View Full Version : ****Challenge-Week Three****

Deborah Secor
10-15-2009, 05:19 PM
This is the beginning of the third week of the Variations Challenge, so post your week's paintings here.

If you wonder what this is all about you can check this thread for all the details: ***I CHALLENGE YOU*** Variations on a Theme (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=585905)

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

I have a painting to post (only one from my class today) so as soon as I get a good shot I'll post it here... Go ahead if you have week three work and feel free to post it!


Deborah Secor
10-15-2009, 06:39 PM
Here's my sixth one, the start of week three for me.


I used peach colored Pastelmat and just went with it! :D

Here's what I have to date, since I'm not moving as fast as I committed to:


I seem to have exploded, huh? *hee hee*


10-15-2009, 07:11 PM
Wow! Deb has popped outta her shell!!:lol: It's great!!

Kathryn Wilson
10-15-2009, 07:46 PM
Cooooool red painting! Now I am seeing the influence of Kahn!

Deborah Secor
10-15-2009, 07:55 PM
By the way, for those who can count, this is the SIXTH one, but the gouache one isn't in the mix. I better add it. (Hope I don't get in trouble for showing gouache (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=588279)here. Sssshh.)

Thanks you two... I know, I know. Crazy but fun!


Here we go:

Kathryn Wilson
10-15-2009, 08:04 PM
What gouache painting, did anyone see a gouache painting, I didn't - :)

Now do that blue bush one in pastels!

Deborah Secor
10-15-2009, 08:05 PM
Oh I have plans... I have plans! :lol:


Mary Y
10-15-2009, 11:23 PM
Love your hot reds . It continues to surprise me how these"unnatural Colours"
work so well and make such lovely paintings.I also like the one that cannot be named.

maggie latham
10-16-2009, 01:24 AM

Now all of these are together (wow! btw)….. all of the mountain ranges are softer than the mountain range in your gouache…interesting isn’t it?
As these unfold, I can see them getting looser and more fluid…..as with your gouache one of the same composition compared to your other gouache paintings. Do you think this is because you are working to a time constraint? Or because you are becoming so familiar with the composition that it’s painting its self?....or just more economical with your painting technique?

:) This is a great challenge. We should be doing it over in the watercolour forum too….


10-16-2009, 06:45 AM
I had to put my sunglasses on for that last one LOL
It looks good though and somehow doesn't look unnatural.

10-16-2009, 10:32 AM
Ok I've started week 3.
Variation No 9 on watercolour paper coated with colorfix primer. Turquoise and pink colour combo this time. Definitely don't like this surface. I blended a lot to get coverage all except the last coat.

10-16-2009, 12:12 PM
Wow! Deborah. That's psychodelic! I love it.
Marion. that's a very interesting colour combo.
I'll just cool things down a bit now shall I. I guess you'd call this one low chroma. This was done on awful dark grey paper and I used Unison's exclusively, mainly from my portrait set. I think most of them are in the grey range although none of them are just grey, but sort of green /grey, blue/grey etc
I took a bit more care over it (not that you'd notice) and it took me 50 mins but I'll let myself off as that's only 5 over.


Deborah Secor
10-16-2009, 02:53 PM

Marion, this is really interesting, almost decomposed unless I stand back from it, and then it becomes clear! Love both the colors and the shapes you've found in this one.


Ruth, this one is quite classic looking. I enjoy the lyrical grays and muted greens. Maybe for my next one I'll go this direction. We'll see. It would sure be a contrast to my last one!


10-16-2009, 03:56 PM
Here is the first of my week three. I changed the format to a portrait.
8X10 matboard, clear gesso, watercolor underpainting 35mins.
Marion, you are really busting out with the abstract ideas and love the color combo!
Ruthie, I really like this calm monochromatic tone you acheived. The neutrals did well for this one.Tres


10-16-2009, 04:39 PM
Tressa, very dramatic this one, and somewhat unsettling. I really like it!

Had a thought and went back to my old Photosmart software where I can do this.

These are weeks 1 and 2.
Not perfect but at least it shows them together!

Deborah Secor
10-16-2009, 04:51 PM
Oh, great, Ruth! It's nice being able to look at them as a grouping, isn't it? :D


Kathryn Wilson
10-16-2009, 05:08 PM
Wow, these look great Ruthie - that exactly what I think Charlie and I had in mind for all the paintings to be together.

Karen Margulis
10-16-2009, 05:11 PM
I love seeing them all grouped together.
Deborah: The red one is my fav so far and I can't wait to see what you do next!
Tressa: Love the dark sky.Very mysterious!
Marion: Great colors and shapes in the pink one!
Ruthie: Looking good so far! I too like the muted one.

Karen Margulis
10-16-2009, 05:19 PM
I knew last week was going to be a busy one for me so I didn't get to post to week 2 but I am catching up to my weekly goal and hopefully next week will be easier to get them done! Here are 6 more and I have 3 that haven't been photographed yet. Looking at them together they aren't very colorful this week...must be the dreary weather here!

