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Scarefishcrow
01-01-2009, 04:40 PM
January 2009 Oil Pastel Challenge
HAPPY NEW YEAR! WELCOME TO THE FIRST MONTHLY CHALLENGE FOR 2009!

Everyone is welcome, in fact encouraged, to take one or both of the reference images below and paint your interpretation of it (them). You can crop, manipulate, alter the format etc., just use the references as inspiration for a painting and then post the results here for viewing.

Please include the kind of support (type, brand, weight) used, brand or brands of OP used, and the size of the painting and any other informtion about special techniques you might have used. Any other comments welcome.

I hope lots of you will give this a try and get the challenges off to a good start for the New Year! The reference images are:

A small Russian girl along the Volga River.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Jan-2009/108067-Small_Russian_Girl_along_Volg_River_in_Russia_2007.jpg


Eagle Bluff Lighthouse Complex, Door County, WI

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Jan-2009/108067-Lake_Michigan_Lighthouse_Eagle_Point_WI.jpg

Have fun!
BILL:wave:

Pat Isaac
01-01-2009, 05:14 PM
Thanks, Bill. I just stickied it....

Pat

truck driver
01-02-2009, 01:19 AM
well gee, which one hmm, you know I am gonna do the lighthouse right?
figure drawings of little russian girls.. ouch.... not sure about that one..
oh and yeah, I am removing the figure in the lighthouse one just so you know :P

RG

Scarefishcrow
01-02-2009, 10:06 AM
well gee, which one hmm, you know I am gonna do the lighthouse right?
figure drawings of little russian girls.. ouch.... not sure about that one..
oh and yeah, I am removing the figure in the lighthouse one just so you know :P

RG

As I said, you have artistic license to omit or put in whatever empowers your artistic vision. That's the great thing about art vs. photography. Just because it is there doesn't mean it has to be in the picture! Likewise, just because it wasn't there doesn't mean it can't be in the picture.

That's why we are artists and not cameras!

Looking forward to whatever you do, RG.

BILL

Shirl Parker
01-02-2009, 11:49 AM
Nice references, Bill.

Scarefishcrow
01-02-2009, 01:23 PM
Thanks, Shirl. I decided to get started early this month. I have done a rather simple and sketchy blockin of the girl by the river using NeoColor II by Caran d'ACHE. The image size is 11 x 17 on Wallis sanded professional paper, Belgian Mist color. Left the Neocolor dry ( din't brush them out with water) as I didn't want to risk muddying the underpainting. Will now overlay detail with OP. Any comments of suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Jan-2009/108067-Blockin.jpg

Bill:wave:

robertsloan2
01-02-2009, 03:31 PM
Wow, thanks for some gorgeous references for this month's challenge! Both of them have great possibilities. I'm not interested in drawing the little Russian girl because she lacks one essential thing -- she's not Sascha. However, the reflections on the Volga River and the foreground logs and things are fascinating and I may want to combine it with another reference, maybe a Siberian tiger from the RIL or my Artist Photo Reference: Wildlife book.

Is it all right to combine challenge photos with other photo references, if you can clearly see what in the challenge photo inspired it?

I'm also considering replacing the figure in the lighthouse scene with another figure, not sure what or who but having a person for scale there is intriguing in it. I might settle for just doing her as she is, pretty much a pink carrot at the scale of a painting. That one is so rich in color and detail that it tempts me to dare to do it large and try for some of the feel of Wendell's landscape paintings -- it's a gorgeous reference for that approach. The strong green trees and crisp red roofs are inspiring.

I should probably start with just a sketch though!

Bill, I went back and took a long look at your first post. Good start. I can see why you'd want to work dry. You can see what needs to be done, especially on the girl. Her skin tone needs to be built up in layers, shadow hue and sunlit hues accurate and shadow shapes accurate. So far you've got her general outlines accurate and her details placed well, but until there's more layering on her skin tones they look transparent over gray and thus she looks ghostly and muted.

The water is looking very good. Nice distinct marks alternating those dramatic color shifts. When working it over you could go in and go slower, paying attention to the shape of the long streaks of color, that's the only suggestion I have beyond -- go go go! It's a great beginning!

robertsloan2
01-02-2009, 03:38 PM
A third look showed me an exciting possibility. Look close at how you have her lower legs. You sketched them in where they don't actually show on the reference because the flowers and foliage are in the way, presumably to work flowers and foliage over them. However, they are a bit distorted -- shifted slightly to the side and shorter than they should be if she's standing up.

This is not a bad thing because you created the effect of her wading knee deep in rippling water by using those loose white marks where the flowers go. I don't know if you did this deliberately to create a wading girl painting or if it's pure serendipity, but the shape of her legs as sketched and the lines of white which would be a water effect of light focused by the ripples in the water give an impression her legs below the knee and the logs are both underwater -- like she's wading happily in the shallows.

If you leave out the flowers and follow through on turning this into "wading in the shallows" and keep the value and hues of the bottom neutral like mud or sand... then you'll have created something spectacular there.

It's your call which way to take it -- whether to follow the photo and just work over her legs (which will make them accurate because what's there is only what'd show behind working foliage and flowers over her legs) or keep that ripply distorted effect and those white highlights as they are for a wading girl. Either would be a good painting. The possibility is very dramatic. If you intended it and I only belatedly got it -- well then, you achieved it even in the sketch!

christinemlr
01-02-2009, 04:40 PM
These are wonderful images Bill and I hope I will be able to find time to do one of these this month. It looks like either will prove to be quite a challenge though.

I'm interested in your start with the neopastels ll on darkish paper. I bought the tin of 30 for my grandson (age 5) for Christmas. He's very proud to have them. I'm thinking we might do some pastelling together. He might like to have a go at the water with all those lovely colours.

I wish I could give some input on what you've done so far, but don't feel equipped to offer anything of use. I do like those strokes of colours in the water and the composition is working well.

Perhaps you could advise me how to go about working from a ref image. Do you print it out, or work from the monitor?

Xina

Pat Isaac
01-02-2009, 04:50 PM
I think this is a great start, Bill. You have the gesture of the girl just fine.

Pat

Scarefishcrow
01-02-2009, 05:39 PM
Robert,

Thanks for the excellent critique and great detail with options. Everything was left ghostly because I wanted to make sure I did not overwork it and wanted to get the composition worked out since I've never really done one with a figure in it. I chose this because it has a strong figure study, BUT DOES NOT have what tends to intimidate both myself and others, well defined facial features. The face is turned and mostly obscured by shadow or visual angle so that it will not turn into a portrait, but truly a figure study in the landcape context.

I worked the strokes on the water very loosely to build up a pattern that I could take time with the softer OP's and keep the rhythmic change in distance between crests from top to bottom matched with graded color becoming deeper dark blue/violet to contrast with the bold sunlit yellow of the girl's suit.

I didn't even worry too much about establishing strong values at this point. That is a problem I have to consciously battle of getting overly eager and I intentionally kept this minimalist to establish composition because, though not incredibly difficult or busy with detail, the details that are there (girl in suit, ripples in water and color modulated by ripples from reflection of a Russion Oinion domed church not visible except by reflection) are essentially to keep clean an not muddied.

As for her legs, they were roughed in (somewhat like your lady on the beach) from imagination since the photoi does not allow you to precisely pinpoint their position well. She is somewhat in the start of a dash so it is hard to say what I will do with them. I had intended to do grass and flowers but will give your suggestions some thought.

Xina, the NeoColor II's are great for underdrawing and underpainting. There are many ways you can work from the reference. Some artists do, indeed, have a computer display near their easel these days; I generally print out a series of manipulated images and try to simplify the color and print some grayscale images for values. I have a larger format printer (up to 13 x 19 and typically print out images in 11 x 17 format which works well with the size of Wallis paper I have. You can then either draw a light grid pattern on both printout and support and use the grid to guide you in sketching. Sometimes I may simply trace critical lines or areas or points directly from the printed picture (if same size) using graphite transfer paper or graphite rubbed over the back of the picture. Pretty much what works for you.

Thanks everyone for you comments. Also have the lighthouse 1/2 blocked in with NeoPastels instead of NeoColor and on elephand gray colourfix board. Should be able to post a starter on that tomorrow.

So thanks, again Pat, Xina and Robert.

