View Full Version : WMO Monthly Challenge October '09

09-30-2009, 05:02 PM
Thanks Bob and all for a fun challenge with Zorn and limited palettes in Sept.
Now that October is here we must start with a couple of autumnal landscapes, then a couple of still lifes, and then a couple of the popular animal subjects. These were the subjects requested. There were also several comments that indicated that you wanted to avoid the hard ones.
So I have endeavored to select some that suited all and to give you an ample selection to choose from. All are from our own reference library. Use any and all colors you want and thanks in advance for all who join in!
Number 1 fall scene, Arrowhead:

Number 2 fall scene, Reflections:

Number 3 still life, Rose in Glass:

Number 4 still life, Pitcher and apple:

Number 5 animal, Gigi:

Number 6 animal, Elephant:
There you have it!
I do hope you find one you would like, or one of each, or all:clap:

09-30-2009, 05:17 PM
Thanks, Sid! Nice range of subjects (and colors!).
Can't wait to get started :)


10-01-2009, 03:52 AM
Wow, what great pics. Thanks Sid! Don't yet know which to try but will definately do one.

10-01-2009, 07:35 AM
Good, me too.

10-01-2009, 08:29 AM
Sid, Thank you for the challenge! Great reference photos. :clap: :clap: I'm in for sure. I'll probably do several of them. Gigi the dog looks good for the canvas I gessoed with black. I'm off to do some painting. :)

10-01-2009, 09:20 AM
Thank you for hosting this months challenge Sid, nice pics. I have a lot more wallpapering to complete yet and then we are going on holiday in a couple of weeks, hope to try and get the (wait for it:D) pitcher and apple started and maybe finished by then.
Nice choice to please everyone:clap:

10-01-2009, 12:34 PM
Ok here's my attempt at Gigi. Sorry Gigi! 10X8 on Black Gessoed canvas. :)


10-01-2009, 12:53 PM
How cute is that? you got a great likeness and expression Janet:thumbsup:

10-01-2009, 02:30 PM
Wow, Janet. You don't sure don't believe in wasting time. Nice job. How'd you like working on the black Gesso?

10-01-2009, 04:40 PM
Wow Janet. That is so good....and so quick! Thought you didn't like doing animals..........................

10-01-2009, 08:00 PM
Thank you Sid, Glenbob and Ruth! :)

Glenbob, It took about 4 hours. I think I'm liking the Black gesso for a light subject like this dog but I think the real test is going to be something with more saturated colors. I'm use to working dark to light so it's a little weird to reverse that process and work light to dark. I have 2 more canvases primed so one of the still lifes next as a test. :)

Ruth, it's not that I don't like doing animals it's more that I haven't done very many of them so I have no clue how to tackle it.:o But all your and others advice on the lion I did in the last challenge helped a lot for this one. The only subject that I'm comfortable with is portraits. I started doing portraits with the aim to study the form of the face in detail in order to do figures more convincingly. I must admit I got a little sidetracked and now it's the only subject that I've really had any real practice on. :)

10-02-2009, 12:25 AM

Beautiful job. This is the first chance I had to look at the challange and here you have one all ready done and well done at that. I'm going to have to look back at September's and see what you were referring to with the lion.

I'm not up to the challenge yet but maybe next month.


10-02-2009, 07:42 AM
Judy, Thank you! I'm going to be trying to do a painting a day. It won't always be possible because of work but I'll give it a shot. I found this blog that was my inspiration: http://carolmarine.blogspot.com/

I'm really looking forward to you joining us! :)

10-02-2009, 09:08 AM
Carol is a good one Janet, I started the first pic with a 16x20 stretched canvas and will start the second one that size also, then the other four I plan on doing smaller and faster ala the painting a day style.

10-02-2009, 01:34 PM
The first thing I did with that riverscape is to lighten it so I could see what is going on in the dark shadows. I am going for a painterly rendition but I need to see that detail and decide where I want to introduce it or not.
For this one I did no detailed drawing, just rough positions and will draw it with paint. Sky first, graduated lighter at the horizon, reflection in water darker than the sky and darker than the photo.
Next I will put in the darkest shadows of the foliage and water.

Used the same palette mixes to quickly block in the sky and distant mountains for the second pic. No drawing at all on this one I am going to wing it. Then the next four will have a detailed drawing because they must look right, landscapes you can sort of create and edit as you go along, if you want to.
Colors so far are perm aliz crim, yellow ochre, and a cobalt blue hue I made with ultramarine and pthalo green mixed.
I am all about increasing my productivity.
You may notice now that the two fall scenes are similar and share the same colors, same for the still lifes and for the animals (cept cute little gigi has no greens). Why work on one, clean palette, brushes, etc then remix everything, rewash, etc. I can do the first two as a pair with the same palette just tweaking where needed, then do all four of the others together, anyway that is my plan.

