View Full Version : July 2010 Oil Pastel Challenge.

06-30-2010, 08:21 PM
Good evening, everybody!

My name is Tatiana and I'm your host with monthly challenge for July 2010.
You again will have for whole this month to put up with me and my English dis-abilities! :lol:

I'm starting this thread slightly early this time, because tomorrow I'll be pretty busy most of the day and not sure when I'll have time to post new images...

The Rules:

1) This challenge is open to ANY artist of ANY age working with ANY brand of Oil Pastels. Mixed media artists are welcome as well, as long as one of used medium will be... Oil pastel, of course!

2) Host is posting royalty free images, what you will use as reference for your art work. feel free to modify it any way you want. You can work on just
one image, or all of them You can do several versions of the same reference... the choice is solely YOURS!

3) After you finished your art work, take a photo of it and post it on this thread. You may describe your methods and ask for help or comments, if needed. We all are here to help each other.

OK. Here we go... July reference photos. Hope you will like it.


This one is taken during our trip to Stoney Creek Iris farm, PA. What a beautiful place!
Iris is one of those everybody's favorite flowers... so - enjoy!

Nice picture of stone cottage for those of you, who likes to work on buildings and/or landscapes.

And lastly my favorite (taken by my sister, Irina at the same Iris farm) - two mischievous goats. I guess they are plotting how to get out and have a good time in the middle of those very Irises... Not many will be left, I'm sure!


So... 3 images this time, 3 different ideas. Which one would you choose? Think about it, but not too long. Let start painting! (starting from tomorrow, of course!) :grouphug:

07-01-2010, 12:08 AM
Nice pictures, Tatiana, hopefully will do my part:cat: thank you

07-01-2010, 02:12 AM
Tatiana - great pictures - I especially love the irises, and hope to be able to join in this month.

Pat Isaac
07-01-2010, 01:35 PM
Thanks for hosting, Tatiana. Iove these images...


07-01-2010, 01:35 PM
Thank You, Vlad!
Thank You, Dave!

I hope you both will join! I like those irises too, But I LOVE the goats! :-)

07-01-2010, 01:36 PM
Thank You, Pat!
Pick one up and we all would love to see your version of it!

07-01-2010, 05:09 PM
Tatiana, these are all great. Of course I love the irises, that's probably what I'll do first, but I might do more than one. Your goats are fun and that farm house is at an interesting angle, not much perspective showing on it so giving it depth would be a challenge.

07-01-2010, 05:55 PM
Tatiana, thanks for hosting and providing such beatiful and diverse images to work with. All of them are great. The iris is lovely, I think the picture of the house has some wonderful variation in light and dark to work on shadows, and who couldn't love the goats.

BTW, I hope you didn't steal those goats of the grass roof of that Door Co., WI restaurant I had in May's challenge!!!! :eek: :evil: :lol:

This should be interesting to see and work on.

:heart: :music: :heart:

07-02-2010, 11:42 AM
What no horses ????? You surprise me.. those goats are soooo cute though.
I'm very up of doing flowers in so many WC challenges - I'm nopt much of a botanical artist.....beautiful colours though l... you all know how I love purple so I may be won over by the colours...

Looks like will be goats for me and maybe if I have time the cottage too as it is so idyllic.

Thanks for hosting

07-02-2010, 03:53 PM
Well I've got my underpainting of the irises done - not presentable enough to show yet, though!

I'm still trying to work out how to mix the shades of purple, when my set of 24 Senneliers has NO purples or magentas! Looks like the best is to underpaint with pink and then lightly cover with various blues. The crimson might help with the darkest detail bits...

07-03-2010, 09:45 AM
Looking forward to see your Irises, Robert! And house... I think you will do just fine with that one too, if you chose to paint it.

No horses THIS TIME, Lin. If it would be up to my preference, every other picture would be a horse. But I think we need some variety here. I'm pretty sure your GOAT will look like just as great, as my Betty did! (could be less purple, if you would like!)

Dave... I would try mostly red + some brown and blue. It should work. maybe you need some solvent to mix it up better. You have whole month to figure it out, something should work. After all most of oil paints comes in the set of 12 and you can mix pretty much anything with it. You have twice as much colors, you should be in good shape!

07-03-2010, 01:16 PM
better get started . . .

07-03-2010, 03:30 PM
OK, here is are my irises so far. I've only just read Tatiana's reply, so didn't think to try mixing in brown yet, and I am trying to avoid solvents. So far I have used pink (geranium lake light) and azure blue, with touches of Delft blue, Ultramarine, intense red and ruby red.