BTW Robert, its your painting. You can paint Tantalus up to his neck in water if you want; just don't let him drink any before it runs away!

:lol: :lol:

Bill

christinemlr
01-03-2009, 11:47 AM
Thank you for the information Bill, I don't have any photoshop type of program, I use the simple Picasa, but as I'm getting into art much more now I think it might be useful to learn a basic photoshop for manipulation. That will be for the futire though, for now I just want to concentrate on putting those pastels onto something and working them. The idea of greyscaling is a good one, I think I'll try that when I get to doing this OP challenge.

Xina

Scarefishcrow
01-03-2009, 02:07 PM
Well, to be a good role model as a host for the challenge, I have yesterday and today I worked on the lighthouse ref img. It is on Colourfix Elephant Gray Heavy Board, painting is 11 x 17 inches, work so far has been most NeoPastel (CD) and some Craypas Specialist. Sky near completion, trees blocked in but need some scraping back and tuning of highlight and shadows, Keeper's house and two outbuildings are lightly blocked in and will be refined later. Leaving tower of lighthouse for last. Only sketched in lightly so far at this stage.

"Eagle Bluff Lighthouse, WI"

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Jan-2009/108067-lh1.jpg

C&C welcome.
Thanks for looking.

Bill

truck driver
01-03-2009, 02:32 PM
I have it on good authority Gosh could be working on the lighthouse..

RG

christinemlr
01-03-2009, 02:50 PM
This is lovely even before being finished. The swooshing blue of the sky is so gorgeous and you have great dancing strokes in the trees, and some beautiful colours in the grass and on the walls. I paticularly like that very light yellow next to that little shrub. Something Van Gogh ish about the colours. I actually like the lighthouse tower dark and mysterious against the deep blue sky, but I know this will have to change.

Xina

Scarefishcrow
01-03-2009, 02:54 PM
This is lovely even before being finished. The swooshing blue of the sky is so gorgeous and you have great dancing strokes in the trees, and some beautiful colours in the grass and on the walls. I paticularly like that very light yellow next to that little shrub. Something Van Gogh ish about the colours. I actually like the lighthouse tower dark and mysterious against the deep blue sky, but I know this will have to change.

Xina

Thanks, Xina.

The tower will change, but it has considerable shadow on the left side, especially, and it is old so the white will be dull and flecked with rust and graying. It should retain some of that mystery, I hope.

And Van Gogh is one of my favorites, so that is a high compliment.

RG: Does that might I will probably have lighthouse competition, "By GOSH"!!!! :lol:

Bill

Pat Isaac
01-03-2009, 03:23 PM
Great start, Bill, especially the houses and trees. You are really on a roll...
Nice to hear Gosh is participating.

Pat

robertsloan2
01-03-2009, 04:39 PM
Well, to be a good role model as a host for the challenge, I have yesterday and today I worked on the lighthouse ref img. It is on Colourfix Elephant Gray Heavy Board, painting is 11 x 17 inches, work so far has been most NeoPastel (CD) and some Craypas Specialist. Sky near completion, trees blocked in but need some scraping back and tuning of highlight and shadows, Keeper's house and two outbuildings are lightly blocked in and will be refined later. Leaving tower of lighthouse for last. Only sketched in lightly so far at this stage.

"Eagle Bluff Lighthouse, WI"

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Jan-2009/108067-lh1.jpg

C&C welcome.
Thanks for looking.

Bill

Bill, this is so beautiful. You have brilliant color in here and I agree, the sky is nearly done. The foliage is rich and natural too, and the buildings really pop. You're going beyond yourself again with this one. Gorgeous!

Xina -- if you don't have Photoshop and don't want to buy software (like me) there is always Gimp. http://www.gimp.org is the link to download Gimp for free, it works on PC and I think they either have or are working on a version for Macs. It does everything Photoshop can. It's taken me a long time to learn how to use some of its tools and I feel like I've barely scratched the surface -- but I didn't have to pay for it.

Someone should write Gimp for Dummies, seriously.

Scarefishcrow
01-03-2009, 04:49 PM
Thanks, Robert. I really want to work carefully and not overwork them and have these two come out really nice. I'm very happy with both starts, especially the progress on the lighthouse. I had worried about the trees on the right but was getting to the point of feeling I was starting to overwork them.

I want to finish the houses and detailing and tackle the tower last.

Bill

Pat Isaac
01-03-2009, 07:23 PM
This will be a really nice painting, Bill so take your time. I do this the lower part of the trees on the right need to be darker.

Pat

Herb
01-03-2009, 10:44 PM
Bill, dear sir, I do believe you have been sandbagging all these weeks! Luckily for us, we're looking at your art and not shooting pool with you. :lol: :lol:

GOSH
01-04-2009, 03:58 AM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Jan-2009/143278-lighthouse.jpg
Hello, long time no see! This is a work in progress. The colors are stronger than it shows in the picture. I have a lot to clean up here. It's in watercolour paper 7"x9" with Craypas and other cheapies. I've cheated a little: besides a normal pencil, I've used some of my hubby's oil pencils for some extra little detail but mostly for color. It's a shame it doesn't really show the vibrance of the color. I haven't been playing much with oil pastels.
:wave:

robertsloan2
01-04-2009, 06:01 AM
GOSH, that is great! Beautiful detail and accuracy, it's very powerful. Cray-Pas aren't that bad, they're either student or artist grade. If you have the round Expressionist ones, they're student. If you have the square Specialist ones, those are artist grade. They just aren't as soft as the other artist grade oil pastels.

A lot of artists use oil color pencils with oil pastels for detail and added color, it's no biggie. Beautiful work. You really captured the light in this one, it's pouring with light. I can see where if it were mine I'd want to work over the trees more and develop them with chiaroscuro, that there are things here or there that'd benefit from more layering, but overall this is already spectacular. Go you!

Shirl Parker
01-04-2009, 11:39 AM
Looking good Gosh. I would guess that it lightened up when you scanned it. I find that scanned paintings need a little manipulation with software to bring them to the intensity of how they look in real life. On a PC, I use Microsoft Photo Editor or Picasa from Google to do that. On my Mac, I use IPhoto, which seems to be very similar to Picasa. I fiddled with yours a bit. Is this any closer? It's hard to know without the original in front of me.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Jan-2009/113427-143278-lighthouse1.jpg

Pat Isaac
01-04-2009, 12:15 PM
Great WIP, gosh. Nice to see you posting again. I really like your crop and the richness of color.

Pat

robertsloan2
01-04-2009, 12:20 PM
Shirl, yeah, I think you may be right about that. I know that I usually have to tamper with mine in GIMP before I get the colors true and especially the values on light colors. The lightest ones vanish to white in an annoying way. My old scanner would make light blues vanish even when they went to about mid value, it was weird and frustrating because delicately shaded clouds and skies went to nothing and wouldn't show online at all.

I never tried Picasa because I've got GIMP, it's much easier now for me to use GIMP for anything from fixing scans to actually doing digital art. I haven't tried Microsoft Photo Editor either, is that included in Windows Pro?

Scarefishcrow
01-04-2009, 02:57 PM
Bill, dear sir, I do believe you have been sandbagging all these weeks! Luckily for us, we're looking at your art and not shooting pool with you. :lol: :lol:

Actually, I learned long ago not to shoot pool for money. So no matter how much you BEG me and INSIST, Herb, I just don't think I'll do it!!!!!:rolleyes:

Thanks

GOSH, your work is great. I know that water color paper isn't the easiest to work on, either. You have a good eye. Some people that see that photo have trouble interpreting the pyramidal roofed outbuiding between the small fuel storage shed and keepers house. You did it perfectly.

I really like your work and even it didn't change from this it would be a great rendition of the scene.

Bill

Bill

Shirl Parker
01-04-2009, 03:16 PM
Robert, Microsoft Photo Editor used to come with MS Office. In true Microsoft tradition, they don't include it anymore, I don't think anyway.

Gosh, I didn't mean to imply I didn't like it the way it was uploaded by you. Just speculating on possible "ifs".

truck driver
01-04-2009, 06:12 PM
GOSH, that is great! Beautiful detail and accuracy, it's very powerful. Cray-Pas aren't that bad, they're either student or artist grade. If you have the round Expressionist ones, they're student. If you have the square Specialist ones, those are artist grade. They just aren't as soft as the other artist grade oil pastels.