10-02-2009, 03:11 PM
Sid, Oh this is so interesting. Thank you for sharing your progress and describing your process. I'm watching and learning. :)

10-02-2009, 04:43 PM
Thanks Janet, then I will post the details because I think others mentioned needed more landscape practice. This is just one way to do it, it is one that I like to do to get a painterly, kind of impressionistic, direct result. I am no expert but this is a really fun way to paint. Starting with these landscapes as I said, I can skip a detailed drawing and just locate positions with some really thin paint:
Now I am not saying you don't need to draw. Drawing is essential in my opinion and I continue to do it always.
In these scenes I want to start at the rear and move forward so first I paint the sky and it's reflection in the water. The skies in these are cloudless and plain. I could put in some clouds but I decided not to with these this time. But I want variation and interest, not just a plain blue sky. I often use this method where I mix three tints of aliz crim, yellow ochre, and blue. Then I dab in spots with red at the bottom then yellow, then blue, with darker blue at the top:
Now I will blend these with a large dry brush but not too much, I want the color variation to remain but just be subtle. It give the sky a nice vibration and graduation like real skies.

10-02-2009, 04:57 PM
For the colors of these fall scenes I have selected these to use. The medium I am using is a 50/50 mix of linseed oil and fast drying medium. Fast dry is too viscous and a little sticky for me and this I like. I hate painting into a dry gesso canvas in fact I never do. I lay down a thin layer of the medium or a couch and paint into that:
Now here is how I have set up to paint both of these at the same time:
I can go to either one I want to quickly.
So next I have put in the darkest areas. One of my favorite darks is ultra blue and burnt sienna or umber. This time I wanted it just a little on the green side so I added a bit of that. I use medium and paint these dark areas thinly I don't want them thick at all, and I just look at the reference and put in darks where I see they need to be.
At this point I want to let them dry so they won't foul following colors.
these pictures are glaring, the darks are all dark. Aerial perspective is followed with the hillside in the back vague and blued from the atmosphere then the next hillside is upped in color, lower in value and you can see the autumnal colors in that hill because it is closer.
So the plan is to paint from back to front.
From thin to thicker.
From dark to light (except the sky)
From no detail (in the back hills and foliage) to the most detail (in the front bushes and rocks).
I know it looks like a real mess right now but that is ok. Got to have the dark shadows buried in that foliage to make the lights pop out.
Will update when next stage is done, hope you get some ideas but do your own thing. Sid

10-02-2009, 05:22 PM
Sid, Your paintings are looking terrific. This is helping me a lot. I've been trying to do landscapes in a painterly fashion and the only thing I've been able to accomplish was a smooshy mess.

My first Still Life in WMOs. I didn't go painterly on this one but did complete it in one sitting. 3 hours.


10-02-2009, 07:23 PM
Thanks for sharing all that, Sid. I love watching other people paint.
Janet - Cute pup, looks like the black gesso worked out. Did you use it on the still-life painting, too? That came out great!
I don't have anything to show yet, started one of the landscapes - but it's just a yellow and orange "abstract" so far.


10-03-2009, 06:39 AM
Sid...thanks for the landscape WIP's, I will need all this advice for when I paint one. Unfortunately time is limited for me this month (holidays) so I am only going to try and get the still life one in before we go:thumbsup:

Janet...Gigi... very cute,lovely expression. Still Life...Nice job on the coffee pot and apple, both have good form. The apple looks good enough to eat:D

For anyone else who is trying this one.....A couple of tips given to me over in the pastel forum when I did this in pastels was to put a small red reflection from around the base of the apple onto the cloth, and also a small blue reflection from around the base of the the pot to 'anchor' them so they wouldn't look like they were floating. And dont forget some red to be reflected from the apple in the bottom of the pot as well:thumbsup:

10-03-2009, 08:53 AM
Thank you Callie and Marie!

Callie, I used the black gessoed canvas for the still like as well. I'm really liking it. I think I'll be working on black gessoed canvas for a while. I looking forward to seeing your painting.

Marie, Thank you for the tips. Funny thing is before I started this one and was studying it I was doing the mental note don't forget the the red felected from the apple on the pot. oops forgot.

10-03-2009, 09:23 AM
Way to go Janet, two down :clap: your has a real nice mood to it!
I got the main foliage colors in and the whole canvas covered and now I really want it to dry before adjusting things and adding trees trunks, branches, rocks, highlights, and all the details:

While I put them away to dry good, the next two are on deck. Just pencil drawn and sprayed with fixative. These I want to paint as fast "painting a day" types.

10-03-2009, 09:48 AM
Wow Sid, those are looking great:clap:

This is where I am at the moment. Worked on the drapes to give some shape to them. Blocked in the apple and the pot, the handles will go on last after the backgrounds completed.
Next job when dried enough, add more darks and lights to drapery to finish. Then work on the pot next, the apple last.