It's about 10 x 8 inches, on mid green mount board (mat board), Sennelier OPs, blended with colour shapers and fingers.

Please let me know what you think, and what I can improve!


07-03-2010, 11:31 PM
OK, maybe this time I will be joining into these challenges.

Those goats are so cute! Lovely photos!

07-04-2010, 12:52 AM
Dave, I really like what you did with those irises and NO, I don't think you have to play with brown color this time, you did just fine with combination of your blues and reds.
The only thing you may try to change here (at my opinion, but it is not 'the must") - you may like to tune down a little those bright green on the top part of painting. So it will be not the same bright, as on the bottom part of your work. It should give more perspective and some 3-D effect to your painting.
Lovely job! :thumbsup: :clap:

Crystal, hope you will be able to participate this month. I also think goats are cute and going to work on them sometime... Maybe NOT in July, I need to finish few other paintings first. But those two goats are on my future "to do" list. ;)

07-04-2010, 01:06 PM
Thanks Tatiana - you're quite right. Here is my finished piece - background nicely smoothed out.


Pat Isaac
07-04-2010, 02:05 PM
Nicely done, Dave and Senns blend well..


07-04-2010, 09:56 PM
Dave you did quite a good job in mixing the purples given that your set lacked them!!

:heart: :music: :heart:

07-05-2010, 03:47 AM
Thanks for the kind comments!

Bill - well I failed to mix the purple that I was looking for, but I think I discovered something new. I think it's a kind of "optical purple" - when you stand back from this painting it looks a lot better and more realistic. When I visit art galleries I am always the one with my face about 1 ft from the painting, looking at the brushstrokes and texture, but actually I suppose they are supposed to be viewed from further back than that!

07-05-2010, 04:52 AM
Hi Tatiana!
Great challenge photos!:wave:

07-05-2010, 04:58 AM
Dave, that is terrific, man! Glad to see you post that up!

07-05-2010, 07:47 AM
Thanks Crys! I think this is one of my most "realistic" paintings so far. I usually go more impressionist, but it was certainly fun.

I am SO looking forward to seeing everyone else's art! I am working on a Van Gogh copy at the moment, but afterwards might have a go at one of Tatiana's other photos. I feel a bit over faced by them at the moment! Probably the cottage (and hence I am practising by copying Van Gogh's thatched cottages). I think I'd have to go impressionistic/expressionistic again!

07-05-2010, 11:12 AM
I think you just nailed it! Good job!

07-06-2010, 06:20 AM
Dave - Great work on the irises! I went to your bolg - lots of good work there, too!

Tatiana - Thanks for hosting this month. Your ref photos are great and I like them all. This month looks to be as crazy as June was for me, but I hope I will have time to try at least one of these. My favs are the irises and the goats. The cottage is wonderful but too many details for me. I'm not good at "hinting" at details - - but, then, that's what a "challenge" is all about, huh.

Holly :wave:

07-06-2010, 08:26 AM
Thanks Holly! Also nice to know you visited my blog/gallery. I think Wet Canvas is great, but there doesn't seem to be anywhere to display all of your best art in one place, especially if you work in several media. I work in acrylic, watercolour and OPs and on Wet Canvas seem to belong to 3 entirely separate communities, but in real life I alternate between media...

07-06-2010, 09:31 AM
Man are OP's tough! It's like learning how to ice skate or something. For a while I got "lost" in the flower - forgetting which petal I was working on. Does that happen to you all, too? Anyway, here's the result. Senneliers and a handful of neopastel. C&C appreciated.

07-06-2010, 09:37 AM
Robin - Absolutely LOVE your irises! :clap: I really like that you were able to get the definition showing their "throats" - I really have a hard time with that. AND, yes, on the few florals I have attempted my biggest problem was "getting lost" with the petals!

Holly :wave:

07-06-2010, 12:07 PM
Robin - amazing irises - way better than mine. I got a bit of a shock seeing that painting - being an image I have looked at for so long, but seeing it painted better!

And yes, I did get completely lost in the upper part of the right hand flower. I still don't know which petal is which and didn't get round to resolving it. I guess I need to look at it more carefully next time!!

It's very interesting to see that you seem to have used similar colours to me. How many Senneliers have you got? I was just working from the set of 24 "assorted".

Pat Isaac
07-06-2010, 01:49 PM
Nicely done, Robin. Rich color and good detail.


07-06-2010, 02:41 PM
Nice vivid colors, Robin!

And no worries, Robin. It does happen to some of us when we get lost with what petals we do. :D

07-06-2010, 06:43 PM
Thanks everybody!

