie but I'll take you up on that bill ;)

RG

Scarefishcrow
10-01-2008, 09:07 PM
I am not julie but I'll take you up on that bill ;)

RG

RG, I should know better than this, especially since I'm leaving for La for about 12 days, but your on!

Bill:eek:

serenasocean
10-01-2008, 09:36 PM
Yay! I'm so glad that y'all like the pictures! I can't wait to see your paintings.

:)

Tracy Lewis
10-02-2008, 02:39 AM
Great pictures. I'm going to make the effort to do both of these this month.

serenasocean
10-02-2008, 11:29 PM
Looking forward to seeing your work, Tracy :)

truck driver
10-03-2008, 01:33 AM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Oct-2008/136518-pumpkin-values.jpg

Cant tell if this worked on not, decided to do a graphite value study of the pumpkins.. before doing them in oil pastels.. thought would let yall look.

truck driver
10-03-2008, 01:38 AM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Oct-2008/136518-pumpkin-values1.jpg another try

truck driver
10-03-2008, 01:40 AM
here it is as an attachment.. maybe this will work better.

rg

mysurface
10-03-2008, 01:24 PM
Its me again that paint on ATC, It is really a challenge for me to express the pumpkins surface.

I hope my pumpkins still looks like pumpkins but not papaya.:lol:

By the way, I am usingCray-pas expressionist 36 colors OP on blank mounting board.

C & C are welcome.

http://lh3.ggpht.com/mysurface/SOZUk1MZn5I/AAAAAAAAEH8/0oXUEmwogZI/s400/pumpkins.JPG

sparkling
10-03-2008, 01:39 PM
Serena, thank you for those beautiful pictures!
As I'm finally officially back from holidays now I hope to find the time to participate this month :)

Mysurface, those pumpkins are simply amazing :eek: - very well done :thumbsup:

Pat Isaac
10-03-2008, 04:46 PM
Amazing you did all of this in such a tiny space. Great pumpkins and I love the textures you have achieved.

Pat

Rusla
10-03-2008, 10:22 PM
Wow nice pictures Serena.
Ong, once again you are so awesome with the OP's.

Randi-Lee

serenasocean
10-03-2008, 10:57 PM
Thanks Silvia and Randi :)

Ong, very nice work on the pumpkins. Nice work on capturing the shape and texture, and lovely colors.

RG, I wonder why the photos didn't upload. Can anyone else see the attachments, or is it just me? Hopefully we'll get to see your graphite sketches soon.

:)

mysurface
10-03-2008, 11:09 PM
Thanks Silvia, Pat, Randi and Serena.

I am still experimenting on how to express the fruits 's surface texture.

truck driver
10-05-2008, 07:15 PM
trying once more seems as if its broken at least for me, cant upload either way..

sorry will figure it out later.

RG

wabbitt
10-06-2008, 02:46 AM
Mysurface - that is amazing texture for such a small format

I went away for the weekend with the intent to get in lots of plein air but it rain for half and we had visitors for the other half. I ended up with lots of art made from picture references. This was a quick sketch at night in bad light in my 9x12 inch recycled paper sketchbook. The drawing was also over a failed op. I was just trying to get a feel of the painting before I did the real one so I stopped at the three when I was feeling good about it.

Pat Isaac
10-06-2008, 07:13 AM
Yes, I can see why you were feeling good about this one. Nice color and crop. Looking forward to the "real" one.

Pat

serenasocean
10-06-2008, 07:05 PM
Hi Julie,

If this is practice, I can't wait to see the final work! Very nice! I can see the spherical shape of the pumpkins as well as the texture.

:)

Mario V
10-07-2008, 04:07 PM
Hi, this is my first OP post.

Done on Colorfix pastel paper 8x10"


411202

Pat Isaac
10-07-2008, 04:31 PM
Welcome to the OP forum, Mario. This is a great first OP, wonderful bold color.
What kind of OPs did you use?

Pat

serenasocean
10-07-2008, 10:38 PM
Hi Mario,

Welcome! These pumpkins are just gorgeous. Beautiful shading, great texture. I hope you show us more of your work in the future.

Thanks so much for sharing!

:)

mysurface
10-08-2008, 08:20 AM
Hi Mario, welcome.

Nice blending , shading and its reflection. I am also curious of what oil pastel you use to paint this.

RainySea
10-08-2008, 09:15 PM
Mario. . . welcome! I think that is a super job on the challenge. I really like it.

Scarefishcrow
10-09-2008, 04:24 PM
Ong, Great job on the pumpkins. Marvelous texture and color.

Julie, Great practice sketch; looking forward to the "real" one.