Deborah Secor
10-16-2009, 06:56 PM
Karen, it's wonderful to see them all together... I love the wind in the last one!!! Even the moon is blowing, it seems. :D


Very moody, Tress. The glints of pink in the distance are compelling.


10-16-2009, 07:11 PM
Thanks everyone, wouldn't wanna walk along that marsh on All Hallow's Eve:eek: Tres


10-16-2009, 08:20 PM
Karen -- these are terrific -- there is a similarity in color but the changes is technique, style really make a difference.

Tressa, all are wonderful but the evening light is -- gorgeous.


10-17-2009, 02:40 AM
Ruthie you've really captured the look of a cold wet English day in this one.
It's great seeing them all together really shows the variety you've achieved.

Tressa this is a really forboding painting. Good one for Halloween LOL. I love that red against the grey greens

Karen this look really good and especially good all together.

Tressa - just saw you're comment about Halloween - we must think the same way. Great gallery.

Mary Y
10-17-2009, 11:28 PM
Marion ,
Like your pink and blue.The shapes are lovely for landscape or abstract.

I thought I had commented on this but I can't see it.They look great together and I really like this latest one.

Love your spooky marsh I can hear the frogs and the occassional night bird. My first impression was that it was a painting of some where in the outback of Australia.

They look great as a gallery and I particulary like your nocturne .

10-18-2009, 08:36 AM
#2 in week three....rain for the fourth day in arow, uugghhh... Tres


10-18-2009, 08:40 AM
Tres, it looks like the rain inspired this painting. Love the effect on the LH trees. It looks like you have made the pastel run down the page. How did you achieve this?

Kathryn Wilson
10-18-2009, 08:45 AM
Karen and Tressa - we're all experiencing poor weather this week -

Karen, I like seeing all your efforts together - very impressionistic and you've got this challenge down pat.

Tressa - very expressive paintings! I too want to know how you achieved that effect on your last one.

10-18-2009, 09:51 AM
Thanks Marion, and Kat.
It was a simple thing really. I brushed the clear gesso on in a vertical stroke. A wc underpainting, Then after applying pastel, at the end, I just lightly took a finger at a time, and feathered down the entire painting without pausing. But the key is lightly, and variation of pressure.

10-18-2009, 10:55 AM
Tressa, great impression of the dreary weather - we've had the same.

My gallery for week 3 below

-- I feel some frustration in these -- probably just tired of my reference but a number of the group has mentioned that.
From a learning perspective (and I am really new to pastels, so it is all learning) I find that in these landscapes, I really struggle with too little detail, too much detail, too blah, no depth . . . .

First is on mat board dk beige -- I liked this surface more than I thought
second, lt beige, miteintes- used purples, yellows and greens -getting used to this paper
third, first try with a wc underpainting -

C&C welcome and appreciated.


Kathryn Wilson
10-18-2009, 11:07 AM
I put a lot of thought into my comp before I started, yet I still ended up with too much to deal with, so you are not alone in this quandry.

Nan, you probably could change that road into a stream.

10-18-2009, 12:31 PM
Karen, I love all of these. The fifth one particularly takes my eye. It somehow reminds me of a swarm of bees or even a plague of locusts. The night one is great. I think I'd better try that but my next is going to be a sunset.

Tressa, Love the rain! Cool colours too but love the contrasting orange.

Nancy, I love the middle one of these. That sky is lovely! I have to say 1 and 3 look the same to me. Have you posted one twice? I'm also getting fed up with my ref sometimes. Those three trees seem to take most of the time up and I can never get them to look right anyway! But I'll persevere.

Deborah Secor
10-18-2009, 12:38 PM
Neat one, Tress! I like the rainy look, too.

Nancy, I want to make a suggestion to you... Why not stop using any detail AT ALL and instead go back to painting some of them using only the flat sides of the pastel sticks? Think of shapes, values and colors, not a landscape. Sometimes we get so tied up wanting to get the details right that we neglect the big underlying shapes and values which have to go in first. I see some of your earlier ones were done in that style.

I'm finding in this exercise detail doesn't necessarily make the painting better, in fact, it distracts me from changing up the color, value and texture (which is not the same thing as detail). Maybe part of the experiment is to find how few strokes can imply enough detail, without overdoing it.

So, this is just a thought for you--one I'm thinking through, as well. Personally I think this one of yours is strong:


Just MHO, of course... :)

And I suggest we ALL go back and look through Marla Baggetta's Variations paintings (http://www.baggettastudio.com/marlaSite/reproductions.php)to freshen our vision. :heart:


10-18-2009, 02:57 PM
Ruthie, You are so right, I did end up with two of the same in my gallery. Must be the PS goblins getting ready for Halloween. I'll go back and work on my gallery. Thanks for pointing it out-- I'm not sure the third one will look all that different --

Kathryn, thanks for the encouragement -- I will perceive -- overall, I do think I am learning alot, if nothing else patience.