Well, it aint cuz she aint got access to the others. Theres a full set of senneliers here, but she likes to play with the others to. Well now you have met my other half...



RG

truck driver
01-04-2009, 06:14 PM
Actually, I learned long ago not to shoot pool for money. So no matter how much you BEG me and INSIST, Herb, I just don't think I'll do it!!!!!:rolleyes:

Bill

Bill


Rackem.....

Scarefishcrow
01-05-2009, 12:00 AM
Rackem.....


You gotta' be joking, friend!!!!!!:lol: :lol: I wouldn't play pool for money with you! What little I have would soon be in your pockets buying the new OP's I wanted to buy!!!!:clap: :clap:

You know everything else, so I would expect you probably have worked as a pool hustler sometime during your varied and eclectic career history!!!:eek:

Now Herb, he might want a game with you!

Bill

truck driver
01-05-2009, 02:57 AM
I was thinking about some wallis sanded :P

RG

truck driver
01-05-2009, 03:24 AM
You gotta' be joking, friend!!!!!!:lol: :lol: I wouldn't play pool for money with you! What little I have would soon be in your pockets buying the new OP's I wanted to buy!!!!:clap: :clap:

You know everything else, so I would expect you probably have worked as a pool hustler sometime during your varied and eclectic career history!!!:eek:

Now Herb, he might want a game with you!

Bill

Now Bill I dont know everything.. You have amassed quite a bit of knowledge yourself there. Everybody knows something I dont. If you give me a chance I'll get it out of you ;)

But its been years since i've played.. seriously...

RG

truck driver
01-05-2009, 03:27 AM
I can see where if it were mine I'd want to work over the trees more and develop them with chiaroscuro

Umm whats chiaroscuro?

RG

truck driver
01-05-2009, 03:38 AM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Jan-2009/136518-lighthouse_camera.JPG

photo of GOSHS work in progress rather than a scan.

RG

truck driver
01-05-2009, 03:40 AM
Though shirls is closer in color.. the grey streaks in the trees are not evident from looking at it.. scan artifacts maybe..

RG

robertsloan2
01-05-2009, 12:41 PM
Umm whats chiaroscuro?

RG

Chiaroscuro -- defining shape with contrasting values. Using light and dark to create drama, emphasis and depth. Strengthening the shadow masses in the trees so the highlights stand out more, making them look three dimensional. Or anything really, but I first heard the term in relation to some trees someone was doing that had good well defined shadow masses in the foliage.

Scarefishcrow
01-05-2009, 03:10 PM
Ignore. Accidental double post.

Scarefishcrow
01-05-2009, 03:11 PM
For general information, people might be interested to know there is a massive glossary of Art Terms on WC! that can be accessed at this link:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/support/index.php?_m=knowledgebase&_a=view&parentcategoryid=13&pcid=0&nav=0


It contains the following definition:

chiaroscuro A term used to describe the use of light and shade in a painting or drawing, particularly when strong contrast is employed. From the Italian for light (chiaro) and shade (oscuro).

This may be helpful to those that encounter unfamiliar terms.

Bill

truck driver
01-05-2009, 04:44 PM
thank you guys, bill and robert for the information..

RG

christinemlr
01-05-2009, 06:49 PM
This one this was DIFFICULT

Neocolor ll on A4 cartridge washed. and cropped a little I was planning to put some Sennelier OPs on top, but decided I didn't have the right colours. The scan hasn't got it absolutely right, but I'm not going to mess about, I'd like to have another go at this when I get more Sennelier colours. I think it could make a good painting.http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Jan-2009/151368-img037.jpg

Xina

Scarefishcrow
01-05-2009, 07:24 PM
This one this was DIFFICULT
That's why it's called a challenge!

Neocolor ll on A4 cartridge washed. and cropped a little I was planning to put some Sennelier OPs on top, but decided I didn't have the right colours. The scan hasn't got it absolutely right, but I'm not going to mess about, I'd like to have another go at this when I get more Sennelier colours. I think it could make a good painting.

It already has made a good painting, Xina. Or, more correctly you have made a good painting. You have captured the essence of the scene without too much extraneous detail. The colors are bright and crisp. The yellow really stands out and you did the figure very well.

Perhaps the arms are a little off, but they are quite difficult.

I think you did a fine job with this.



http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Jan-2009/151368-img037.jpg

Xina

I hope mine comes out as well. Now I have someone to follow for ideas!!!!

Bill

robertsloan2
01-05-2009, 08:07 PM
This one this was DIFFICULT

Neocolor ll on A4 cartridge washed. and cropped a little I was planning to put some Sennelier OPs on top, but decided I didn't have the right colours. The scan hasn't got it absolutely right, but I'm not going to mess about, I'd like to have another go at this when I get more Sennelier colours. I think it could make a good painting.http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Jan-2009/151368-img037.jpg

Xina

Xina, this is magnificent. I think it's perfect as it is. Thanks for showing how well the Neocolor II performs too. I used to love those and will be getting some again in a few months.

Pat Isaac
01-06-2009, 08:06 AM
Xina, great job and though it seems a simple picture figures are difficult. You have a nice sense of sunlight and crisp color in this painting.

Pat

christinemlr
01-07-2009, 05:53 AM
Thank you Bill, Robert and Pat for your positive comments. They are very much appreciated.

BILL I'm glad you made mention of the arms, I think I knew this, but my ambition to do 2 arms was beyond my actual ability! But when a figure is the focus its got to be right. The little girl's right arm in the photo can barely be seen and I thought if done like that in a painting it could look as if she has an arm missing, so I decided to change the arm position, and tried to make it appear as if she was looking at the flowers with a gesture towards wanting to pick them.

Also I think I worked too small. I'm going to try to do this again larger and see if I can find a way to get the arms right.

Xina

Scarefishcrow
01-07-2009, 05:05 PM
BILL I'm glad you made mention of the arms, I think I knew this, but my ambition to do 2 arms was beyond my actual ability! But when a figure is the focus its got to be right. The little girl's right arm in the photo can barely be seen and I thought if done like that in a painting it could look as if she has an arm missing, so I decided to change the arm position, and tried to make it appear as if she was looking at the flowers with a gesture towards wanting to pick them.

Xina

First, Xina, I understand EXACTLY what you mean about the appearance of the left arm and the same thought occurred to me about a "missing arm".

The suggestion, I decided, comes from the fact that the short "sleevelet" of the yellow suit seems stiff enough it stands out as if the arm were in a forward position even though it is, as you say, barely visible along her side.

Mind you, I don't see your attempt as a serious or even distracting problem. In fact the arms are not badly done but in thinking about this I believe the problem comes from the fact that you rendered a reasonable arm in a reasonable position that did not coincide with the position of the body as it appeared in the photograph, which you rendered quite well.

So in essence, you put a pretty good arm (for the size you worked at) onto a good body but the two didn't match up properly.

Does make sense? Sometimes getting a thought out in words seems so cumbersome. Would be much easier if we could just transmit the mental vision, wouldn't it??:lol:

Actually, this does provide me with an advantage since I have contemplated that problem as well. My inclination now is to not change the arm's position, but make certain that it has sufficient contrast with the yellow suit and surrounding environment in color and value, perhaps with slight enlargement of the visible regions, to make it clear.

Of course it is easy for me to see all these things since you have been the pioneer and completed your first giving me a chance to see a completed work. So don't think all this analysis comes from my deep artistic foresight, but more from my slow and procrastinating hindsight:lol: .

Secondly, your idea of her gesture as one reaching out to pick the flowers is reasonable, but again it comes into conflict with what the body is doing.

The leg positions make it obvious she is begining or in the progress of a forward movement which generally in a child would be accompanied by swinging their arms. A child would tend to be stopped and standing if beginning to pick the flowers.

I hope you don't mind my verbalizing this analysis. I think its well rendered and pleasing execution far outweigh any of the minor things I've examined in detail.

Originally, at this point I launched into a long essay on my recent readings and minor epiphanies regarding painting that I realized is somewhat out of place here and far to long. I'm going to post it in an OP Talk thread so people that don't want to be sidetracked won't be frustrated.

However, your painting and the chance to analyze it and find some insight, at least for me, has been a generous gift you have provided.

Thanks very much.