Mario, Welcome to the OP Channel. For your first OP post this is a great start! Very well done. Have you worked with other media in the past?

If you are new to the OP Channel, we ask new users to take a look at the document accessed by clicking on the "Newbie" link in my signature line. That will take you to a document that gives you an overview of the basic organization of the OP Channel, posting guidlines for the forums and what is available, as well as other helpful links.

We are glad to have you stop byand look forward to seeing more of your OP work.

Glad to have you:wave:
Bill

Mario V
10-10-2008, 07:44 AM
everyone, thanks for the support :clap: I love how pumpkins came out but I see too many flaws that I might use this weekend to do them again :D

Pat, mysurface, thanks, I bought some Louvre OP a few years back and used them for some sketches. I don't know what is the quality of those since I haven't tried any other. Can't find mention of it in this forum.

Serena, thanks, I will come back :D

Rainysea, thanks :)

Bill, thanks, I paint most of the time in soft pastels and I do a bit in acrylics.

Scarefishcrow
10-15-2008, 05:24 PM
Well, I'm back home and did these two attempts at the two ref imnages for the challenge this month.

Done on Frederix 16x20 Canvas Pad with mostly Van Gogh OP with some finish work with Senns.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Oct-2008/108067-PA130011.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Oct-2008/108067-PA130018.jpg

Thanks for looking.

Mario, thanks for the information. Even flaws provide us lessons for future work. (I should know, I learn lots for everything I do!!!)

Bill

Pat Isaac
10-15-2008, 05:35 PM
Welcome back, Bill. Great that you had time to do these. I really like the crops that you have. nice color. How do you like the canvas pad? I always find there is too much texture for me. You might think about making the area between the pumpkins a little darker.

Pat

serenasocean
10-15-2008, 10:53 PM
Hi Bill,

Great job with both. I especially like the texture on the waterlily petals, and the shadowing on the stems of the pumpkins.

Nice work!

:)

Scarefishcrow
10-16-2008, 12:40 AM
Thanks Serena and Pat.

I might think about making the space darker, Pat, but since luggage weight limits have crimped my packing they are still in LA so will have to work on them next trip down. I have built a cache or art supplies at my sister's so I don't have to haul anything when I go down and have whatever I need.

The canvas pad is a bit better than working on the canvas board as I find the canvas board "bumpier". The pad is sheets of primed canvas and seem smoother. However, as I discussed in another post, I am beginning to become convinced that my using the "non sanded" papers is really keeping me from getting the blending I want without the "smudgy" appearance that always seems to result. I have been "saving" my "good" papers (don't take my own advice, it seems) since I felt I was still "practicing". I'm starting to thing that the support is keeping me in "practice" mode because it is not allowing me to develop cleaner control of blended tone without disrupting underlying layers when I don't wish to.

I have invested in all this nice sandeded AS CF board and Ampersand panel, sabertooth paper, wallis paper and use it sparingling because I'm afraid of "messing up" . (Duh. Seems like I've preached to others about that and don't listen to my own sermon.). Everything I have posted that (even though having flaws) that I felt good about has been on sanded paper when using OP (Oil sticks are a different matter entirely). Things I'm not happy with are almost invariably not sanded papers.

Now, as a scientist, I wonder if there is a lesson I can draw from this. Hmmmmmm???

What do you think???

Bill:lol: :lol: :eek:

wabbitt
10-18-2008, 06:38 PM
Finished packing late last night, so I have the day for art. Yay! These are both in my 4x6 inch Aquabee sketchbook. Plus they're #79 & #80 of 100 OP's.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Oct-2008/76057-op79.JPG

This one I primed the paper with black gesso. I don't have time to set up before putting the white Senn for the petals so it's looser than I intended. But it was fun and fast.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Oct-2008/76057-op80.JPG

Thanks for looking.

Pat Isaac
10-18-2008, 06:41 PM
Great little sketches, Julie. Especially like the pumpkins. Have an awesome trip..

Pat

Scarefishcrow
10-18-2008, 09:32 PM
Very nice sketches, Julie. Also like the pumpkins. Must be the time of the year.

Have a safe trip.

Bill:thumbsup:

Bars
10-19-2008, 02:43 AM
Amazing colours in the pumpkins , I am tempted to have ago with my left hand as the right one is out of action Bars

mysurface
10-19-2008, 04:13 AM
Thanks Bill and welcome back!

Julie, your pumpkin is nice, and I like the way you paint the water lily too.