10-03-2009, 09:50 AM
Sid, Thank you! I'm looking forward to seeing your still lifes and those landscapes are looking wonderful. I'll be tackling a landscape next it probably will have to wait until Monday but I'm going to reread everything to wrote because that is the subject that I have the most problems. Thanks again for sharing your process. :)

I'm off to gesso some more canvases with black gesso.

10-03-2009, 09:52 AM
Marie, the drapery is looking great! Looking forward to you next update.

10-03-2009, 11:05 AM
Great start on the still life Marie. Janet, thanks for the black gesso tip, I just put on an acrylic black layer and sketched with white paint and toned the elephant pic orange, sketch w/charcoal will paint right into it. They are also ready to go:

We are burning up the canvas over here!:)

10-03-2009, 11:31 PM
I have them all lined up and in progress. See how my mixes do double duty, roses and apples, cloths and drapery, blue pitcher and background :)

10-04-2009, 06:58 AM
Wow, Sid, way to go!:clap: How I admire you for doing all these at once. I absolutely adore the landscape... that water is amazing. Thank you so much for showing how you do it, it's very interesting and educational for me.

Janet, little dog is so cute and that still life is the piece de resistance.. just beautiful.:thumbsup:

Marie, great start on the still life, I'm looking forward to seeing how you go with this one.

Now I'm way behind you all, but I'm just about to make a start at least on the rose. I would love to try the landscape but just know it's beyond my experience at the moment... I can do skies but landscapes always mess up, especially with the autumn colours.

Will post when I have something to show.

10-04-2009, 08:24 AM
Thanks I hope you get some ideas. I was going to give you some advice about drawing landscapes first and checked your blog and see that you like to draw and that is superb. I also saw that you have done several Howard Pyle's. I don't know where you are but I am very near the Delaware Art Museum which is the repository of his work. I am quite familiar with him and that school of illustration artists that includes the Wyeths.
Anyway, back to the start, I would begin by just drawing and painting very simple landscapes. Just a simple background mountain, a tree or two, grass, rock, something like this old one I did:
Then do different types of trees, water, roads, reflections in water, running water. I would get those pads or cheap panels and rip through them painting like a child again.

I do these sketches for most any painting.
I may change things and add or take out. I see from my sketch that I want those rocks sweeping round from the front to that fallen log which is hard to see in the photo, I will make that fallen log bigger and then things will sort of lead to that largest tree which I haven't even put in yet. That is the area that is the focal point to me, all things lead to that area.

10-04-2009, 08:38 AM
Sid, Wow your paintings are looking great. Interesting to see how you work out the changes in your painting. I'm interested in knowing how you find the black ground to work on. My goodness you have a lot of easles. :)

Inky, Thank you! I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with. Landscapes are my worst subject but I'll be trying and I'll continue trying until I'm able to wrap my head around it. :)

10-04-2009, 09:01 AM
Thanks Sid. Your paintings truly inspire.:thumbsup: Yes, I love to draw and do so at every opportunity. I only got to know about Howard Pyle through the projects in the Classical forum here on WC. I love copying the illustrations and hope that it will improve my artwork. How great to be able to see some of that Howard Pyle artwork in RL. I love to visit museums and galleries, really gets the creative juices going.

I know that I should really be more organised and sketch my subject first - I read that Sargent did many sketches and studies before he even started his portraits - but I am not the most patient person and usually rush straight in with the paints in my enthusiasm to get started... which may be my downfall. :lol:

Janet, I love landscapes but struggle when it comes to colour. I hope, however, to give one of the landscapes a try... as they say, nothing ventured nothing gained. :wink2:

Here's my beginning with the rose... as always straight in, just slapping the paint on. :D Got to work more on it when it dries. I used some of that Artisan Fast Drying medium for the first time so I am hoping it will be dry fairly quickly. Hey, that glass is going to be a challenge in itself. :)


10-04-2009, 10:11 AM
Thanks Janet and inky, great rose in glass inky, I can tell it is a glass, no problem. I see I need to visit the classical forum too. One of the best places to start is right here on good ol wetcanvas, if you go to the articles index above you can get tips on:

and there is more in the still life and landscape forums etc.

10-04-2009, 10:21 AM

these are great WIP posts! Thank you.

10-04-2009, 10:55 AM
Thanks for those links, Sid - brilliant. :thumbsup:

I am fast discovering that WC is so interesting it threatens to disrupt my painting time. :lol:

10-04-2009, 11:46 AM
Thanks for all the tips and advice on landscapes Sid....hope to try them out when I get some time. I will be out of my comfort zone totally :D

InkyEss....nice start on the rose.

I think I am calling this one finished, really short on time now....




Made all the final shapes last, the apple needed re-shaping left side, the pot spout needed re-shaping. Added the handles to lid and side. Added more hilite
to drapery and lightly blended the folds to give a soft material effect.