Bill:wave:

christinemlr
01-07-2009, 05:44 PM
Bill - its your thinking on this that has been the generous gift. You have provided me with insight into the problem of portraying the childs movement. I see it now, I didn't see it before, that she is indeed unbalanced, with the legs and arms in conflicting movement. Now this is going to take some resolving. How to keep that little girl in motion, and get her arms swinging in a believable way. I'm going to have to do some sketches.

Now you've got me excited about trying to work this one out. Also your excellent analysis will help me in future figure work, because I will be far more aware of this body balance aspect.

Very many thanks Bill :clap: :)
Xina

Scarefishcrow
01-07-2009, 06:21 PM
Bill - its your thinking on this that has been the generous gift. You have provided me with insight into the problem of portraying the childs movement. I see it now, I didn't see it before, that she is indeed unbalanced, with the legs and arms in conflicting movement. Now this is going to take some resolving. How to keep that little girl in motion, and get her arms swinging in a believable way. I'm going to have to do some sketches.

Now you've got me excited about trying to work this one out. Also your excellent analysis will help me in future figure work, because I will be far more aware of this body balance aspect.

Very many thanks Bill :clap: :)
Xina

Let's just say it was a team effort. You took the chance to try something to resolve what we both saw as a potential problem.

It was your willingness to share that risk with us that gave me something to look at and think about. When I made that comment, I really wasn't completely sure why I said that except it was a gut reaction. Having said it, I really didn't think much more about it and thought, "Oh, maybe it's just me and no one else sees anything wrong!".

It was your comments and agreement that made me go back and look again. Why??? What is it???

Seeing and feeling something wrong is not always easy to convert into understanding as too WHY it feels wrong.

That's one of the things I often worry a little about but also need to be careful of becomming to worried about. It is all to easy to say, "Great job! Looks good!". But what does that provide the painter?? Encouragement or, sometimes I think, the feeling that eveyone thinks it's so bad nobody wants to say anything. It's a very fine line and everyone reacts differently to suggestions.

I've occasionally analyzed some things and then when explained realized, "Oh, I just didn't read this correctly." Critiquing can be as scary as posting a work. Both require you to take some risk, but both offer the possibility of learning something. Becomming a mutual praise society may make us feel good, but does it really advance our understanding.

Somehow saying "This is good but "xyz" doesn't feel right to me (and I may not even know why myself)." and hope the person realizes that doesn't mean I think it is a "bad" job is something where you have to try and balance the goal of supporting and encouraging with that of (to the best of our individual abilities) nuturing and helping.

I can hear the "oh there he goes agains" from here!!

Perhaps, but I have come to believe we have to keep reminding ourselves and others, especially those starting out, that what we are offering isn't so much criticism as it is thinking out loud about what other options we might have explored or why is it that "xyz" bothers me though I can't pinpoint the reason.

This little exchange is the whole point. :thumbsup:

I made a passing observation without really resolving it in my own mind. Others seem to see no problem so I mark it up to indigestion or a mental burp.

Then the artist comes back and says, "Yeah, I understand what you are saying and agree but here's why I did what I did."

Suddenly, I want to go back and look at that and figure out, "What in the world made me even say that and if the artist agrees, what is it that seems to be bugging both of us?"

Analysis.

Countless others have said it to me in books and posts, but analysis of what you have done may be MORE important that what you have done itself.

It is in analysis of our own or other's work that we reach levels of understanding that go beyond "this works" and "that doesn't". It takes us into the struggle to come to grips with WHY that is true.

As here, that is sometimes a step forward for both the artist and the one offering the observation. It's a collaboration, Xina.

I have no great analytic prowess. Many of these things are subconcious reactions that one never pursues consciously unless, as you did, there is a reaffirmation of your gut response from somewhere.

This brings the initial observation back into your conscious thoughts and you struggle to pry from your reclusive and secretive subconscious the reason it sent that thought to your conscious level in the first place.

Maybe I'm over emotional or whatever. However, I live for moments like this where there is a convergence of critique and response that results in what many may see as a minor point but to the two of us is real and substantive step toward understanding.

You are doing very well Xina, and as long as you are willing to risk taking chances and trying things, I'll continue to risk being as observant and making observations that may or may not be completely understood by either of us! How about that as a deal??

Let's call this a "gift" tie and take what we both learned and move on. You are definitely on the right track, Xina, and you are definitely placing yourself in the correct frame of mind to make progress.

Just forget that "Failure" word and think about what you learned from each effort. We are always trying no matter how far we go! If not, then we probably should move on to another pursuit!

Best wishes,
Bill:thumbsup:

christinemlr
01-07-2009, 06:57 PM
Its a deal Bill! :) Although I think it will be unfairly lopsided as my powers of anlysis are pretty feeble. I've read your reply twice over, because what you say is fascinating and I wanted to be sure I got it all with proper understanding.

This is something really new I'm learning, and you're on the path way ahead of me, but I'm following with full attention.

Xina

Scarefishcrow
01-07-2009, 07:17 PM
This is something really new I'm learning, and you're on the path way ahead of me, but I'm following with full attention.

Xina

Not nearly as far ahead as my florid rhetorical skills may lead you to believe. (Translation: I'm a better talker than painter!! :lol: :lol: )

But I'm learning right along with you and you are a lot better than you give yourself credit for. It's just I've learned a lot more of the fancy jargon than you have so far!

Keep up the good work. Great piece in the sketch thread!

Bill:wave:

truck driver
01-08-2009, 12:23 AM
heres an idea... not that many of mine are that great... trace the drawing of the little girl, and on another piece of tracing paper laid over it, draw a skeleton, that might show you whats wrong..

rg

truck driver
01-08-2009, 12:34 AM
o.k. This is my thought, not that I am knocking an excellent piece of work, just thought would throw my two cents in. The rightarm is wrong, making the left arm look off, and what is wrong with the right arm is the position of the elbow. The little girl is leaning to the left, yet the right elbow is lower than the left even though it is further away and she is leaning away from it. Am I making sense?

RG

truck driver
01-08-2009, 12:41 AM
my thought would be to darken the shadow on the right arm, and raise the elbow, I believe from the perspective the overall length of the arm appears to be right... just the elbow ...

of course I could be wrong, I have been before..

RG

robertsloan2
01-08-2009, 02:28 AM
This one this was DIFFICULT

Neocolor ll on A4 cartridge washed. and cropped a little I was planning to put some Sennelier OPs on top, but decided I didn't have the right colours. The scan hasn't got it absolutely right, but I'm not going to mess about, I'd like to have another go at this when I get more Sennelier colours. I think it could make a good painting.http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Jan-2009/151368-img037.jpg

Xina

I read the entire discussion on analysis before looking at your art. That was interesting in itself. I've been doing analysis for years, did a lot of it in college and even got good enough at art blather to manage to say nice things about artworks I despised and thought were lousy even though they were famous. It got me high grades in Humanities.

It also taught me a useful skill for critiquing good artists with thick skins and beginners with thin skins or any combination of same, it's all a matter of slant and which details to notice.

Her right arm, the unsupported one out over the water, looks almost right. Almost. There's the rub.

With something like that, you can either sketch a lot and change the pose -- it helps to use manikins sometimes, but their proportions aren't always accurate for children. Or follow the photo close to get it right. Lowering the elbow slightly on her left arm would balance them and make the right arm look better.

The length from shoulder to elbow would be a hair more than on the other side and is distinctly less. If her elbow is bent and her hand reaching forward with fingers splayed either to pick flowers or balance herself, the forearm would be foreshortened and shorter. Get someone to stand in the pose. Even an adult's arms in that pose would do a lot to help work out these details.

Or a very bendable manikin, it's been great to have the Art S. Buck manikins I bought about four months ago on sale. They did a lot for my figures, and a friend who keeps borrowing the female one went from erratic proportions to accurate ones by using the manikin every time she has problems.

One possibility for child shaped manikins is to look in a dollar store for toys. You can sometimes find dolls that are proportioned like children of different ages, not just adolescent fashion dolls and infants but children in between. They run expensive sometimes but that's where "dollar store" comes in, it doesn't have to have a fancy brand name if it's an art figurine. Or yard sales, it doesn't have to be new either. You may find cheap used ones on eBay.

mysurface
01-08-2009, 11:15 AM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Jan-2009/155060-jan2009.JPG

I just back from Taiwan. I bought a new set of Oil Pastel from Taiwan, 24 colours SIMBALION on black paper.