I have done water Lily on A4 size drawing block, but the size of my painting is 6.2 x 8.2 inches.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Oct-2008/155060-WaterLily.JPG

I find 36 colors are limited for me, most of the time I find my color doesn't match the reference photo even I tried to blend the color still the tone value is not the same, I have no choice to use other colors which is close to the color I want.

Scarefishcrow
10-19-2008, 01:49 PM
Ong, Glad to be back and your picture is great. I wouldn't worry so much about perfectly matching colors to the image. It is much more important that the colors work to make a harmonious and pleasing image rather than be exact matches to the image. That's why we have cameras. Art is for taking "artistic license" and interpreting what you see, which you have done very well in such a small format.

Keep it up.

Bill:thumbsup:

Pat Isaac
10-19-2008, 02:12 PM
Very nice lily and I agree with Bill that it is not important to match the colors perfectly. i like the impasto feel that you have in your paintings.

Pat

mysurface
10-20-2008, 05:48 AM
Thanks Bill and Pat.

Ya, just sometimes it is quite upset when I can't find/blend out the color I want, haha.

robertsloan2
10-20-2008, 07:03 AM
Hi Serena,

I love the photo reference of the water lilies for this challenge and would love to do it. But I don't think I could do it justice with my student set and won't have artist grade oil pastels to try with until mid-November most likely. May I still work from the reference after the challenge month is over and try it?

I know the pumpkins are from the reference library, but the one I'd love to do is your water lily photo. Did you add it to the reference library, leaving me looking like a dummy asking about it?

I love what I've seen on this thread and do want to try it, but this month is pretty heavy with some other things I need to finish up and I do not have the right materials for this to do it well.

serenasocean
10-21-2008, 07:40 AM
Hi everyone :)

Julia, wonderful job on both. Very nice shading with the pumpkins. Also, I think the black gesso added a very cool effect to the waterlily leaves.

Ong, your waterlily is very nicely done. I love the reflections in the water, and the bright blue you've chosen, whether it was because you liked it or because of the limited colors :) Either way, it really brightens up the painting.

Robert, please feel free to finish the challenges whenever you have the time. I will add the waterlily to the RIL, although last time I tried to upload images, I couldn't. I will try again. Or, I could post it on my flickr account. Would that work?

:)

moscatel
10-21-2008, 12:04 PM
Beautiful ref. photos serenasocean! Thank you.

Started this at the beginning of this month but couldn't finish until now.
9x10 in (25x22 cm), Van Gogh oil pastels, paper unknown

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/21-Oct-2008/50779-taulu84.jpg

Scarefishcrow
10-21-2008, 12:35 PM
Sirkka,

Great job on the pumpkins. They are very well modelled.

Hope to see more of your work.

Are you new to Oil Pastel? I looked at some of your oils in the Landscape forum and they were marvelous.



Bill:wave:

Pat Isaac
10-21-2008, 12:54 PM
What great use of complementary colors in this painting. Nice bold color, Sirrka.
Like the Italy paintings on your blog. I was there a year ago.

Pat

moscatel
10-21-2008, 01:04 PM
Thanks Bill. I paint with ops every now and then. They are a fun medium. At the moment trying to practice more with oils. I think ops and oils go fine training side by side.

moscatel
10-21-2008, 01:10 PM
Thank you, Pat.
I remember when you wrote here in the oil pastel forum of your travel to Italy!
I think Italy has great landscapes to paint. Lovely country and lots of things to see and experience. I spent most of the time in Florence. I took a landscape workshop there.

mysurface
10-21-2008, 02:05 PM
Nice pumpkins, Sirrka.

Great contrast on pumpkins and the background color, it pops out.

Scarefishcrow
10-21-2008, 04:12 PM
Thanks Bill. I paint with ops every now and then. They are a fun medium. At the moment trying to practice more with oils. I think ops and oils go fine training side by side.

Thanks, Sirrka. I have only been active for a few months and I didn't remember your name popping up, but sometimes members that have been around awhile show up and are new to me.

Great to meet you and I totally agree that the two are excellent complements to one another. In fact, I'm starting a "beginner" oil course tonight (although I had one several years ago but have not done much with it lately).

Hope to see more of you!

Bill:wave:

serenasocean
10-21-2008, 10:02 PM
Hi Sirrka,

What fun bright pumpkins! The purple background is such a great choice. Very nice!

:)

eleven_1985
10-23-2008, 11:24 AM
wow!! I see many beautiful painting here.
I really like to do both ref. Here is the first sketch of pumpkin. I'm traveling this week, I think I will start water lily this weekend when I back home.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Oct-2008/125453-Picture_002-1.jpg

Thanks for looking.:cat:

mysurface
10-23-2008, 11:31 AM
Welcome eleven_1985, your pumpkin surface's texture is nice. Look forward to your water lily.