Deb, thanks to you for the encouragement also. I will go back and look at Marla's and everyone else's for inspiration. Funny, I think I did a better job of lights, meds and darks on week two.

Thanks for looking and the help -- onto week 4!!!!!!!

10-18-2009, 06:26 PM
Wow I must say that there are some great works here. I'm not sure why but my photos are not coming out as well as I like. I may have my camera set for too high of a resolution, taking them too close...guess I may have a 100 photo challenge on my hands...lol. I take them outside out of direct sun and without a flash...if anyone has any other suggestions. I love everyone's galleries. I got PS a few months ago and was saving installing for a wintery weekend but I'm going to have to break it out and give it a try...so much to do so litte time! :)

Well anyway on to what I have completed for Week 3...

#5 Pink Cardstock with Colorfix primer using only Pans. I have never done anything with just Pans so thought this would give me a chance to play around with the tools and do a little experimenting. I resisted the urge to blend except for the sky to preserve the strokes for later reference. I think I could have used more but I also tried to keep each of these under 1 hour. I also chopped down the little pine tree. I actually ended up liking the pine the best in this one -- just use the edge of the large round applicator sponge to make the branches.


And now # 6. Painted on light blue cardstock with Colorfix primer. DB and Rembrandt sticks limited to blues and greys (just a touch of green on the pine). The card stock is showing through much more in the photo. No the little pine didn't grow back yet but the grasses seem to be growing better!:D


Of course your C&C's are greating appreciated!

10-19-2009, 02:34 AM
Nancy, I second what Deborah said. It's all a mindset isn't it. Getting out of that 'making it look real' is really hard. I'm really struggling with mine - trying to think of different ideas.

Dee, both of these have so much energy - looks like you just went for it. Love the blue one.
I always find the camera picks up the background more than IRL and always picks up the blue. In one of my purple ones I had to put it onto a 'night' setting to get the purple to show up, although I was taking it outside on a sunny day. LOL. I always take several photos all at different settings e.g. auto, landscape, floral, etc and hope at least one gives me a result.

10-19-2009, 04:53 AM
No. 10 (2nd for week 3).
This is on mountboard - the second half of the piece I cut for No.5.
I started going for red but somehow the pink and turquoise crept in, my orangy reds didn't get a look in.
I primed this piece with colorfix primer. I tried to go for a scribbly loose look.
Halfway through I sprayed it with alcohol so that it was really wet and ran down the card - although it was very wet the pastel did not run very much.
Time about 40 minutes and had to allow it to dry half way through.


PS I did this one last night under not too good light, and wondered how it would look this morning.:lol:

Gallery so far this week

Mary Y
10-19-2009, 05:54 AM
Lots to look at today.

Tressa Your rainy marsh is excellent you have really caught the dull wetness of a rainy day.Its lovely.

Nancy I really like your sky in the middle one and your bushes and tree look great.

Dee Your pine tree is lovely in the first one and I really like your blue painting.
I love the way the clouds are blowing over the moon.Very nice.
Thank you for the information on primer on W/C paper.I would not have thought to tape it down first.

Marion I love this colour combination it makes me think of molten lava flowing down a volcano.


Mary Y
10-19-2009, 08:17 AM
My week three

9 & 10 were done with mostly the same pastels
9 was rich beige colourfix and 10 was on smooth canson.
I decided to do them with similar colours and to try and not blend no.10.
I don't tthink there is much difference




10-19-2009, 08:27 AM
Hi Mary,
Like this colour scheme. It's the sky mainly that looks different. I'm always unsure about whether or not to blend the sky. But the difference in the skies give each a different look. #9 looks like it's about to rain, #10 looks like one of those sunny days where the clouds blows in but not rainy.

10-19-2009, 12:43 PM
Dee, it is difficult to get true photos. I usually take loads and sometimes still don't get one I'm happy with. I like your night one, the Pine looks really ghostly in it.

Marion, I really like this one. Thanks for telling us your process for it.

Mary, these are both good. I love the first one, the sky is wonderful. I am really drawn to the cool colours you used.

I haven't done one today, no time. But I have taken delivery of a set of 72 Unison soft pastels and 60 Rembrandts!! Can't wait to try them out on one of these tomorrow. Wonder if I could do one with 132 different colours in it?!

10-19-2009, 06:25 PM
First off thanks Mary, Ruthie, and Marion. You're also welcome about the info. about the primer. When use paper for anything I tape it to a board as I prefer working against a harder background that is stable. I initially tried the binder clip method but found the paper would slip even working in dry mediums. As for the photos I also try different settings and take several pics. Guess I'm going to have to keep on trying~~never tried the night shot setting but may be a good thing to try. The photos did help though as there were a couple of dark bands in the night sky which showed up and looking closer at the original I noticed them and was able to blend them better. Guess there may be some advantages to "bad" photos. I am liking the night one as it does have a ghostly / velvetly feel IRL --- it actually may be a keeper to frame!