Shirl Parker
01-08-2009, 01:45 PM
Very nice interpretation HK.

JTMB
01-08-2009, 03:03 PM
Hi Everyone,

Here's my attempt at the monthly challenge. Note that I wimped out on doing the figure. After letting it rest for a day, I may go back and make an attempt at adding the person. Were I to do it again, I would use colored pencils for some of the detail, or attempt less detail overall in the image. Done with Holbein's on Strathmore Bristol sheet.

John
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Jan-2009/165640-S3-1144-OPMoChallengeJan.jpg

Pat Isaac
01-08-2009, 04:33 PM
Nice painterly quality to this Hean Kuan. I like the crop and do you like your new OPs?
You did a great job with all the detail, John. Nice sense of light.
It is always so nice to see everyone's interpretation of the subjects.

Pat

Scarefishcrow
01-08-2009, 10:24 PM
I read the entire discussion on analysis before looking at your art. That was interesting in itself. I've been doing analysis for years, did a lot of it in college and even got good enough at art blather to manage to say nice things about artworks I despised and thought were lousy even though they were famous. It got me high grades in Humanities.

.

It may have helped you get high grades, but it did not teach you to be accurate and give pertinent information if you were contriving nice things to say about work you thought was bad!

Tis better to say nothing than feign compliments, IMHO.

No one benefits from that, even with your high grades.

Bill:wave:

Scarefishcrow
01-08-2009, 10:33 PM
Hean Kuan,

Interesting crop of the ref image. I agree with pat it has a very loose, painterly feel.

John,
Also a good effort. IMHO, the top of the tower is very close in color and value to the sky. I would suggest more contrast. Likewise, the red roof of the outbuilding closest to the keeper's house blends in and is indistinguishable from the roof of the keeper's house. Perhaps some slight varioation in values there would help distinguish them.

I might have made the shadow area on the tower's left side a bit darker and heighten it's contrast with the sky and light plane of the tower.

Overall a good job.


Bill:thumbsup:

JTMB
01-09-2009, 12:10 AM
Pat and Bill,

Thanks for the always helpful feedback, and for providing the monthly impetus to take on a subject. :)

John

mysurface
01-09-2009, 05:41 AM
Thanks Bill and Pat. I like the OP, gonna try more on different surface.

Scarefishcrow
01-09-2009, 12:00 PM
Hean Kuan and John,

The thanks goes to people like you that participate. This challenge thread is where I really got involved 1 yr ago this Feb when I resolved to do every challenge that year and Pat (ahem) was going to honestly tell me if I had made progress (Can you hear her going :eek: :eek: :eek: , Why did I ever get trapped into that???)

Seriously, we try to have fun and enjoy. We try to be serious about art and tell what we might have done differently and we might be right or wrong but it's up to you, the artist to decide.

It is just great to see so much participation and so many new faces around the forum. Doesn't matter is OP is your favorite medium or just a secondary one you enjoy to use occasionally, (even Oil Sticks and Oil Bars and Watersolubles). You are welcome to share your work here with us!

Without people like you to take part it wouldn't be much of a forum! The users are the most important thing that makes or breaks the forum. Mods and Guides don't matter much if no one finds it engaging enough to take part.

So thanks to everyone that does anywhere in the forum and let's make this an even BETTER year than the last. Next year's retrospective can be even more impressive than this year's! How about that?

Bill:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

christinemlr
01-10-2009, 05:29 PM
This was meant to be just a trial sketch of the little girl, just using white on black paper, but couldn't help myself and just expanded into full colour, even though I still didn't manage to got her arms right. The whole thing is off I know - the little girl is still off balance and is set too far down in the composition, but I was just fascinated by the colours as they went on to the black paper. http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Jan-2009/151368-img043.jpg

Neolcolor ll on W&N Tints pastel paper

I'm wondering if a larger painting of this would be worth tackling - (if I can get the figure better)

Xina

This is another A4 size

christinemlr
01-10-2009, 05:39 PM
I tried to send a different crop, but went wrong somewhere so will leave previous post as is.
Xina

christinemlr
01-10-2009, 06:20 PM
PS thanks to Kerch for getting me on to black paper. You get these sheets of black in pastel pads, and I never use them, but I'm beginning to see they can be useful.

Xina

robertsloan2
01-10-2009, 08:12 PM
Xina, this is beautiful. I love how the black paper worked with the opaque Neocolor II's, and your little girl is great. Working a bit larger may help with the hands some, give you space to add more detail.

truck driver
01-10-2009, 09:37 PM
XINA: That works REALLY well on the black... looks good.. I cant tell that the figure is off balance......

RG

Pat Isaac
01-11-2009, 07:27 AM
This is really looking good. You have made the black paper work for you. I don't think the girl is off balance either. I like the shadows on her face and the nice little highlight.

Pat

christinemlr
01-11-2009, 08:03 AM
Thank you RG Robert and Pat.

I did the above painting yesterday evening under an ordinary ceiling light, looking at it today I found the yellow suit to be too cold a yellow so have tried to warm it up and cool the shadows on her as well. (Charlie's colour classes helped get me thinking about warm and cool, its going into the brain even if less than easy to get it onto the paper!)

I hope its improved and not got into overworked.


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Jan-2009/151368-img044.jpg

Pat Isaac
01-11-2009, 08:46 AM
No not overworked at all. I really like the feeling of a bight summer day.

Pat

robertsloan2
01-11-2009, 02:47 PM
Not overworked at all. I like the changes and especially like the way you tweaked her hand that's over her leg -- that hand was looking a bit blobby and now it's dainty, three dimensional, shapely. Wonderful.

She doesn't look any more unbalanced than Sascha really does when she's romping along, more like she's caught mid motion and not exactly standing sturdily. Wonderful painting. Maybe it's the color shifts that are making her stance more plausible.

The flowers in front of her are so great. I get such a sense of her height and how big they are and how deep the patch of them is. Small person, big fascinating world... it's got a great feeling. You're showing a bit of a slope to the land with them elegantly.

Scarefishcrow
01-11-2009, 06:03 PM
Xina,

I really like the one you did on black paper. One of the thing I like that you did here is omit the LOGS. I think that strengthened the composition.

I like both versions, but the second one is just a tad too dark, overall, for me and I prefer the color in the first one. However, that may be the image.

The one tiny thing I will mention is that darn right (anatomical) arm again. It is better and it is very tricky. The problem is that by showing it all along her side it now appears ridgid and siff.

I would suggest tapering the upper and lower arm showing towad one another until a bit of it disappears behing her at the point where her elbow would be suggesting the ever so slightest flexure of the arm and creating a better sense of fluidity

Bill

paul444
01-12-2009, 05:51 AM
Great paintings everyone, well done.
Here is my go at the little girl. Its 9 X 11 using mostly Sennelier pastels on ingres paper.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Jan-2009/82968-by_the_river.jpg


C & C Welcome.

robertsloan2
01-12-2009, 01:07 PM
Paul, yours is great too in such a different way. Very bright and the Senneliers blend so well, it's vivid and powerful. I like how you handled the ripples on the river and the bold way you captured the little girl so accurately. The sunlight is blazing on yours in a way I remember from some summer days I spent with my sister when she wore very bright clothes like that.

christinemlr
01-12-2009, 03:37 PM
Its excellent Paul. You've got a lovely sheen on the water and a good contrast in the texture of the grass and flowers. I don't know how you've done it, but you've got that left arm of the little girl lifted up and her body in movement so well. How did you blend the colours in the water? And was this done on a tinted Ingres?
Xina

Pat Isaac
01-12-2009, 04:27 PM
Terrific interpretation of this scene, Paul. I like your bold color and the rippled water is just great. I like the flowers and the suggestion that the little girl is stilling on a log.

Pat

Scarefishcrow
01-12-2009, 08:02 PM
Paul, good work on the figure. I really like the way you handled the water and the textures on the logs are really terrific.

Nice work with the foreground as well.

Bill:wave:

truck driver
01-13-2009, 12:22 AM
Paul, great as always.. love it..

RG

jamezzz
01-13-2009, 04:14 AM
I'm new to oil pastels...in fact I'm new to drawing and painting as well, but I'm having a ball experimenting with all these mediums. My mom had an old set of Guitar OPs so I borrowed those and just played around with 'em for a day or two. Tried soft pastels too, but for some reason couldn't stop thinking about how much fun I had just pushing the oil pastels around on the paper. So I ordered a set of Erengi ArtAspirer OPs and they just arrived today!!!