Scarefishcrow
10-23-2008, 03:02 PM
Cathy, great job on the pumpkins. Love the bright clear clolor. Look forward to seeing your version of the water Lily,

Bill

Shirl Parker
10-23-2008, 03:17 PM
I don't have time to do a new one, but here's a link to the pumpkin one I did last year when we were still with dry pastels. It's titled "Before & After"

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/29-Oct-2007/113427-PumpkinPieSlice.jpg

Pat Isaac
10-23-2008, 03:21 PM
I love the bold color of your pumpkins, Cathy. Glad you joined us.
I remember those, Shirl...I love pumpkin pie...

Pat

Scarefishcrow
10-23-2008, 03:50 PM
It's ok, Shirl. You've been pretty busy with other paintings that you've shared with us.

Thought your pumpkin painting was a really creative idea. Good job (and this one DID look orange :lol: :lol:

BILL

mercedes81
10-24-2008, 03:55 PM
Here's my pumpkins. It's my first completed OP piece. I'm pretty happy with it. I had a bugger of a time with the grooves and shadows. If you stand back a bit, it really looks 3D, like the pumpkins are popping off the page. That was a nice surprise.

It's 6'' x 9'', gessoed Bristol board, mostly Expressionist with some Erengi.

Rusla
10-24-2008, 04:08 PM
I think I just may get mine done in time for Halloween.

Randi-Lee

Pat Isaac
10-24-2008, 04:10 PM
Wonderful strong color. Pumpkin grooves are hard indeed and you have done a great job depicting them. Your first OP and a winner....

Pat

mysurface
10-24-2008, 06:54 PM
@mercedes81:
Wonderful colors, nice pumpkins, the light reflection on the surface of pumpkins makes it 3D.

robertsloan2
10-25-2008, 03:34 AM
Hi everyone :)

Julia, wonderful job on both. Very nice shading with the pumpkins. Also, I think the black gesso added a very cool effect to the waterlily leaves.

Ong, your waterlily is very nicely done. I love the reflections in the water, and the bright blue you've chosen, whether it was because you liked it or because of the limited colors :) Either way, it really brightens up the painting.

Robert, please feel free to finish the challenges whenever you have the time. I will add the waterlily to the RIL, although last time I tried to upload images, I couldn't. I will try again. Or, I could post it on my flickr account. Would that work?

:)

Thank you so much! I love that and keep feeling as if I want to come back to that water lily in a whole variety of mediums as well as develop a good oil pastel painting of it.

I get my 12 Neopastels tomorrow! I'm up late so it'll probably be here by the time I get up. I think this will be my first piece with my artist grade OPs... it's beautiful and Bill gave me an idea of how I could do it justice with relatively few colors in the flower he posted in the Sketch Thread.

We'll have to see. I have my Mi-Tientes and Colourfix all ready!

Mercedes, your pumpkins are gorgeous! I was startled by how you took the picture thinking the background was part of the painting and it was some sort of odd surreal window into or mirror reflecting the sunny pumpkin heap! That's how realistic you got them. Beautiful work!

Bars
10-25-2008, 03:35 AM
:wave: This is just a piece of fun, my pumpkins aren't very realistic. But using my left hand is rather strange. The first picture is the computers colouring.effort,
the one with the black background is mine Thought I would put them both in just as a laugh:)

robertsloan2
10-25-2008, 03:37 AM
Bars, they don't like the reference but they're fun and surreal! I like them. You got a neat surreal abstract thing going with them. Both versions are cool but I think I like your blue-violet original best.

Scarefishcrow
10-25-2008, 10:21 PM
Bars, great job of adapting to your limited dexterity. A bit harder to contend with than just a limited palette! It is great you are getting something done despite the surgery.

Hope your recovery is rapid.

Bill:wave:

robertsloan2
10-26-2008, 12:53 AM
Wow! Thank you! I love those as references and am so excited about the Dinner Plate Dahlia, now I want to create the painting I thought it was. It broke a mental block for me though, believing you did that in Oil Pastel. It left me believing that I could, so I started the Water Lily reference... and this is what resulted:

413924

The lily is pretty much finished and will look better when I do the background. I'm going slowly working on it the way I do with colored pencils -- because I believed I could blend and get those effects. And lo, I found out that Neopastels believed it too and I started getting those effects. I've got two leaves sketched in ready to start adding other layers of color before blending, and will steadily work my way up sketching element or area after element.

I didn't undersketch the whole thing, because half the time I don't. I sketch with whatever medium I'm doing and it blends right in. But you can see the "sketch" layer on the leaves with the first loose tonal layer on it.