Mary, Your 9 and 10 are wonderful. The both remind of a cold early sping morning. Nice job on the tree branches. They are inspiring me to try one as a snowy leafless scene for next week.

Marion, Love the colors. I especially like your sky in the left one of the side by side display.

Nancy, Love you pine trees and the 2nd one reminds me of a summer storm brewing~~~great sky.

Tressa, Great effect on the last one...thanks for sharing the how to. It reminds me of looking out a window that has lots of condensation running down it.

Karen, Yours have a watercolor feel. I really like the greyscale one and the one next to it. Never thought I'd like purple and green together but it's really amazing to see how well they do compliment one another.

Ruthie, Your trees are terrific! You are able to capture the rainy day so well---great wet road!

Deborah, WOW!!! At first I was so sure about the red and yellow but it really grows on you. Looking at all of them together this one is my favorite. I also like the turquoise / purple. It's funny that I am finding myself being more drawn to the more "unusual" color combinations.

I hope I haven't missed anyone so far. This sure has been a fun and interesting exercise so far and I think we can all say that it has helped to think outside the box and to take risks that we normally wouldn't have and through those risks are helping us to develop a "different" eye and techniques for future works.

Mary Y
10-19-2009, 06:26 PM
Marion and Ruthie thank you.

Ruthie I am green with envy at your new pastels .Enjoy!

10-19-2009, 07:30 PM
I will probably wait to post this week's paintings all at once (I did 4 one night and still have to do the last one tonight), but wanted to at least comment on everyone else's paintings now that I have some time...assuming I can remember them all :eek: .

Mary - even though you used the same palette, the mood/effect is quite different in each, also because of the paper. I like both equally, I think!

Deborah - your orange/red palette is quite a radical departure from your cool blues and greens of last week :). I like it!

Marion - love the bright, explosive colors you used for your last one. It seems like the more of these we do, the more we start pushing the envelope. It's fun when it works :) .

Karen - love the set all put together. The colors harmonize so well in each. I am really liking the monochromatic b/w piece so much, for whatever reason, that I think I'll have to do one of mine like that.

Tressa - your nocturne is great. Your chosen scene is so versatile compared to mine, and has worked really well for all the color combos you've chosen. Love the effect you got from the textured surface for your grey rainy day version - that's what it was like all day yesterday here :rolleyes: . I like the grey skies better for a painting than IRL, I must say.

creativedee - you really got two very different looks with your paintings! I particularly like the moon painting.

Nancy - :lol: I'm laughing, because I totally hear what you are saying about getting too caught up in the details and getting a bit tired with your scene - I'm finding the same issues with my own paintings. Do you paint from top to bottom? It looks like it, because I see the same things happening in mine: the top 1/2 of the painting isn't as fussy, has better depth, etc. but then towards the end, I start getting bored and want to finish it, so I just start doing "whatever" at the base. I'm trying to stop myself from doing that, but it's hard! :D I really like how the sky and row of trees/hedges and the upper part of the yellow flowers/grasses turned out on your duplicate painting.

I hope I didn't forget anyone here in my comments!

10-19-2009, 09:56 PM
Dee and Sonya, thanks for your comments. Sonya -- sounds like we are in a similar place - as far as working on the drawing -- First I put in the darks, roughly, then the sky and work it into the row of trees. Then, I'm all over the place. It is fun and I am learning - and I have a lot to learn.

Deb -- thanks for your comments on Sunday, I looked back at Marla's site -- it is such fun and very inspiring. I've started my group for week 4 -- and gone back to looking only at my value study and not looking at the reference -- the next group may a bit wild -- but fun.

Also, I am posting my corrected week 3, with three different paintings -- feel free to delete one of the galleries, if appropriate. Thanks for your help.



Mary Y
10-20-2009, 07:56 AM
Dee thank you I'm glad you like the trees I struggle with them. I think we posted arround the same time.

Sonya. Thank you.Looking forward to seeing your latest.

Nancy All very nice and I still really like the middle one although I also like the red flowers and how you did your trees in the first one.


Mary Y
10-20-2009, 08:21 AM
My last two for week three.

#11 terracotta canson


#12 Sold as Art Spectrum pastel paper smooth side colour Aubergine.Very like canson.
Tried very hard not to blend.


I have had problems uploading my pics as they do not always go in order??


I have read with interest how Nancy and Sonya are feeling and the suggestions Nancy recieved.I feel I have lost the plot a bit so I will have to look at shapes .(I am not very good at seeing tones but will try )

10-20-2009, 08:25 AM
Dee, Thanks but my wet road is s'posed to be a canal :cat:

Sonya, you forgot me! :wave:

Mary, I've already had fun with the new pastels. Here are 2 I did today. The first is on suede matboard with the Rembrandts and is smaller, about 7x7. I, erm, didn't do the trees smaller though so they don't fit properly! I'm not happy with how it turned out so I did another, with the Unison and back to cruddy paper. I prefer this one though.