10-04-2009, 12:23 PM
Thanks Sid for all those great links, especially the one on painting clear glass. It really is simpliar than you realize if you stick with the KISS theory.


10-04-2009, 07:00 PM
Sid - Thanks for the "how-to" links and for giving us a look at your WIPs. All six pictures - Wow! And they're all looking good. :thumbsup:

Marie - Glad you found time to get one in. Your fabric is very nice (as well as the rest of the painting) :thumbsup:

Inky - Good going on the rose. :thumbsup: I want to do that one too, since I find roses, fabric and glass rather hard to paint, it really will be a challenge for me!

I tried a little version of one of the landscapes (6" x 6") - learned I don't do to well on something that small :p - but I'll get a photo and put it up here anyway.
Guess I'll get going on the rose now....


10-04-2009, 10:37 PM
That is a really good painting Marie. yes, 6x6 would be a really small one and they are hard to do, you must really simplify things.
I am making progress about 2/3 done the still lifes:
I may have to break down and do some things around the house but I will be back in a day or two with updates, I am shooting for getting them posted when all are done so keep those paintings coming :clap:

10-05-2009, 04:03 AM
Thanks Callie and Sid....

Noticed the picture I posted of my finished painting has come out really light. This is more what it looks like in real life, you can see the folds in the fabric better. http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Oct-2009/102905-after.JPG http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Oct-2009/102905-finished.JPG

10-05-2009, 07:52 AM
Inky, Great start on your rose. I agree nothing ventured nothing gained. :)

Sid, Thank you for the links. They're great! Your Still Lifes are looking wonderful. :)

Judy, I'm a big fan of the KISS theory sometimes I keep it a little too simple.:)

Callie, I find it hard to do landscapes in any size but I agree trying to do one small is really difficult. I'll be trying an 8X10 and I was wondering the same thing. Can't wait to see your landscape. :)

Marie, Your painting is beautiful! The folds are wonderful and the apple looks delicious. The reflection on the pitcher of the apple is perfect. :)

10-05-2009, 11:32 AM
Here's my landscape. 10X8 on black gessoed canvas. Still have a long way to go with landscapes but I think it's getting closer.:)


10-05-2009, 03:46 PM
There's some great stuff on here. Sid, I'm watching with baited breath! Talk about multi tasking!
I have started one of the landscapes but it is SOOOO ugly I will not be posting it until it's finished.......if it is ever finished that is..........

10-05-2009, 04:15 PM
Here's my scruffy little landscape (cropped the scene to fit a square canvas board) - 6" x 6":


Maybe I'll consider this a study for a larger version :lol:
Janet - I found painting something this small rather difficult, I don't think 8" x 10" would be any easier for me, but you're doing fine with it. That's a lot of scenery to get into a small format - have to agree with the KISS idea. Stop before you think you're done, so you won't lose the brushwork and flow of the water. Then move on to a larger canvas :D !


10-05-2009, 04:31 PM
Ruth, I'm looking forward to seeing your landscape. :)

Callie, I think a bigger canvas may help. At least now I'm not getting one smooshy mess. Well maybe in some places. It still isn't great but some of my brushwork is staying put. Small steps for me. Your painting isn't scruffy. I like the way you rendered the rocks and the colors are beautiful! :)

10-05-2009, 09:29 PM
Thanks Janet, it was fun using some really bright colors instead of the limited palette.


10-05-2009, 11:58 PM
Janet and Callie, I like them both, Janet's has a tonal look and that sets off the one red tree like it is on stage with the spotlight on it. Callie's has a light my fire warmth, (eat your heart out Zorn) good idea to crop. I just got a little painting in today, not done at all.

10-06-2009, 06:42 AM
Sid, Thank you! Your landscape is looking amazing! One thing I have issues with is the small branches. Your branches looks great! What size of brush do you use?

10-06-2009, 07:24 AM
Hi Janet, those were all done with a #4 bright synthetic Robert Simmons titanium brand that is in good shape because I load it with a chisel edge and paint only with the tip perpendicular to the canvas. It is quick and clean, later I will also use a small round bristle or synthetic sable later for smaller branches like signing your name with thin paint but it is slow and tedious and that brush holds less paint. I sometimes also use a fan brush the same way using the tip edge. I use the chisel edge bright brush for a lot of things, I think I used it for the whole apple and pitcher, the rose and glass. I used to paint only with flats a long time ago, then I saw someone using just one bright for plein air painting, getting thin lines as I described, then holding it flat and parallel to the canvas for big patches, then using the corner for small highlights. So off to the store for some bright brushes for me!
Really thin lines can be made with the edge of a credit card or such. Good for any straight fine line, keep a rag in the other hand to wipe off as needed:

10-06-2009, 09:50 AM
Since you guys are interested I will show you a couple of things about reflections as both or these references have them. Reflections are seldom or never as bright or colorful as the source. The colors in the trees are lit by sunlight, when reflected the water influences that color with it's own color and other reflected light. If it is really muddy forget it, if it is clear water on a bright day, they are closer but never the same. Real life is the best source, a photo has a drawback of averaging things out but you can see it in the first reference. With some sampling, I have taken the brightest most colorful from the yellow and red foliage and from the sky. I placed a patch of that color down in the reflections to show how it really compares. Likewise I picked the brightest most colorful reflection color from the reflection itself and placed a patch of that up in the foliage to show how it has been affected when reflected in the water.
The sky color is lighter in the sky, clearly seen when a sample is placed in the darker reflection of the sky.
The foliage is much lighter in the trees, darker in the reflections.
This is one thing I will adjust now in my painting.
If I paint the same color into the water that I use in the trees it will be off, in realistic painting terms of course. Same for the sky, I see it needs to be a deeper color than I have already.
On the other hand, you can do what you want and that is fine too, I am just not an artistic genius like Van Gogh....yet. but these things are all good to know.
This sort of applies to light and bright color reflections. There is a certain break point in color and value where they even out and then flip flop and dark objects are reflected lighter than the real object. This photo isn't capable of demonstrating that but I know I can find an example and maybe a video of this phenomena. It is all because of the influence of the water on the light, and this isn't the whole story on painting water at all.
in general, light objects reflect darker, dark objects reflect lighter. It is funny how you don't think of things like this but you know something is off or not exactly right when you look at it.
Ok, I found one with a photo, amazing, the motor is lighter and the white boat is darker in the same water, thanks Roger! of course mid tones are roughly the same. Roger has lots of free landscape videos on his site, lots.

10-06-2009, 01:03 PM
Sid, thank your for describing how you do branches. The credit card sounds like a good idea as well. I remember reading that some people use a pizza cutter. Thank you for the great explanation on reflections and great link. :)

10-07-2009, 01:32 AM
Janet, I never would have thought to use a black canvas, but when I looked at the reference picture, I could see why you would choose it. I can see the need for more opaque paints than I usually use working on a black background. one day I'll give a black canvas a try.

Callie, you have definitely captured the fire in the trees. I live in northern NY through the summer and early fall, and have definitely seen those colors as you have painted them. Nice job to both of you.


10-07-2009, 01:40 AM
Sid...Ok, I found one with a photo, amazing, the motor is lighter and the white boat is darker in the same water, thanks Roger! of course mid tones are roughly the same.
Sid thanks fro the great insight into reflections. I'm going to have to check some of my paintings to see if I followed the rule without even being aware of it. For sure, in the future that information will be a great help.

10-07-2009, 07:47 AM
Judy, Thank you! The black canvases do work fairly well and I've been trying them on everything. Thicker paint is needed but I've always liked working with thick paint so no problems their. The only issue I have is working light to dark. It's easier to take a dark color and make it lighter as you go rather than taking a light color and making darker. I'm going to need to lay out strings of color before I start I think. I'll keep trying. One thing that most of my paintings lack is contrast so working on black canvasses seem to help in that area.

10-07-2009, 09:03 AM
I'm going to have to check some of my paintings to see if I followed the rule without even being aware of it. For sure, in the future that information will be a great help.

I think it is just fine to break the rules if you want, in that painting I broke the first rule of landscape composition by leaving the horizon in the middle. I looked at it and considered moving it but I just didn't like either way and wanted it all, the sky the foliage and the water, so I broke the law, get me an ankle bracelet.:lol:
It is the knowing how things behave and look that is important, then you make things better by altering them as needed.
It is nice to see different versions of the same scene, wouldn't want them all the same, Janet has gone over to the dark side and that is great! I want to do some of that too, am starting with the cute pup! see ya, Sid

10-07-2009, 11:36 AM
Janet has gone over to the dark side

Yes come join me on the dark side. :evil: Well I think I'll soon get tired of the dark side. Really too weird doing the light to dark thing. A few more and I think I'll be back to the mid tone side.:angel:

Shirl Parker
10-07-2009, 02:24 PM
I thought about doing the dog for the monthly challenge, but I owe my brother a painting of his dog, so I decided to do that.

Here is the beginning. I started the monthly challenge on this board last month, or was it the month before, with the three pears. I got bored with it, and painted it over in red. This is just the underpainting, but I think there's enough to see where I am going. After that is the photo reference. His name is Dutch.


10-07-2009, 05:30 PM
Shirl, nice start to the dog!

10-07-2009, 10:22 PM
Looks good Shirl, nice profile of your bros' pooch.

10-10-2009, 08:20 AM
Janet, nice landscape. I like how the dark canvas is working with this, great idea. :thumbsup:

Callie, wonderful colour... I love it already! :clap:

Sid, you give some great tips... like the credit card idea. Your landscape is coming along fine, I just love the water. :thumbsup:

Shirl, love the dog... a much neater version of my dog Ralfi :D . Good start and I can't wait to see more. :thumbsup:

This is the rose. Think I will stop now before I wreck it. Glass turned out better than expected but I think I could have been more daring with the darks and I'm a little disappointed in my flowerhead. Probably try something else now.