These OPs are so much softer and more blendable than any I've ever used. I thought Loew Cornell were soft and blended pretty well compared to others (and the Mont Marte, which in comparison are fairly hard and not all as opaque). These blend like paint, it's wonderful. I was nervous because I thought they'd be middling hard and the Holbeins harder. But now I'm not.

It makes me imagine the Senneliers must be like trying to paint with butter, that'd be pretty hard to get used to!

I love them. I want more. I hope the Erengi really do have the same texture. I ordered three extra white ones because I remember how fast the white wore down on my old Loew Cornell set.

Pat Isaac
10-26-2008, 11:27 AM
What fun and good for you for trying, left handed...These have a nice colorful abstract quality to them.
Hope you recover quickly.

Pat

idahogirl
10-26-2008, 12:14 PM
Decided to give oil pastels a try. They are pretty fun.

:wave:

Deehttp://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/26-Oct-2008/626-Water_Lily.jpg

serenasocean
10-26-2008, 04:09 PM
Cathy, lovely texture and colors. Great shape, and wonderful detail on the stems.

Shirl, I'm glad you shared your pumpkins from an older painting with us :)

Mercedes, these are great! You can't tell you had "a bugger of a time" with the grooves at all :) Beautiful bright colors and nice shading.

Bars, I am so glad you managed to participate with the injury :) Thanks for sharing the computer enhanced image too!

Robert, I tried uploading the image again to the RIL, and couldn't get it to work! I'll try to put it up on my flickr account later this week. Very nice work so far on the waterlilies. You sound like I did when I got my first artist quality OPs. They are just wonderful aren't they?

Dee, your waterlilies are lovely. They have an impressionistic feel to them.

I went to go visit my family for the weekend, and I had spotty internet access, but I'm so glad to be back and see all the work that has been posted. It's made my day. Thank you guys!

:)

robertsloan2
10-26-2008, 04:09 PM
Dee, that is so great. I love the reflection and the way you slightly simplified the reference but kept the planes of water and leaves so perfectly accurate. This is soft and inviting.

Pat Isaac
10-26-2008, 04:12 PM
Dee, welcome to the OP forum. This is a lovely painting. The color is strong and it does have an impressionistic feel to it. Come back again.

Pat

Scarefishcrow
10-26-2008, 09:05 PM
Dee, Welcome and glad you decided to try the OP's. Great job on the water lily. Hope you experiment some more and share them with us.

Robert, You sound like you are having as much fun as a little kid with his first train set!! That's great and I'm glad the Ref Images (by hook or crook) broke your mental block.. Certainly a grand start on the water lily. The Erengis, IMHO, are pretty close to the neopastels. I think you will like them. I'll be anxious to hear your opinion.

Bill

robertsloan2
10-27-2008, 04:42 AM
Bill, I am cheerily looking forward to Erengi because my last sale put me more than half of the way to getting the 50 color set immediately. I'm not going to worry about the full range yet. ASW repeats its sales and I've seen that on sale many times. It does feel like I just got a new train set or something. I've been playing with them and the water lily is going so fast and easy compared to colored pencils realism... yet I'm getting the richness!

A Livejournal friend of mine saw the water lily in its current state and suggested something neat -- that exactly as it is, it'd make a cool notepad. So I'm going to take a high resolution scan before doing any more on it, that could be very striking if I stuck it on Zazzle or Cafepress for that kind of design. It sometimes takes someone else's eyes to see something like that -- but the fun is being able to both do that and finish it!

Scarefishcrow
10-27-2008, 01:51 PM
Wow, Robert, I hadn't though of that, but it really would make a nice notepad design. Thinking outside the box

I'm glad you are having so much fun. It seems you are really enjoying yourself and, for me, if you can't enjoy doing it then it seems somehow a hollow exercise no matter how well a piece is executed, at least IMHO.

Bill

Pat Isaac
10-27-2008, 02:42 PM
Great idea. Let us know if you do that.

Pat

robertsloan2
10-27-2008, 03:46 PM
Wow, Robert, I hadn't though of that, but it really would make a nice notepad design. Thinking outside the box

I'm glad you are having so much fun. It seems you are really enjoying yourself and, for me, if you can't enjoy doing it then it seems somehow a hollow exercise no matter how well a piece is executed, at least IMHO.

Bill

Bill, that is so true.

Back in the mid-1990s when my health failed and I could only work one or two days a month as a street artist, I started getting burned out on doing art. I could not afford to keep any of my art or spend time with my sketchbook just for my own growth and amusement. I got afraid to do any subjects that wouldn't sell, so stuck only to things that were proven best sellers.