So here's my first painting with my new OPs and my second painting with OPs period. Still work in progress, lot's of things I don't like, but I can tell I'm going to enjoy OPs!! Feel free to give this newbie C&C. Thanks!

Hmmm, the OPs must be melting...my lighthouse is tipping :)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Jan-2009/166101-January2009_005.jpg

paul444
01-13-2009, 05:31 AM
Thank you, Robert, Christine, Pat, Bill and RG. this was a fun piece to do.

Christine, the Ingress paper was a beige colour and I did all the blending with my favorite tool... my finger.

paul444
01-13-2009, 05:38 AM
Hi Jamezzz,
Welcome to the op forum.
You have made a great start and your lighthouse looks great.
Have you considered blending the blue of the sky to get a smoother look.

Shirl Parker
01-13-2009, 12:37 PM
This is a great start jamezz. I really like the clarity of color.

Scarefishcrow
01-13-2009, 01:15 PM
:wave: Jamezzz, Welcome to the Oil Pastel Channel:wave:

You are off to a great start with this; hard to believe you don't have more experience.

You might want to check out the following links:

<IMPORTANT INFO> (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=520302)

and

Index to threads for Common Questions (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=540432)

The first contains links to and an overview of all the subforums on the OP Channel and what each contains and where to post what. There are other important information links there as well.

The second contains a list of threads that contain information about some of the more common questions people have starting out with OP.


You have done well starting out. In addition to Paul's comments, I might suggest contrasting the color and value of the dome on top of the lighthouse a bit more with that of the sky. Also, you might make the blue reflected from the shadow side of the tower a bit less intense than it is now.

You did an excellent job with the buidings.

Hope to see more of your work and if you have any questions, simply go to the OP Talk forum and start a thread and ask away. We are always glad to help in any way we can..

Bill:wave:

Pat Isaac
01-13-2009, 01:25 PM
What a great start, Jamezzz and welcome to the forum. :wave: The Erengis are a good to start with. I like the bold color you have and maybe they did melt a little....:lol: Easy to fix.

Pat

jamezzz
01-13-2009, 10:04 PM
Thanks everyone. Doing this challenge sure makes you appreciate the skill with which veteran oil pastelists lay down their pastels!

Paul, yes I was planning to go back over and smooth out that sky, but I wanted to post what I had just for this kind of feedback. I don't know if this is common, but I find myself jumping around...I'll lay down some pastel and do some blending on the building, then jump over to one of the trees and then off to another part of the painting.

Bill, thanks for those links, especially the Common Questions. I agree with the blue on the tower...definitely too pronounced. I've gotta' work on taking better pictures of my paintings too. The colors aren't quite right on the image I posted...a little more tweaking needed to match reality.

Pat, when building and such appear to lean one way or the other can that actually be corrected at the stage this painting is or does it need to be corrected earlier. I'm guessing stepping back from my painting a little more would've helped avoid that leaning lighthouse and chimney.

Thanks again for all the feedback. Much appreciated!
Kevin

Pat Isaac
01-14-2009, 08:26 AM
kevin, I went back and looked at the lighthouse and decided it would be a lot of work to fix it at this stage. I think you are doing a great job with this landscape.

Pat

Scarefishcrow
01-14-2009, 09:39 AM
Kevin,

Absolutely fine to post progress and get feedback.:thumbsup:

I have looked again at your painting, and, while Pat might be correct that completely correcting the "lean" might be difficult, part of the problem lies not in the angle of the tower but that the sides of the tower are essentially depicted as paralell when the tower IRL tapers as it rises frm ground to top.

Lacking the characteristic taper of the classic "lighthouse" shape, this certainly accentuates the appeaerance of a lean (which is not actually that great but the offset of the house accentuates any small deviation.

You might consider carefully studying the ref image and your painting to determine if judiciously expanding the diameter of the base of the tower on one side might reduce the appearance of any tilt or lean.

Just a suggestion for you to think about. Great job so far!

Bill:wave:

jamezzz
01-14-2009, 09:45 AM
Thanks Pat! Yeah, I thought it might be a little late to correct. I'll just chalk that one up to learning :-) When looking at the actual painting it actually isn't as noticeable as in the picture.

robertsloan2
01-14-2009, 03:04 PM
Great start on the lighthouse, Jamezz! Detailed, accurate, interesting and it looks as if you're going to have fun with those Erengi Art Aspirers. I love mine, they are so much fun and a comfortable medium texture -- softer than hard, more controllable than Senneliers or the other soft ones.

I see the tilting lighthouse but there's an easier solution to that than redoing the entire drawing. I can see a fix.

First, take a grid ruler or a T square. Tape or pin your painting onto a drawing board at a slight tilt so that the lighthouse is straight up and down as measured down the center. It is a very slight tilt. The right side is not angled, the left side is, and if you tilt it so the angle is the same on both sides it will stand solidly.

Then correct the other problem that makes the lighthouse tilt look much more extreme -- the line of the bottom of the house is at a much sharper angle in relation to the base of the lighthouse than even the tilt would indicate. This is making it look more tilted because the baseline of the house establishes what's horizontal.

Thus if you use a grid ruler or T square to line it up so the tower is vertical, then correct the bottom line of the house to an exact 90 degree angle with the center of the tower, you will have a solid vertical for all the buildings at the same time and it'll snap into looking real. Mark the edges for the changed angle of the painting so that when it's matted it gets lined up with the art rather than the edges of the paper and no one will ever see the tilt.

I hope this helps. It's coming along well and it's beautiful. More blending in the sky will be great and your trees are already well blended. I like the heavy applications on the foliage, the light and dark changes are rich and inviting. Well done! Keep going!

jamezzz
01-16-2009, 03:24 AM
Wow! Thanks for all the great tips.
Robert - Great idea, I didn't actually crop the painting itself, but I did crop the image in a similiar manner.

I also blended the sky alot more (kinda' hard to tell from picture), I contrasted the dome a little against the sky, finished the foliage going up the left hand site, oh and took some of the blue out of the reflected light on the lighthouse. That large bit of trees rising up on the left was a little tough, that's alot of green. Tried to add in a little more color, but it was venturing towards mud so I stopped. Definitely hard to know when to quit and certainly alot more to learn, but what fun!! C&C welcome!

9.5"x12" Strathmore Windpower Drawing, 80lb
Erengi ArtAspirer 90 color set and a few Senns

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/16-Jan-2009/166101-January2009_017-1.jpg

Pat Isaac
01-16-2009, 08:15 AM
What an excellent finish to the painting and the lighthouse is corrected...I like your bold use of color, such a sunny painting. When you think you are getting mud is a good time to stop. OPs often need setting up before more color can be added.
This is a great first.

Pat

christinemlr
01-16-2009, 09:55 AM
Kevin, this is a great first OP. I agree doing these challenges does make you appreciate how difficult it can be, and its also fantastic practice at things you might not think of doing ordinarily. I shied away from this one thinking it might be too difficult, and buildings are definitly not my thing to paint but I do like them so perhaps I ought to have a go. One thing about the trees, you might try -and they will be set enough by now (as Pat says you can work more then without muddying) just to tone down the ones in the background (lighter, and more blueish) to make them recede into the distance.
Well done for correcting that tower, better to have it right than off a bit, and now its standing beautifully straight.
Xina

jamezzz
01-16-2009, 11:22 AM
Thanks Pat! Xina, thanks and you're absolutely right about the trees. While I like the bright colors, I knew there was something bothering me about "brightness" of the trees, something very unnatural about the scene. It may be that my trees aren't receding in the distance like they should. The tower lean looks a bit better in the image thanks to Picasa's Straighten feature (guess that's not actually cropping it)...eventually I'll try out Roberts suggestion for cropping the painting so it'll look straighter in real life.

I definitely learned how using different brands of OPs is helpful. I have a couple Senns (white and yellow) that I could lay down over the Erengis pretty well. Plus the Senns white was great for blending the sky, very creamy. I might have to get one of those big white Senns stick.