10-10-2009, 08:33 AM
Inky, Thank you! Very pretty rose. Very nice rendering of the folds on the cloth. :)

10-10-2009, 11:45 AM
Nice rose, Inky :thumbsup:
I do think a few darker shadows, a little more contrast would give this a more finished look. I think changing the background color was a good move (I did that on my version, too). Love the colors in the fabric.

Guess I better get out of here and do some painting :lol:


10-10-2009, 01:24 PM
Looking good Inky, I am nearly done with the two still lifes myself but I am busy for a couple of days and may not paint much at all, the landscapes are in progress and the animals are just started with backgrounds.
I also started a couple more, one for the challenge over on landscapes and one on my own then I want to do at least one portrait this month, it is the still early!

10-12-2009, 12:22 PM
Sid - your still life paintings are looking good :thumbsup: I especially like the highlights in the coffee pot and apple.
I've made a start on the rose, will try and get some more done on it later this week:



10-12-2009, 02:39 PM
I love what you have done with the rose. The background and foreground just make the whole thing come together as one rather than the glass and jar just sitting there by itself. Beautiful job.


10-12-2009, 02:44 PM
Lovely Roses, all 3 of them. I did start one of the landscapes but it didn't go too well and I've been doing other things since so haven't picked it up again.
I do hope to include something by the end of the month though and I'm keeping a check on this thread. It's so interesting.

10-12-2009, 03:02 PM
Thank you, Judy, Ruthie
I'm having a time with that rose! It seems kind of "mushy" in the photo - not as clear/sharp as the leaves, glass... will just keep pushing the paint around and hope it works out :)!
Ruthie - I hope you get a chance to do one of the Oct. pictures.


10-12-2009, 03:55 PM
Callie, your rose in glass is delightful, you improved the colors in it.

10-12-2009, 06:14 PM
Thank you, Sid. I didn't like the cool blue-grey behind the bright red rose - don't know why, but it bugs me. I find myself using that olive green in a lot of paintings lately, must be my new favorite color :)


10-13-2009, 08:06 AM
Sid, your still lifes are looking great!

Callie, your rose is looking lovely!

10-13-2009, 04:01 PM
Great job with both. I think the rose has an Edward Hopper feel too it. Way to go.

10-13-2009, 05:10 PM
Way to put the pressure on, Mark! :lol: Now I'm afraid I'll mess it up!
Not really, as long as it doesn't look like a drunken monkey painted it, I'll be happy. Thank you for the compliment :)

Hope I can get this done in time to start another one of this month's pictures-


10-13-2009, 11:14 PM
Thanks a lot callie and mark, Hopper is one of my favorites so those are magic words for me! Don't worry Callie, yours looks like Georgia O'keefe!

10-14-2009, 01:07 PM
Here's my elephant. 10X8 on black gessoed canvas.


10-14-2009, 03:18 PM
Janet this is cool as can be!
I love animals and this is a beaut, :heart: it. :thumbsup:

10-14-2009, 08:46 PM
You have inspired me to try the black gesso and since the tennis ball is working so well for me, I'm going to try the rose. I have 2 weeks left in the month so I should be able to do it. I've got the black done so now for the interesting part.

10-14-2009, 10:41 PM
Me too, can't wait to work on the pup and elephant. Well I think I am going to just leave these landscapes the way they are and call them done:

2/3 rd's done and 1/2 way into Oct. ahead of schedule!

10-15-2009, 06:23 AM
Thank you Sid! Wow your landscapes are looking wonderful!

Sid and Judy, I can't wait to see your painting on a black ground and hear how you like it. I was struggling with it on the portrait that I did but I think I'm actually starting to find ways to deal with the light to dark painting. When mixing a light color I mix a string of colors of different values looking at my reference and determining where this initial color can be used. Sometimes the initial color needs adjusting but at least I have a good starting point for some of the mid to darker values.

10-15-2009, 07:57 AM
Janet - Very nice elephant :clap:
Sid - Love the landscapes; the water looks especially watery! :clap:
Judy - Looking forward to seeing what you and your tennis ball come up with :wave:


Shirl Parker
10-15-2009, 09:37 AM
Janet, love your elephant. Sid I don't think you need go further with yours, it looks real good.

10-15-2009, 09:39 AM
Here's the beginnings of the rose. The tennis ball technique is a little challenging when trying to aim the brush exactly where you want it and apply just the rightp ressure, but I'm learning.

I chose to do the bottom first because I figured the rose was going to be the hardest and I don't know what I want to do with the background. I really like the way you, Callie, did it and might borrow your idea if you don't mind.

The camera picked up the lamp source on the left and makes the black look like I've done something with it, but I haven't. I might use this as a guideline though, for how I develop the background.