I wound up getting fewer and fewer sales on the days I did go out because the quality of my work declined. I couldn't at the time put my finger on why. But much later on, after I rested up enough years without drawing to feel the urge again, I went through some unsold drawings from that time and a few in sketchbooks from my earlier, happier period.

The technically perfect piece without heart usually had serious errors. I was not consciously doing composition then, or balance, or color harmony. All that was unconscious response to my mood when I was happy to be drawing.

It showed. I was handling techniques I didn't consciously understand and doing it well in the happy drawings and paintings. In the forced ones, I was stripped down only to my conscious skills and executed them in the grim state of mind of forcing myself to the office when sick.

I didn't understand why I was failing and losing money, it didn't connect that I was doing it only two days a month and if I'd been going out three or four days a week the way I did at first would actually have been getting more sales and better money. I was in denial about my disabilities, and it was disability that put me in that bad a money pinch.

It was interesting to discover that. I think "the spark" can actually be understood at least if you're looking at someone who's a beginner or intermediate and hasn't learned all the basic skills consciously. Like that tagline -- unconscious incompetence, conscious incompetence, unconscious competence, mastery is conscious competence.

I was at the unconscious competence stage and when the joy was gone, every flaw reasserted itself in the ugliest possible way. I even see this process in writers and artists who are famous, at low times in their lives when the work is forced it is not as skillful as their previous work.

The joy, the spark is what lets you do it better than you can actually do it, and turns goofs into serendipity.

Scarefishcrow
10-27-2008, 04:08 PM
Robert,
I'm happy that we can share in watching you do work with that old excitement. When I see someone like you (beginner or experienced) enthused and excited about what they are doing here it make me feel like I am a part of that. No matter what level of expertise I ever attain, interacting with people here will always keep me enthusiastic about art.

I'm glad you found us. You provide lots of energy that belies the disabilities. I'm sure it is a struggle sometimes, but if it is something you are passionate about then the it makes the struggle less onerus.

Keep going and we look forward to your work and commentary.

Bill

serenasocean
10-27-2008, 10:05 PM
Thanks for sharing that story with us. I think that sometimes if we are lacking joy, then our mistakes seem greater to us than they really are :)

I posted the waterlily photo in flickr.com, just in case :)

Jaune454
10-28-2008, 08:11 PM
I finally found this thread again, by total accident! Well, here goes. As you can see, my surface textures leave something to be desired. But, this is only my second oil pastel (on 140 lb water color paper). I used some regular oils at the end for highlights as I still can't get the lighter OPs on top of darker colors. C&C much appreciated.

Jaune

Jaune454
10-28-2008, 08:36 PM
Bill:

The your pumpkins appear lit from within. Just striking!

Jaune

Jaune454
10-28-2008, 08:39 PM
Ong, you were able to capture the fluidity of the water and the reflections beautifully! I began a sketch of that subject as well, but decided to wait until I could get some colored paper before beginning. I am too new at OPs to attempt that water with just the pastels.

Jaune

Scarefishcrow
10-28-2008, 11:02 PM
I finally found this thread again, by total accident! Well, here goes. As you can see, my surface textures leave something to be desired. But, this is only my second oil pastel (on 140 lb water color paper). I used some regular oils at the end for highlights as I still can't get the lighter OPs on top of darker colors. C&C much appreciated.

Jaune

Jaune,
Very good job on the pumpkins. I'm not sure if it is the picture lighting when you took the photo or the painting, but there seems to be a "glare" like effect toward the center. If not the photo, then you might consider toning down the highlights and making them more localized to particular spots.

It is generally thought not advisable to use regular oils over oil pastel (the reverse is ok if the oil is dry) since oil pastels are generally considered to never dry as the oil paint does and this may cause problems.

If you are having trouble layering, then you might let the painting set up for a day or so. The OP's tend to "set" or "harden" somewhat and makes it easier to lay down additional layers.

Also the type of paper you use greatly affects the ease with which you can put down multiple layers. Typically papers or surfaces with a "gritty" or "sanded" primer surface (sort of like sandpaper) will allow you to layer more easily and put down more layers than a non gritted support will.

Hope this helps and thanks for your comments about my pumpkin painting.

Bill:thumbsup:

Pat Isaac
10-29-2008, 08:25 AM
Outstanding pumpkins, Jaune. Bill is right about the oil over the OPs. It is often hard to put lighter colors on top of dark. Setting up as bill suggests usually works. Also I find the Senn white soft enough to sit on top of the other layers.

I like the bright colors that you used on the pumpkins.