That's my three for this week but I may well do another:)

Mary Y
10-20-2009, 09:18 AM
Wow Ruthie .
The first one has a beautiful red glow to it and I thought it was lovely then I looked at your second one and its gorgeous. I love the sky and the lovely glowing grasses on the canal banks,the trees look really good to. Great colours.
lovely painting.

10-20-2009, 10:16 AM
Will there be a similar challenge for November? I would like to participate to keep me painting - the October challenge seems very good!

10-20-2009, 10:18 AM
Ruthie - d'oh! I'm sorry 'bout that :o . That's what happens when you try to go from memory and what I saw scrolling down when I was writing the post. Yes! I had wanted to comment on how nicely done the trees are in your "low chroma" painting. They are quite convincing in their forms and leaf clusters, I think, and I like the moodiness of the painting. I'm really digging the colors and sunset sky in the second one, and the trees look very good there as well! One thing that I notice in your paintings, though, is the perspective of the fence isn't quite right; it doesn't appear to follow the same vanishing point as the hedges (which look great, BTW). This painting is one of my favorites you've done so far :) .

Mary - the sunset painting on Canson is great - love the sky! And why is it that I find the rough side of the Canson paper to produce a distracting texture when *I* use it, but when I see others' works, it looks really good:lol: ? Seriously, I really like how the texture works to catch bits of color in this painting. You blended this one? I think the second one is my new favorite of yours! I love everything about it - the pale colors of the sky and mountain and the contrast between the path and the surrounding grasses with their depth and texture. I'm glad you didn't blend it; the paper showing through makes it that much better, I think. I have to remind myself "DO NOT BLEND" when I'm using something other than Cansen.

Really nice work, ladies!:wave:

10-20-2009, 11:59 AM
Mary, I love both of these new ones. The first for it's strong colour and the second for the feeling of tranquility it imparts. I find it impossible not to blend the sky and water in mine but sometimes I manage not to blend the grass and hedge!
Thanks for your comments on my last two. I much prefer the 2nd. The first is all out of proportion because (I tell myself) of using a smaller size!

Sonya, Thanks for your comments too. I do have trouble with that fence. I think it's because I have to put it in afterwards and sometimes I'm pushed for time. That is my excuse anyway. The far post is much taller than the others so that doesn't help me when trying to get the perspective. Maybe I'll shorten it. The worst one is today's first. The fence is taller than the hedge at the far end :o

On a roll today so I've done another. Fall colours this time (well I had to try out my new pastels didn't I?) And the fence still isn't right :(


Deborah Secor
10-20-2009, 03:48 PM
Will there be a similar challenge for November? I would like to participate to keep me painting - the October challenge seems very good!

You can join in any time, Phyllis, as this isn't really a project. I think some of the folks are continuing into November, and since my class ends on Nov. 19 (the week before Thanksgiving in the USA) I'll be around for a total of 7 weeks of paintings.


10-20-2009, 04:32 PM
Ruthie - glad you decided to squeek in another painting :thumbsup: . I like the colors you used in the foliage and the delicate branches underneath look very good. And I like the reflection of the trees in the water. The fence looks better, I think, probably also because of the shading. Looks more dimensional. Also, if in your ref photo the fence is actually more of a gate and isn't running along side the hedges and is in fact more perpendicular to the viewer, then the posts wouldn't necessarily be smaller. Did you post your ref photo in the original challenge thread? I'm curious now!

10-20-2009, 04:44 PM
Hi Sonya. Actually it isn't a gate but abit of fencing in front of a gap in the hedge. From the angle of the photo you can't see the gap. The hedge also kicks up a bit in the foreground and at the very front you are seeing the edge of the hedge where the gap starts. That seemed a bit complicated to me so when i did my sketch I left that impression out. Here's the ref photo again. If I keep on doing these I may get one right! I was aware that it looks quite different in some of the paintings :o

10-20-2009, 06:46 PM
Oh, thank you for posting that pic again, Ruthie!

Okay, when I am checking out the VP's of the hedge and fence of the photo, vs. your paintings, here's what I notice:
In the photo and your paintings, the hedge VP is essentially where the canal VP is. Actually, the hedge disappears into the darkest part of the thicket right across the canal. And it does in your photos.

The fence VP in the photo falls about in the middle of the trunks of the smaller tree to the left. In your last painting, the fence lines are basically parallel and the top fence line bisects the middle of your tree and continues off the page. So, I think that's where your issue is here :). All you really need to do is just slightly adjust the top fence line down a bit, and you're golden. Another thing I notice to confuse the issue is that the fence takes a turn at the right most post. So, those have their own VP which is right at the edge of the photo slightly less than 1cm below the edge of the canal in the water. I hope that helps!

10-20-2009, 07:02 PM
Mary, love seeing these all lined up. As I scanned the first, I thought -- this is great, love the textures -- then I saw the autumn sky -- Gorgeous, I love it!!!