Anyhow, can't wait to pick my next painting and practice some more!:)

Shirl Parker
01-16-2009, 12:57 PM
Excellent job Jamezzz

Scarefishcrow
01-16-2009, 01:40 PM
Kevin,

Great finish to the painting. I wouldn't worry too much about a little lilt to the tower. I expect some of these old lighthouses actually have them.

I thought you did a pretty good job on getting the shading on the roofs of the building to show their distinction.

I really like the way you model the trees and shrubs. There might be, as has been suggested, some tweaking that could be done here and there, but getting the real feeling of foilage coming across is the big challenge and you did exceptionally well with that!


Really filled with light. Thanks for taking part in this month's challenge, Kevin. Hope you will try some in the future, as well!

BILL:clap: :clap:

Scarefishcrow
01-16-2009, 01:54 PM
While I'm thinking about it, I should point out to everyone that I mistakenly gave the wrong location of this lighthouse as Eagle Bluff when this is in reality the famous Door Co. WI landmark Cana Island Lighthouse (on, guess where, Cana Island). Probably one of the most traditionally shaped of WI lighthouses with its tall tower.

Just thought I would clarify that mistake in case there are any lighthouse buffs among us!:lol:

Door County is the little "thumb" of a peninsula that juts out into lake Michigan on the western shore to form Green Bay to the north of it! It is an incredibly rich area in terms of history and culture and site of many of WI's lighthouses that lead sailors into safe harbors. The Cana Island LH shown here is famous as it was placed near the end of the peninsula on an island between tow "safe haven" bay areas (North Bay and Moonlight Bay) where ships could find safety before heading for the area around the peninsula called "Death's Door".

If you ever are in WI it is a lovely place to see lots of lighthouses, historic homes, a still active fishing industry and much more. Quite a few artists are in that area and an OPS signature member, George Shipperly, is supposed to be scheduled sometime this summer for an OP workshop on the peninsula!

Because the peninsula has many high Bluffs, many of the lighthouses are not what you think of as is Cana Island's. In Fact, the Eagle Bluff LH which I mistakenly labeled this as is on a bluff so high that the LH light tower is hardly more than a few feet above the roofline of the keeper's house!!!

One of the more interesting types of LH's that many are not familiar with but are present on the island are what are called "Range Lights" which actually are TWO distinct lights placed at different distances from the shore. The further back of the two has one light that is higher than the one closest to the shore. The most famous on Door co. is Bailey's harbor Range light very close to Cana Island.

The front light of the Bailey's Harbor light is in a squat tower that, I think, is the shortest lighthouse tower in WI. It is hardly more than 20' tall. The rear light is in a cupola atop the Keepr's house further back and to use the range lights sailors would align the two so the rear light was directy over the front light and that meant they were on a safe course into the harbor.

Just a bit of history with the correction.

Bill:wave:

robertsloan2
01-17-2009, 10:47 PM
Jamezz, tremendous finish! I need to do this one, it's calling to me. I haven't started yet and probably should.

Bill, thanks for correction and details about the location. I'd hate to put it out on my blog mistitled.

Scarefishcrow
01-19-2009, 07:01 PM
I'm posting an update on my "Russian Girl by the Water". Mostly new work done with Holbeins (finally decided they had waited long enough).

Need to refine reflections at top. Have not really done more than sketch in girl yet. Added foreground foilage. Have not decided how to handle logs. I kind of like Xina's idea of increasing the foilage, flowers and water, so I'm still debating what to do with that little block of paper real estate.

C&C Welcome. Thanks for looking.

Bill

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Jan-2009/108067-P1190013.jpg

christinemlr
01-19-2009, 07:17 PM
Bill, I really like what you've done here. I love the surface quality you achieve with the OPs. The little girl is lovely. I like her just as she is in that 'sketchy' style. She's firmly planted on the bank and you've got the arms nicely positioned, and her face is so sweet looking at the flowers. The rippling smoothness of the water surface is beautiful.
Xina

Scarefishcrow
01-19-2009, 07:27 PM
Thanks, XINA. I appreciate the comments. I'm almost afraid to tackle the girl because the more refined she becomes the more precise things have to be and the easier to get proportions wrong.

I've almost decided to take that little patch of remaining paper and either plant more flowers, put some more water or a little of both like you did.

I'm thinking those big clunky logs seem like they might be too heave a counterweight for the small girl. Sloping flowers diagonally from the left to her will tend to gently lead to the girl.

What do you think?

Bill:wave:

Bill, I really like what you've done here. I love the surface quality you achieve with the OPs. The little girl is lovely. I like her just as she is in that 'sketchy' style. She's firmly planted on the bank and you've got the arms nicely positioned, and her face is so sweet looking at the flowers. The rippling smoothness of the water surface is beautiful.
Xina

christinemlr
01-19-2009, 08:30 PM
Bill, I can't offer any sound advice on composition, its my weakest area, and I'm not able to work design problems out in any artistically informed way. Its haphazard hit or miss for me when it comes to composition. Best to leave that to the better qualified artists to comment on.
Xina

Pat Isaac
01-19-2009, 08:55 PM
This is coming along nicely, Bill. I like the water reflections and I do like the sweet face on the little girl. I would add some more flowers, and put some to the left.

Pat

robertsloan2
01-19-2009, 09:07 PM
Looking good, Bill!

Trust your feelings on this. If you don't feel confident about the logs, it's not like there is some great judge-of-accurate-copying insisting you have to put them in. Plant a pile of flowers on them and fill the area with another mass of something interesting that you have confidence in painting. That'll be just as cool as the logs.

To me the logs are easy and the little girl isn't. You've reached a perfect stage here and her sketchy look is elegant. She's well balanced and positioned.

Scarefishcrow
01-20-2009, 02:07 PM
Thanks for the input Xina, Pat and Robert. I pretty much like the idea of filling in with more flowers. Seems to fit the mood. (And Xina, I got the idea from you so you must have good intuition!!!)

I think I'll let it rest for a while and work some more on the lighthouse. When I first posted this I thought the girl was not even started, but the more I look at it the more I really don't want to overdo her. I want to think carefully since her legs are obscured anyway and to much tinkering with position could detract.

This will be one of my exercises in developing patience and restraint rather that seeing how many OP sticks I can keep airborne simultaneously!

The thing that surprised me was when looking for the water color it turned out quite a bit of what I used was Holbein Non Colors with touches of blue here and there blended in. (Wendell's words about using neutrals began ringing in my ears!)

:thumbsup:

Bill

christinemlr
01-20-2009, 06:48 PM
I'm very interested in what your saying about non colours. What are these exactly? I want to learn more about the use of grey (if thats what they are).
I can't see any grey in the water, but its soft and modulated. btw, what surface is it on?
Xina

Scarefishcrow
01-20-2009, 09:47 PM
I'm very interested in what your saying about non colours. What are these exactly? I want to learn more about the use of grey (if thats what they are).
I can't see any grey in the water, but its soft and modulated. btw, what surface is it on?
Xina

The Holbein noncolors are neutral tones. I suppose they would be considered a Value series from black to white in graded steps (I would think of them as somewhat cool gray tones).

This is on 12x18" Wallis sanded pastel paper in Belgian Mist color (sort of a dark beige/tan color.

Go to the following link and you can see the boxes of Holbeins and see what the Noncolor sets look like (32A & 32B):

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showpost.php?p=7487427&postcount=28

Last two boxes, on bottom right of bottom image!


Bill:wave:

christinemlr
01-21-2009, 01:04 PM
Thank you Bill, Oh those Holbeins look so wonderful. So how were these used to make your blue?
Xina

Scarefishcrow
01-21-2009, 03:19 PM
Thank you Bill, Oh those Holbeins look so wonderful. So how were these used to make your blue?
Xina

The color is deceptive. I cut out a section of the water detail then superimposed gradient strips from moderate cool gray tone to an obvious blue gradient. See what color you think the water falls on these gradients??

It is not a mater of "making" blue as it is using the hues that "appear to be blue". I'm can't really say I completely understand it or how to explain it as I am just learning too!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/21-Jan-2009/108067-Untitled-1_copy.jpg

Tell me what you think, Xina!