Pat

Jaune454
10-29-2008, 11:21 AM
Thank you Bill and Pat, just the advice I was seeking. I will get the Senn white soft today along with some gritty paper. The pumpkin glare did come from the camera flash; the actual painting is nicer than this photo. I can't wait to get the correct materials.

Jaune

serenasocean
10-30-2008, 07:53 AM
Jaune,

Very nice work with the pumpkins. I think you did a fine job with both texturing and highlighting. Bill and Pat gave some good advice in regards to applying lights on top of darks. I sometimes put the lights down first, and work backwards, applying darks after. This technique doesn't always work, but it can be helpful!

:)

robertsloan2
10-31-2008, 12:51 AM
Cool pumpkins, Jaune! I have been getting light highlights over dark with my OPs, but sometimes I need to scrape before applying them to make them strong.

I don't think I'll have my waterlily finished by tomorrow midnight. Ah well. I'll keep working on it till it's done -- one of my blog readers is interested in it!

414604

It took about five layers to get the color of the deeper blue greenish water in the foreground, but I like the way it streaked when I mixed them with a Colour Shaper. I'm really giving that Colour Shaper a workout -- and it's actually a soft tip one, not a firm. I'll have to get a firm one to see how well those handle!

Scarefishcrow
10-31-2008, 01:02 AM
Robert,

No deadlines to worry about. Finish up when you can and post it. The thread will still be around.

I really like the way this is progressing. Very beautiful work.

BILL

mysurface
10-31-2008, 04:22 AM
Robert, I admire patient on paintings. I am the one who have no patient at all. When I start a sketch, I can't stop painting it until it ends. Your water lily is awesome :)

robertsloan2
11-01-2008, 03:59 PM
Thanks. I want to get this one right more than I want to finish fast. It's now late anyway, so it can be as late as it wants to. Compared to doing it in colored pencil, it's going incredible fast.

I think it'll be easier after Tuesday when I have the new Erengi set too.

Pat Isaac
11-01-2008, 04:06 PM
Take your time, this will be around awhile.

Pat

serenasocean
11-01-2008, 06:11 PM
Hi Robert,

I'm still working on mine as well -- with how busy school is, it might be a while before I finish mine too.

Looking forward to seeing it whenever you finish!

:)

Scarefishcrow
11-01-2008, 09:07 PM
Hi Robert,

I'm still working on mine as well -- with how busy school is, it might be a while before I finish mine too.

Looking forward to seeing it whenever you finish!

:)

Take your time Serena, and thanks so much for very challenging and interesting photos . I appreciated your having served as host for this month.

Thanks,

Bill

Pat Isaac
11-02-2008, 10:54 AM
Thanks so much for hosting this month, Serena.

Pat

paul444
11-03-2008, 10:27 AM
Well done everyone, some great paintings this month.
I don't know the time has gone this month I seem to be behind on everything.
Just finished this one and really enjoyed doing it.
Its 9 X 13 using mostly sennelier oil pastels.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Nov-2008/82968-water_lilly.jpg

mysurface
11-03-2008, 10:47 AM
Paul, This is stunning! I like watery feel of the leaves, the reflection of the sky on the water. Wonderful!

Scarefishcrow
11-03-2008, 11:43 AM
Paul,

Wonderful piece of work. I love the enormous depth and intensity of color and their value range.

Wonderful job.

Bill

idahogirl
11-03-2008, 11:55 AM
Lovely.... beautiful interpretation of the photo

:wave:

Dee

Shirl Parker
11-03-2008, 12:38 PM
Very well done Paul.

Pat Isaac
11-03-2008, 04:46 PM
Fantastic, Paul. Great color and sense of depth along the water.

Paul

sundiver
11-03-2008, 07:32 PM
I did this on Oct 30, honest! But every time I try to post it I get interrupted. Not that it's anything great, but I was determined to at least post something this time. I've been too busy to participate much, although I've lurked a few times, and have enjoyed seeing what you all have done this month.
So here's my little entry, about 2 1/2 by 3 1/2 on a scrap of Uart paper.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Nov-2008/6393-IMG_6830.JPG
Now to go check out this month's challenge!

Pat Isaac
11-03-2008, 08:18 PM
OMG, so much detail in such a little piece....lovely color, I don't know how you do that size.....
PPat

robertsloan2
11-03-2008, 11:07 PM
Paul, yours is gorgeous! It's so painterly and wild. I feel like I could get my feet wet in it. I love the loose strokes, strong values, vivid striking colors and wild feeling it's got. You're inspiring me!

Of course I'll go on finishing mine in the fussy smoothness I started it with, but I may try something loose like that in another scene.