Ruthie -- well you really are in production. I like the softness of the suedemat, but imagine it is hard to get used to. The colors on the second -- great, the dark trees and the skyn -- beautiful. Number three --great colors and reflection --


Karen Margulis
10-21-2009, 09:58 AM
Just checking in...it's great to see everyone's progress and especially nice to see them all together. I have been busy with this week's goal and I have to say the more I do, the more ideas I get for more. I knew I would become obsessed! Great work everyone!

Deborah Secor
10-21-2009, 03:46 PM
I'm hoping to add one or two more the week three...but they may slip over into week four!

I'm really enjoying what everyone is accomplishing, too. If I wasn't on deadline for a big article you'd see more from me! Can't do everything, I guess.


10-22-2009, 06:59 AM
Checking in also! I have looked at everyone's paintings, but haven't time to comment yet! They are all great , and I am hoping to get in this afternoon and comment personally!

Deborah Secor
10-22-2009, 10:16 AM
I painted yesterday but couldn't find time to shoot photos, so when I do I'll add them to this thread and start our week four thread, too.

Our class is about color schemes, so I devised some fun color plans in PSE. Not a bad way to think about what you might do! Here's a peek:



I'll show you the paintings resulting from them when I can! :wave:


10-22-2009, 02:21 PM
Great idea, Deborah. I like the color combos you chose, and it will be fun to see how they translate into real-life pastels :) .

I thought I'd be able to get my 5th painting in for the week, but I did not. I got another part-time job last week so I'm working 5 days a week which cuts into my painting time, but that's okay. I can always use the $$.

I'll post the 4 paintings I managed to get done in a post here in a bit.

I'm actually looking forward to doing more challenge paintings but with a different subject next time! This challenge has been really great, but I'm wishing I had more flexibility as far as what I can do with it. So, next one will have more sky to work with and maybe some water.

10-22-2009, 03:11 PM
Okay, here are mine. I actually did them all on the same evening - a week ago, I think.

#09 - Fall, #2:


Paper: Canson creme. Pastels: Unison, Sennelier and Rembrandt.
I wanted to try and improve upon the first attempt (which is still my least favorite). I found myself falling into the same rut as far as "what colors do I use and where?" and probably grabbing at some of the same colors. So, it's similar but maybe doesn't suck quite as much :D . The foreground shubs I did using random colors from the palette - does it show? ;) :lol:

#10 - Green palette

Paper: 600-grit sandpaper. Pastels: all 3 varieties I have (Sen, Uni., Rembr.).
It wasn't until after I finished this that I realized how close it was to the 2nd one I did (spring). The main difference is that I used greens for the sky and the front hill and foliage are a yellow-warm green vs. the cooler, turquoise greens of the mountains.

#11 - Orange and blue complements


paper: Canson neutral grey. Pastels: all 3 brands
I should title this "Forest Fire!", because that's what it looks like!:eek: :lol: Odd that I didn't make that astute observation while I was doing it. I actually like the colors I used, but I'm sitting here laughing at the absurdity of the painting itself. In case anyone would be wondering why I would paint the hill in blues vs. oranges, there are two reasons: 1) the sky was in oranges/yellows, and 2) just because I felt like it :D . It does sort of provide a refuge from the surrounding flames, though, doesn't it? Quick - someone call the Hotshot crews and the slurry tanker planes to put this baby out!

#12 - Pinks n' purples

Paper: Canson terra-cotta. Pastels: all
This was as much another value study as it was a reason to use the pinks in my pastel collection, which I've never broken out before. It looks like something out of Candyland, but that's okay. We have purple gumdrops and cotton candy trees! Actually, I have to say that I like the sky on this one; I'm glad I resisted the urge to finger blend the colors because I like the paper showing through. So, at least there is something good going on here.

And here are the four in a composite image:

Thanks for looking, and please feel free to laugh along with me here :D

Mary Y
10-22-2009, 08:14 PM
The only laughing you are likely to hear from me is with delight.I love them all but the green one is my favorite.The sky is great so are the grasses and the light on the trees.I also like Fall and blue /orange very much .The pink reminds me of evening and fading light not my favorite colours en masse but it still looks good.
Thank you for looking at my wk 3 .I agree with your comment about the rough side of Canson I don't usually like it either but I liked the look of Julie's painting and decided to try it again. Some preconceived ideas about materials are going out the window with this challenge.

Your fall painting is lovely those trees look great .Will have to try water sometime.

Nancy, Thank you.

Deborah,Thank you for the colour ideas .

Hope I didn't miss anyone's painting.


10-22-2009, 08:16 PM
ok, here goes, finally!