Dave, all I had was the set of 24 too, and a few purple and off-white neos. Using lots of red worked better than the purples in most of the petals. I would love to get some of the Sennelier in deeper colors, especially the burgundys and violets. I used Arches watercolor paper for the support. Maybe next time I'll do an underpainting like I do with the soft pastels.

07-06-2010, 06:50 PM
Man are OP's tough! It's like learning how to ice skate or something. For a while I got "lost" in the flower - forgetting which petal I was working on. Does that happen to you all, too? Anyway, here's the result. Senneliers and a handful of neopastel. C&C appreciated.

Robin, those are just gorgeous!
Now I want to go and paint my own version, but... NO! I need to finish my kitty-cat and some other things first. Then I may play with monthly challenge!

07-06-2010, 07:57 PM
I rushed and look what happens...

Totally gonna redo this. I shouldn't rush an animal that I don't know. It's not a human that I study a lot.

07-06-2010, 08:22 PM
No reason to worry about it, Crystal! Treat it as "preliminary sketch".

I used to trash so many of my works... not even funny. After I switched mo boards instead of cheap paper, I simply can not afford this kind of Luxury. Take you time on drawing, painting will be easy! :)

07-06-2010, 10:00 PM
Irises seem to be popular. This is my first OP challenge and I am relatively new to this medium and am in learning mode. Is it permissible to add a WIP for c&c here or should it go to a separate thread and then post the final here? I love the support and help the expertise this forum can afford. I have done the flowers at this point-yes another iris, using cretacolor OP and washed with water for ground. I just don't want to post incorrectly on the challenge.


07-06-2010, 10:02 PM
Dave, the irises are looking good. I love the finish when you smoothed out the background, it's spectacular.

Robin, wow. You also did the irises so well that I'm stunned.

They're the ones I plan to do, but now I'm really going to have to put some good work into them in order to meet the high standards both of you have set. Gorgeous paintings.

Crystal, your goat wasn't too bad. But if you scribbled it out, maybe your next one will come out even better. It's cool that I can still see it under the lines, so maybe you can do something unusual with overlaid images or something like washes, have fun with it.

07-06-2010, 10:09 PM
Dave and Robin-Great rendering on both. I love the BGs and the flowers are beautiful. Good to see other's take on them to help me along with it. I too am getting muddled with the flower petals but I am just interpreting it:). It is such a great ref. Thanks very much Tatiana for all of them. I think there is a number I would like to try, time permitting but irises are my all time favourite flower so ...

07-06-2010, 10:47 PM
This is my first OP challenge and I am relatively new to this medium and am in learning mode. Is it permissible to add a WIP?


You can add a WIP and get some help with it too. Many artists do it this way and you do not have to start separate thread for it. Posting you work here will be just fine!

07-06-2010, 10:52 PM
Looking forward to see it, Judy!

07-06-2010, 10:58 PM
Great Tatiana. I am still at the stage where I like having someone to bounce ideas off of and get suggestions. Otherwise a little hand holding and I appreciate all info gained here so very much. That said my Irises are on 12x16 Sennelier OP paper and I started with a ground of Cretacolor OP sticks with a water wash put over them to give me colour base. All c&c is gratefully accepted and suggestions welcome. I am thinking of doing the same thing by laying in the background with the Cretacolor and then move on to a mix of oil pastels, to be decided as it progresses.


07-06-2010, 11:22 PM
So far this is lovely. The values and shapes are perfect, they're gorgeous. Go ahead as planned, that's my suggestion. Use the Cretacolors in the background and wash them, but I'd also suggest going looser than on the irises since the background's more blurred. Then continue with other oil pastels.

I love it. Thank you for posting it!

07-07-2010, 03:46 AM
Crystal - don't be discouraged - I'm sure your next attempt will be a lot more successful. No doubt you have learned a lot from this first attempt.

Judy - fantastic start - they look great already! I can't wait to see what you do in the next stage. How different they look without a background! I worked on just about everything at the same time, but think I rushed the drawing too much.

07-07-2010, 01:17 PM
Dave and Robin, love your irises! I might give that picture a try if I have time this month.

Also Judy, yours is coming out great! Love what you have done so far with the Cretacolor (how many is in your set? sorry, I always wonder that. . .thanks for answering if you get time).

Pat Isaac
07-07-2010, 01:23 PM
Not to worry Crystal, take Tatiana's advice and treat it as a preliminary sketch.
Lovely start, Judy.


07-07-2010, 04:02 PM
Judy, I love it!

About C&C part... I personally tried this and that and came to the point, that I'm achieving my own best results, when I'm not starting from central master peace and finishing on background, but sort of working on both at the same time, just with every new layer putting in more details.