Wendy, that is delightful! I love the detail and do have some idea what it takes to get that much shading and that much detail into an ATC or ACEO. Wow that is gorgeous.

Both of these are so magnificent!

Tomorrow I get my Erengi set, so I might not be so purist about sticking just to 12 colors of Neopastels in mine.

serenasocean
11-04-2008, 12:32 AM
Hi everyone!

First, I wanted to say it was a pleasure hosting this month's challenge. I was so amazed and inspired by everyone's work.

Paul, your waterlily is just lovely and vibrant. Great detail with the center of the flower.

Wendy, those pumpkins are just wonderful! I agree with Robert, you have managed to get some amazing detail in such a small piece.

Thanks to everyone who participated this month!

:)

Scarefishcrow
11-04-2008, 12:22 PM
Wendy,
Absolutely marvelous, especially at such a small size. It is very vibrant and well executed.

Robert, look forward to yours whenever you get it done.

Finally, another thanks, Serena, for hosting this month's challenge. You provided some inspiring and challening photos, both with very different moods and problems to address.

A big thanks and bravo for your efforts!:clap:

Bill:thumbsup:

serenasocean
11-09-2008, 11:57 PM
Thanks Bill :)

robertsloan2
11-12-2008, 12:22 PM
415982

Made some progress on Waterlily Pond. I rearranged a few elements for composition. This looks so silly with the unblended scribbly bits, but I think it's coming out well and I may even finish it today. I hope I do. I'm not starting the November challenge until I get this done.

Scarefishcrow
11-12-2008, 12:33 PM
Great progress Robert. I really like the subtle pink tint in the cloud reflection.


Bill

mysurface
11-12-2008, 01:09 PM
Robert, wonderful, I like the sharp color you use. I like the clouds of reflection, look forward to your finished masterpiece.

robertsloan2
11-12-2008, 04:16 PM
Thank you! I finished today! I was shooting for that and scanned earlier because I wasn't sure if I'd stop... but I didn't. Took a break and went back to it.

Here it is, my October Challenge piece!

415998

Water Lily Pond is done. Whew! This took quite some doing, and it sold off my blog before I even finished it. One reason I'm so relieved to have it done. One more good day and I'll mail it out. Today is not quite good enough for body energy for me to get up and start cutting out bits of foam board and glassine though.

I bought a size 2 Firm colour shaper and love it. That has proved so useful since I got it. I also stopped using the size 6 Soft one on oil pastels since the firm one works better.

Pat Isaac
11-12-2008, 04:33 PM
Congratulations, Robert on the sale...:clap: :clap:
This came out quite well and I really like the clean color. Yes, the firm shapers are better, I love them.

Pat

Scarefishcrow
11-12-2008, 04:39 PM
Well, it's hard to argue about a piece sold before it's finished!!!

I still love the way you worked the subtle pinkish hues into the reflections.

This is a very nice piece, Robert. Congratulations on the sale. I know you depend on income like that and I can imagine the joy at seeing your work purchased.

That is something I would not understand, making a living from art. It would leave me terrefied. You really are amazing in so many ways.

Bill:thumbsup:

robertsloan2
11-12-2008, 07:39 PM
Thanks, Bill! I swore off white clouds about a month and a half ago when I started getting active on WC and in the soft pastels forum. I read a long thread on cloud studies and it opened my eyes to what I'd been doing -- and what I hadn't been doing.

I'm not full time or living on it yet. This just brings the day when I can become self supporting again a lot closer every time. Everything goes back into the business until I've got enough savings and enough steady business that I can do it full time again. Counting everything -- art, website, nonfiction writing, novels, I may be able to become self employed again in 2009 if I'm lucky and handle it right.

Thanks for thinking of it as amazing. On my end it feels more like restless and otherwise way too bored. Heck. I'm already out of wall space, what am I going to do with all of it? lol

In a practical sense though, I'm seeing that blog more and more as a good thing. I don't think it's a coincidence. I get a lot more readers now than I did before I was doing semi-daily art, and my art keeps improving. I know I read a lot of art blogs too and love coming back to them to see new pieces and new posts about technique.

Scarefishcrow
11-12-2008, 08:24 PM
That sounds like a great plan, Robert. I wish you the best of success.

Bill

mysurface
11-13-2008, 11:48 AM
Finally! Robert, I love the reflections of blue sky and white clouds. This waterlily masterpiece is refreshing!

robertsloan2
11-16-2008, 06:23 PM
Thank you! I am so happy you like it. I am in awe of your architecture and fruit paintings, so this is an honor. I want to do more landscapes in oil pastel.