Karen, your paintings are really shining! Love the loose feel to them and colors are all seeming to blend spendidly!
Nancy, All are good, love the grasses in the front right , the yellow really looks great and the strokes of the grass are really good.
Dee, lots of energy, and I like the blue one a lot. Maybe try using the sides of your sticks more to try different looks. And if you lay down darker colors first, your lights will shine on top, giving depth.
Marion, Love the predominently pink one nbr 1 I think...the colors seem to work very well with that one.
Mary, I like both of your fist posted ones, they remind me of snow. The next two, the red sky is luscious, and the yellow sky with the lavenders are gorgeous.
Ruthie, I like the softness of the suede, it looks like a patriotic rendering:cat: with the R/W/B...and the sky in the last one is lovely. You could also try leaving the fence out, and see if you like it. I don't think it is crucial to your landscape, and you may find it more to your liking. Just a suggestion to change it up, though, for what it's worth,:)
Sonya, I really like all four of them for different reasons, the fall, the greens,love the blue/orange, and really enjoyed the pinks! The thing I see that is consistent in all four is your use of light portrayal, and the shadows under the rh treeline.,great job!!!
Deb, some really cool PS renderings..

If I missed anyone, let me know, yikes!!!

10-22-2009, 08:29 PM

Even though you are laughing, they are all great. These are great studies in color and I also like you style, nonblending-seeing the strokes. I will vote for the blue & orange, but I did that color selection also. I've been trying different papers -- canson is challenging. If you don't mind, what paper do you like best?

10-22-2009, 09:19 PM
Nancy, Mary and Tressa - thank you for your comments. I'm glad you ladies liked them :) . I was just in one of those moods earlier where everything was funny and it was a reminder to not take myself or things I create too seriously. That's what I like about this challenge - anything goes!

Nancy, of the two papers I've been using - the Canson and the 600-grit wet-dry sandpaper - I definitely like the sandpaper best. I like the dark surface and the pastels go on like butter. I totally see why so many folks here use the various artist-grade sanded grounds for their work! Of the Canson papers, I like the neutral grey with the dark fibers in it probably. It seems to work the best with most palettes. It's funny, because I'd think that the terra-cotta and creme colors would work best with the browns and other earth colors, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Both of the fall paintings were done on either of those two colors and I wasn't happy. OTOH, the blue/orange one was done on the creme color and I think that was a good choice for it. The Canson isn't an easy surface to work on, but for me, that's also part of the challenge: to figure out how to *make* it work and not fight it.

Mary - see, I think you really took great advantage of the Canson texture, but I haven't felt like that's happened with any of these challenge paintings for me. Some do turn out better than others, for sure. But, I am going to try one where I do what you did and get the surface to catch the different colors. It has great appeal that way. But, I totally agree with you about notions of materials changing as we do these challenges. That is definitely A Very Good Thing.

Tressa - I'm glad you like the texture and strokes in these; it's the one thing I can say I like about [parts of] most/all of them as well. I would be tempted to blend more of them, but then I'm reminded of how strong the paintings are that many people post in the gallery that *aren't blended* and I stop myself. Besides, blending takes time and when you're on a self-imposed time schedule with these, it is important to try and not dink around too much:lol: . It's the dinking around that produces uncertainty in the work, I think, and lots of frustration during the process. On the pink version? If I'd left out the bright fuschia pastel (a Sennelier), it would have looked a little more harmonious. I'll save that color for any florals and keep it out of future landscape pics - I promise! :D

10-23-2009, 04:41 AM
Here are the last 2 for week 3.
No.11 - On black La Carte. Pastel colours and thick layering, then scoring across with a coloured pencil. It looks very chalky and I thought I could reveal some of the underlying colours. ~This one did not work well at all.


No.12 my Cezanne inspired look:lol:
this is on Ingres 150 g, beige colour. I think this worked fairly well and the concept may be worth taking forward.

I see I missed some posts and will be back later to comment.

10-23-2009, 10:26 AM
Here is the composite for week 3

10-23-2009, 10:42 AM
Thank you all for your comments on mine.

Nancy - Great gallery. I like the middle one especially.

Dee Seeing them all together shows how each one has a different feel.

Ruth I'm envious of your new presents. You've put them to good use. I like both of your skies in these two.
Oh I see your third one as I'm scrolling down - This one has a very tranquil feel to it. like your oranges in this.

Deborah - that is a great way to practice colour combinations.

Sonya - WOW all of these are fantastic. I especially like the green ones and then fter that the pinks and purples.

10-23-2009, 10:45 AM
Here is a composite of all my galleries so far.
I won't be able to join in week 4 as I am on holiday.


10-23-2009, 12:19 PM
Deborah, that's an interesting way to plan. I look forward to seeing the pastel results.

Sonya, I like all of yours, including the Forest fire one. My favourite is Fall 2.

Mary, thanks for your comments on mine.

Tressa, Thank you. You know I've been wanting to ditch the fence but thought, as it was in the original ref, I ought to keep it. But, now you say it, Yeah, I'll ditch it!

Marion, Thank you for your comments. I like your no 12. The Hills look very strong and I think they anchor the whole thing making the most of all those lovely strokes in the sky and foreground. The other is a little undefined to me, but I can't get my head round abstract anyway!. It's great to see them all together. Numbers 2 and 6 are my favourites!

I haven't done any yet for week 4 so hope I manage a catch up day early next week.