I am confining myself to cobalt blue, cad red, cad yellow and white so it will be interesting since I love experimenting with mixing colors. I'm also just doing this on a 9x12 canvas pad..Judy

10-15-2009, 09:51 AM
Good start on the cloth, Judy. I worked on mine a bit more, and I'm really happy with the earthy green behind the bright red rose - I don't mind at all if you try the same thing :). Can't wait to see yours!


10-15-2009, 10:36 AM
Thanks all, hey now, I like what you are doing for the rose Judy!

10-15-2009, 12:47 PM
Thank you Callie and Shirl!

Judy looking great! How are you finding the black ground to work on? :)

10-15-2009, 04:08 PM
I know it's late in the month to jump in but I just realized this forum was here :)

Do I have to do all four paintings to take part, or can I just pick one? Cos I have four other paintings on the go with traditional oils and need to work on those too, so one of the landscapes would be about all I could handle at the moment. I am really digging landscape one though and would like to try it :)

10-15-2009, 04:26 PM
Hi Jasmyne, you can do whatever you like, only do one, crop it as you like or alter things, I think somebody is doing a dog that isn't in my references and that is fine, I just wanted to provide a larger selection for people to choose from according to their likes and their level of experience. So just start swinging the old brush and let us see what you got! welcome from all I am sure, Sid

10-15-2009, 06:35 PM
Welcome Jasmyne! Looking forward to seeing your landscape. :)

10-16-2009, 07:57 PM
Thanks Sid and Janet,
I like the black background. I was able to use my white soft pastel pencil to draw the rose and many of the leaves on the dry gesso. It is also easy to under paint the pedals, leaving the dark for shadows.

At this stage, the rose is pretty much where I would be normally, working forward and back in value. the black just made it easier to visualize. There is still a lot to do, but I will tell you that I have used the tennis ball the entire painting except doing the very beginning outline of the glass. That was just a little too detailed to do with such a big grip. I did do the high lighting with the ball grip, though. I guess I just needed the confidence that I could do finer detail with the adapted grip.

Here is where it is at for the moment.

I see a scratch just below the water line. My cat decided to jump up as I was taking the pictures. I got the shot and snatched him up before He did any more damage. Fortunately most of that area had been done yesterday and things dry pretty quickly here in Arizona if the paint is thin.

Any comments or suggestion would be greatly appreciated. This is the first time I have ever participated in a challenge and it is kind of fun.


10-16-2009, 10:44 PM
That's looking good, Judy. I'm glad your tennis ball is working out so well!

Jasmyne - looking forward to seeing your painting (I lurk in the oily rag thread sometimes; love the idea of using gingersnaps instead of graham crackers for the pumpkin cheesecake crust!).

10-16-2009, 11:35 PM
Hi Judy, Wow your painting is looking amazing! I'm glad to hear you're liking the black background. You certainly have adjusted to working with the tennis ball. I have a cat as well and understand how they can be. Mine always seems to be where he shouldn't. Thank you for explaining how your dealing with the values on the black ground. Very helpful! :)

10-17-2009, 10:24 AM
Looking great Judy, nice work on the glass, cloth, and the rose, yours is looking better than the reference which is over saturated and it is hard to see the petals.

10-17-2009, 08:04 PM
Thanks Janet and Sid.
Sid I cheated on the glass and went back to your reference about KISS and re-read the post. It really did help. I have lots of roses here in Arizona and tons of pictures of them so I kind of used them as a reference.

Janet I really loved the black. My only problem was in highlighting the rose to make it stand out more. I hate using white with red for high lights, because I don't want pink. I added more yellow to the red to make it more red orange and them did yellow and white for highlights. Does any one have a secret for highlighting red without it looking pink?

Here's the finished painting. The ball worked well, but I think I have to give my hands a rest now for a while before painting again. (2 or 3 days if I can stand it.)

Thanks for all the encouragement. I think I'll try another challenge next month. Judy

10-17-2009, 08:07 PM
I think I have to a better job at photograpy. I kind of tipped the camera and the colors aren't as good as the original, but you get the idea.

10-18-2009, 12:56 AM
Nice job on this beautiful rose in glass, it sounds like you did the right thing going with orange in the lighter area instead of white. Here is a video from Jerrys artarama by Mike Rooney talking about this very thing:
you must select the catagory of artist, then select a subcategory, Mike Rooney then scroll down to the one on lightening colors.
He has a couple other videos showing him painting a glass like this one.

10-18-2009, 09:36 AM
Judy, fantastic rose! I sometimes use yellow as well to lighten colors and warm them. But I do overuse white a lot and get that chalky look that the video Sid pointed out was talking about.

Sid great videos! Thank you for the link!