Bill:wave:

christinemlr
01-21-2009, 03:35 PM
VERY interesting Bill. I think....that... the blue water is close to where the grey tone just meets with the blue, and yes its not blue but grey. That's amazing. Thank you, I'm really going to get working on studies like this in my sketchbook, and see what can be done with grey. I love grey, but its knowing how to use it, and as I don't, I treat it like black and leave the grey pastels in the tin. I expect quality pastels have better greys, or at least, better ranges of values and temperatures.
An unexpected Lesson in Use of Colour here Bill. Thank you.
Xina

Scarefishcrow
01-21-2009, 03:46 PM
VERY interesting Bill. I think....that... the blue water is close to where the grey tone just meets with the blue, and yes its not blue but grey. That's amazing. Thank you, I'm really going to get working on studies like this in my sketchbook, and see what can be done with grey. I love grey, but its knowing how to use it, and as I don't, I treat it like black and leave the grey pastels in the tin. I expect quality pastels have better greys, or at least, better ranges of values and temperatures.
An unexpected Lesson in Use of Colour here Bill. Thank you.
Xina

Gray is a rather imprecise term that can be used in different ways. Certainly there are what we think of as traditional values that step from white to black as "gray", but notice that I said this was a "cool" gray. In other words it has subtle hints of cooler (bluish) color to it. Go back and look at the 3rd from last box of Holbeins right next to the Noncolors. That is a "warm gray" with a touch of (yellow/reddish) tint to it.

Gray can also be produced by mixing a color with its complement (the color directly across it on a traditional color wheel). For example, we think of Y, R and B as the traditional primaries. Mixing Y and B you get green (simplifying for a moment). Green lies directly opposite Red on the color wheel. That makes green the complement of red. What happens if you mix Y+R+B. You end up with a dull, neutral, grayish black.

What happens if you mix red with green?? Well, green is nothing more than a mixture of y+b so red+green=(y+b)+some red (depending on how much red you add). The more red you add the duller, grayer, more neutral the green becomes.

Take a bright green OP and make a big patch. Then take all your reddish ones and mix various amounts of them with that bright green and see how many different forms of greenish gray to gray you can get.

Bill:clap:

GhettoDaveyHavok
01-26-2009, 01:01 PM
Aw crap! I forgot all about this! :eek: :eek:

Scarefishcrow
01-26-2009, 03:31 PM
Aw crap! I forgot all about this! :eek: :eek:

No problem and don't worry. We are just glad to see you are back and hopefully doing well, Crys!

Bill:thumbsup:

eshokler
01-27-2009, 08:45 PM
Just posting this so I have 2 postings to my credit and can send in my Monthly Challenge example. Hope this works.

eshokler
01-27-2009, 08:49 PM
I used Cray-pas Specialist and Neopastel oil pastels and did a on 9x12 painting on a 12x16 masonite board on which I applied 2 coats of matte black gesso. I did a fine grade of sandpapering lightly to finish off the gesso ground before I began the OP painting process. I hope to get to the lighthouse picture soon in order to post it around the first of the month. The background was laid on this morning - we'll see!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Jan-2009/174739-DSCN0675.JPG

Scarefishcrow
01-27-2009, 10:41 PM
Eshokler, :wave:

Welcome to WC! and the Oil Pastel Channel! We are glad to have you participate. Since you are new to WC! and the OP forum you should read the following thread for a general overview of the subforums available, what is in each, guidelines for posting and critiques and links to other useful information about OP. The second link is a thread that contains links to threads indexed by topics of questions frequently asked and should save you some time searching through threads.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showpost.php?p=7172380&postcount=1

http://wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=540432

There are other useful links in my signature line.

You have done a very nice interpretation of the scene with the young girl. I like the way you rearranged the foreground and the basic modelling on the girl is very good. From the sound of your preparation it seems you are no stranger to art. Have you worked with Oil Pastels (OP) for long, or have you worked in other media?

I think you will find the forum full of GREAT folks that help one another and if you have any questions don't hesitate to ask. In the talk forum there is a weekly "no topic" thread called the Oil Gusher that is a place to say hello or meet regulars and just catch up on whatever people are up to.

Hope to see more of you around the forum and I really look forward to your work on the lighthouse. (I still have to finish BOTH of mine!:lol: ).


Again, Welcome to the forum!!:thumbsup:

BILL


I used Cray-pas Specialist and Neopastel oil pastels and did a on 9x12 painting on a 12x16 masonite board on which I applied 2 coats of matte black gesso. I did a fine grade of sandpapering lightly to finish off the gesso ground before I began the OP painting process. I hope to get to the lighthouse picture soon in order to post it around the first of the month. The background was laid on this morning - we'll see!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Jan-2009/174739-DSCN0675.JPG

Pat Isaac
01-28-2009, 07:49 AM
Welcome to the OP forum, Eshokler.....:wave:

I like your sketch of te little girl and also how you changed the composition. She now appears to be coming up from the river and taking a walk to the flowers. I also like the impasto feel you have to the OPs.
Looking forward to the lighthouse.

Pat

robertsloan2
01-28-2009, 02:36 PM
Interesting variation, Eshokler -- I like how you rearranged the elements in the photo, it's very cool.

Crystal, I tried to go to your deviantART account to friend you there, but it led to your old account on the link. Can you fix your sig so it leads to your current dA account?

Scarefishcrow
01-30-2009, 12:08 PM
Here is an update on the "Russian Girl by Water". New work with Van Gogh Superfine OP.

I still have some detailing to do and have to try to better define the modelling on the girl. Holbeins, Specialist, NeoPastel and Van Gogh on Wallis Sanded Paper (Belgian Mist), 12x18.

C&C welcome.

Picture is not the greatest reproduction:o .

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-Jan-2009/108067-P1300006.jpg

Bill:wave:

Pat Isaac
01-30-2009, 04:22 PM
This is really looking good, Bill. I do like those purple flowers.

Pat

Scarefishcrow
01-30-2009, 05:15 PM
Thanks, Pat. I have really tried to take my time on this and intersperse bright and neutral or darks to make the yellow, e.g., stand out. The water was the biggest surprise when I was studying color and realized how much grayer it is than it looks. Dont know if you saw this post that demonstrates that:

http://wetcanvas.com/forums/showpost.php?p=7525778&postcount=109

The importance of color context (I won't say value because it seems so much more complex) in getting things to look the way you want is SLOWLY starting to make sense!

Yes, Wendell, now I see the light (or should I say the neutrals)!:lol:

Still want to define the girl but will test some things in sketches first. Gone to far to have the guy with the axe chop my head off now!!

Bill

Herb
02-01-2009, 09:59 PM
Wow, Bill! Your water is terrific! I like the flowers, too. So...when are you going to post the update to the girl? Soon, I hope.

Scarefishcrow
02-01-2009, 11:33 PM
Thanks, Herb. I see you are not fooled by my dawdling about dealing with the figure. :o

I'm trying out some ideas in little sketches and trying to figure out those blasted arms. I have an idea I'm playing with I though of last night and that is to have the left arm holding a boquet of flowers she has picked and the right arm coming up with a single flower she has just picked and is about to add to the boquet.

I really like the idea and I have made the girl a bit older and like the general way her face is handled and mainly want to define the outfit more crisply and get the arms. I have, well that's suggesting conscious action which isn't exactly true, turned her slightly toward the viewer relative to the picture.

Thanks for your comments and interest. Probably put more though and time into this than almost anything I have done. Don't want to blow it at the end.

I may post it in a separate thread when done since the month is out and probably would get more feedback on it.

Bill:wave:

Weezy
02-03-2009, 03:43 PM
Big improvement in the arms/shoulders, Bill. Are you still putting in hands?

Scarefishcrow
02-03-2009, 06:20 PM
Big improvement in the arms/shoulders, Bill. Are you still putting in hands?

I posted the update in a new thread since the month is over and it still needs work. Here is the thread (hands, arms and head proportions need work, still.)

http://wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=544777

Bill

oldrockchick
02-24-2009, 08:03 PM
Well Ok I haven't done any OPing for a while, but I thought I'd have a go at this so here is my offering.

it is on 12" x 9" Rowney murano Pastel paper in warm red.
(size is smaller to fit scanner so a little is lost from the edges)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/24-Feb-2009/179312-Michigan_Lighthouse,_WC_OP_challenge_Jan_09.jpg

It is odd to paint a lighthouse that looks like it is inland.

Pat Isaac
02-25-2009, 09:21 AM
Nicely done. I really like how you have carried the color throughout the painting and the rich textural feel to the trees.

Pat