10-23-2009, 04:19 PM
Since week 4 isn't up yet, I will go ahead and post this one I did yesterday, being as I did say I would do 3 a week, and that hasen't been happening:p
Oops, forgot! this is 5X7 Richeson white panel, no underpainting. Tres

Anne Hevener
10-23-2009, 05:43 PM
This has been a lot of fun to watch, everyone. Some wonderful color experiments!

Deborah Secor
10-23-2009, 05:48 PM
Hey, nice to see you're dropping by, Anne! :) Isn't it fun?

Tressa, and anyone else who has new work, I finally posted the week four thread! (The editors at the PJ have me chained to my computer writing at the moment :eek: :wink2:)

Here's the link for you: ****Challenge-Week Four**** (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=589639)


10-23-2009, 06:02 PM
Ha! I see the whip being drawn back Deborah!, lol...

Deborah Secor
10-23-2009, 06:09 PM
Yeah, right! :lol: Actually, I'm a willing slave... (Dream job: Call artists. Talk about art. Write it down and share it with others. :D)

10-24-2009, 06:02 AM
Tressa, this is great. I really like it.

10-24-2009, 11:04 AM
Ruthie and Marion - thank you for your comments :)

Marion - I really like the Cezanne-inspired painting, but no surprise, since I really like his work anyway :D . The blocks of bright colors look wonderful. I like the palette in the other one, and what is interesting is that it looks not landscape-ish when viewed in the close-up photo, but when placed with the others, then you can tell it's a landscape. That's a neat thing, I think!

Have fun on your vacation, btw :wave:

[B]Tressa - nicely done! Looks like fall colors out there in the marsh. I like the white from the panel showing through to give the painting some texture. Do those Richeson panels (I'm not at all familiar with them) have texture, or is it just the way you applied the pastel?

10-24-2009, 04:39 PM
Thanks Sonya, and yes, the Richeson pastel boards have lots of texture, but in a smooth application, lots of tooth.

Kathryn Wilson
10-25-2009, 03:53 PM
I'm getting confused as to which week I am working on - I think these belong in Week 3. I wanted to do some winter scenes - the second one was very stark and I was tempted to leave the trees out because I really liked that look.

Colorfix paper, 9x12

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/25-Oct-2009/14941-5.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/25-Oct-2009/14941-6.jpg

10-25-2009, 05:32 PM
The great work continues -- really fun to see everyone's progress.

Marion, your gallery has such variety -- love the colors in your last two additions.

Tressa -- the fall colors are beautiful, I particularly like the loose style with the paper and bg colors peeking thru.

Kathryn - these winter scenes are wonderful -- I really like the trees and their reflections in the purple/blue one, for me, it adds to the stark winter look.


Mary Y
10-26-2009, 05:23 AM
These are both lovely . I like both of them very much, I love the colour combination in the first and the atmosphere and light in the second.

Deborah Secor
10-26-2009, 11:47 AM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/25-Oct-2009/14941-5.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/25-Oct-2009/14941-6.jpg

NICE, Kat! I love the **POP** of the blue and gold one, especially next to the cold starkness of the winter scene.


10-26-2009, 04:39 PM
Kathryn, I love both the winter scenes but am blown away by the last one. I would love that on my wall!

Kathryn Wilson
10-26-2009, 05:16 PM
What I am going to do with these paintings is to show them at our First Friday Art Walk at my studio/gallery - going to line them up from 1-?, and have a blurb about the Challenge, etc.

10-29-2009, 06:39 AM
I've finally finished week 3. Both of these are on colourfix (elephant).
No. 1 has an underpainting of pastel in dark reds painted over with a soft pastel liquefier medium. No. 2 underpainting in dark blues, painted same way.

No. 1http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/29-Oct-2009/106652-P1000268.JPG

No. 2http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/29-Oct-2009/106652-P1000266.JPG

10-29-2009, 06:45 AM
Thought I'd take a picture of the three weeks all together. Took it on the family room floor but seems to be o.k.

Kathryn Wilson
10-29-2009, 07:08 AM
Julie, I like all of the ones you've done, but the last three are brilliant.

10-29-2009, 07:25 AM
Kathryn, Thank you so much. This challenge has really motivated me and I've noticed that I'm working faster and a bit looser on my other paintings. I look forward to doing my challenge pieces now, so I don't think I'll stop at week four I'm going to keep going until I run out of ideas!
Oh, also your two paintings are lovely! I especially like the winter scene, but all of your work is so good.

Deborah Secor
10-29-2009, 10:38 AM
Wow, Julie, these look just great! I'm so glad this challenge has motivated you and given you some new ideas. Love the last one...the peaceful mood is wonderful.

Glad you'll be going on to November with us!


Mary Y
10-29-2009, 09:42 PM
Your colours really stand out so vibrant.
I like them all.

10-29-2009, 11:24 PM
Deborah, Thanks for setting up this challenge, it was a great idea!

Mary, Thanks. I love strong, vibrant colour but I've noticed that I seem to always use the same type of strokes in each painting. I think I need to try to vary them more to try to give some movement and excitement to the paintings.