10-18-2009, 05:26 PM
Got some more done on my rose then messed up the cloth and glass. Wiped off 2 hours worth of painting, but I'm happy I did. It looks better after a good scrubbing :lol: .
Sid - thanks for the video link. Glad I got to see that before I try painting the glass again.
Judy - that was a good idea to paint the cloth first, then do the glass on top of it, looks good :thumbsup:

That back cloth looks really blue on my screen - it's mainly payne's grey with a bit of ultramarine and white - so more grey than blue. Much more subdued.


10-18-2009, 07:14 PM
Wowzers Callie your rose is beautiful! The cloth and glass look perfect. :)

I was going to do the rose next and after seeing all your renditions I'm feeling a wee bit intimidated. So don't expect too much. I've never been able to do flowers whether it was painting or drawing. :)

10-18-2009, 09:15 PM
Janet - just give it a shot. I think flowers, especially roses are hard to paint. It took me a few tries to get this looking like it does. I wiped off a few big red blobs before I finally got something to work.
Speaking of Wowzers... check out the thread in the main oil forum called "yellow rose". I'll never paint a rose like that, but I've had fun with this one, and I'm glad I tried it :).

I hope you have fun with it, too!

10-18-2009, 11:15 PM
Callie, I'll be trying it and I'll try and have some fun with it. I checked out that yellow rose link and you're rite wowzers that's certainly pushing photorealism to its limits. :)

10-19-2009, 11:42 AM
I like how you fixed the rose and the detail you put into the leaves and even the weave of the blanket.
From what I've seen of your work, I have no doubt that your rose will be beautiful.
Sid, I'm not sure what happened to my post about the Rooney videos thanking you, but I really did appreciate the links. They were excellent and gave me some real good ideas. Thanks

10-19-2009, 03:54 PM
Judy, thanks for the vote of confidence. I'll try my best. :)

10-20-2009, 05:47 PM
Below is my attempt at the first photo. It's 12x16 on canvas paper. Any comments or suggestions will be appreciated.




10-20-2009, 06:09 PM
It is a charming rendition Tom, very impressionistic and nice color vibrations:thumbsup: welcome to the wmo monthly challenge and thanks for submitting!
You are welcome Callie and excellent job on the rose in glass!
No problem Judi, my cat hasn't scratched any paintings yet but she refuses to leave this spot, makes it difficult to paint, guess where she is while I am typing this :lol:

10-20-2009, 08:21 PM
If you think one cat is bad, try it with two pugs! Even if I stand at the easel, they lay on my feet.

Nice painting Tom. I really like the reflections in the water. Good colors all over.


10-21-2009, 06:42 AM
Tom, I love your landscape! I really like your style! Great brushwork and colors.

Sid lol So that's your secret for painting so well... you have help!

10-21-2009, 05:47 PM
Tom, I love the landscape and your style. The colors are beautiful and I couldn't think of anything to improve on it.

Sid, She's a beauty. I eliminated the cat problem with painting by not having any space available in front of the painting, although that does stop him from trying to walk through the palette. As for the computer, I am forever typing around him., but I wouldn't trade him for a minute.


10-22-2009, 12:37 PM
To Sid, Callie, Janet and Judy: Thank you all for your generous comments.



10-28-2009, 11:06 PM
Here is the elephant I gave it a little more color with a murky sky at dusk, keep any more paintings coming in the last days of October and thanks to all who participated this month!

10-29-2009, 05:46 AM
Sid, Great elephant! Wonderful form and love the changes you made to the original reference. The sky looks wonderful!

10-29-2009, 08:12 AM
Thanks Janet, here is where I "borrowed" that idea, an old art book I have:
The yellow horizon and purple cloudy sky make a complimentary color scheme that is nice, there is actually this kind of sky outside this morning here where I am!

10-29-2009, 02:17 PM
Lovely work on that elephant, Sid. :clap:

I have really enjoyed viewing everyone's work, it's a great thread and just wish I had time to do more, but it has been fun. I will see if I get chance to try one of those landscapes at the weekend. I love the colours in them.

10-29-2009, 04:16 PM
Sid, great idea! I never thought of borrowing elements from other paintings. Thanks for the tip! Thank you for the great month of painting and learning. I'm really looking forward to next months challenge. I'm not sure if I'll have time to get any more in this month.

10-30-2009, 05:06 PM
There's some great work on here. I did start one of the landscapes on oil paper, quite small, but I just never got back to it. It was such a bad start that I lost the will to continue with it. I hope to join in next month's challenge though.......

10-31-2009, 06:57 AM
Ruth, looking forward to seeing what you come up with for next months challenge.

11-01-2009, 04:22 PM
I didn't get my painting finished in time, guess I'll show it anyway. I got the cloth way too bright/intense, so it's been sanded down, then I decided to let the blue cloth come into the picture a bit more. So I just need to finish all the fabric :p


Good job on the elephant, Sid :thumbsup:

Where's our challenge/projects for November?


Dana Design
11-01-2009, 05:55 PM