This way I have a very little to none change to spoil my most important part of the painting when I'll start to work with background around of it.

At your case... before you do any extras with flowers, I would start on background. But choice is your, what works for one might just totally turn into disaster for another one.

Good luck with this painting, so far looking very good!

07-07-2010, 05:38 PM
Rainy-I think it is a 40 set and I was very interested in the way the worked. I really really liked them. I thought I would have a go with the Holbeins and Senneliers on this one.

Tatiana-I am thinking the same thing. I will work on the background and wash it out the same as I did with the flowers but as Robert suggested keeping it looser. Then I was going to start adding more detail all around. When I did my first OP, it was a family of swans and I wish I had have worked more into the background from the get go so hope to do that in this one.

I just finally got my books that I ordered on OP and will pour through them a bit to see if I get any new ideas there. So much fun to be had. Thanks everyone for your comments/help.

07-08-2010, 03:52 AM
Judy - I agree with the others. Although I am only a beginner at OPs, I am finding that my preferred style is to do one rough layer over the whole painting, and then a second, and then final layer over the whole thing. This seems to prevent a hard line between foreground and background, and it looking disjointed.

I have started working on the Stone Cottage picture - very much different in style, but my intention is to try to introduce some "Van Gogh" style features into it...

07-08-2010, 07:49 AM
Thanks Dave. I hope to get into it again tonight so with any luck I will make some progress on it. I love that cottage picture so many cool lines. I will look forward to seeing your painting..

07-08-2010, 09:26 AM
Hey everyone -

Here's my first stab at the flowers. I did this as an exercise on plain watercolor paper. It measures 6" x 10". I used mostly Holbeins except for the greens which were Senneliers. I liked the Sennelier greens better.

Yesterday when I was working on it, I thought it was crap, but today when I uncovered it, of course it wasn't quite as bad as I thought (tho' still kinda bad). I can see that big front petal jumping out toward the viewer.

But I'm frustrated with the rest of the petals which look like a twisted up purple blob. I was drawing them as I went along, square by square, rather than tracing the outlines as I often do.

I'm also unhappy with how very brights the greens turned out.

I'm going to start again on gesso-ed paper, trying to tone down the greens and get more specific in the petal shapes while still drawing (rather than tracing).

Comments/suggestions welcome. Thanks for looking.

Pat Isaac
07-08-2010, 09:39 AM
Very nice iris color. I have a hard time working this way. I have to put everything down first and then go back and work on the details. You might try Senn greens #85, 86, and 87. They are my favorite greens. Getting more of the other flower in may help you adjust the first.


07-08-2010, 10:51 AM
Mary - this is already looking great, so lots of good things to build on! The front petal is excellent - it has got good depth and almost projects out of the paper.

07-08-2010, 04:53 PM
Mary I love what you have done with it and agree with Dave there is lots to build on. If you try the colours Pat suggested, I know I marked them down for my go at it, it might change your thoughts on it all together. I love it.

07-08-2010, 06:15 PM
Judy, great start on your irises. I can't wait to see it when you add the background.

Mary, your colors are beautiful. I think you are right about the greens, but it would be easy to go over them with blue or turquoise or another color to tone them down. The dark colors on the left side really make the flower pop out.

07-08-2010, 08:25 PM
I added a light layer of cretacolor and washed them again so now I am ready to work on more detail I think. It is pretty ugly at this point and I see some spots I will darken and some I will lighten but I think this is a good ground for working on refining and detailing.


Pat Isaac
07-08-2010, 08:42 PM
Still looking good...


07-08-2010, 09:04 PM
I know Irises are pretty much everyone's favorites, BUT!... ONLY Irises?!!!
I'm impressed! I feel like I'm running a thread on Floral & Botanical forum (BTW, feel free to cross-post, when you will be done with those Irises. I think we may even make a separate thread "Irises in Oil pastel!" :rolleyes:

Mary -very pretty start on yours! Keep going!

Judy, I see NOTHING ugly here. NOTHING. It is coming along nicely and you have almost whole month to make it even better!

:crossfingers: :thumbsup:

07-09-2010, 02:00 AM
Judy - looking good - keep going!

Tatiana - as requested, the stone cottage! Oil pastels (Sennelier, plus Reeves underpainting) and wax pastels (Neocolour I for the drawing/underpainting). I tried out the irridescent white on the roof, just for fun! On light grey and textured mount board. 10 x 8 inches. I've tried to add some Van Gogh influences, following my experience copying his cottages painting! Do let me know what you think!


07-09-2010, 08:07 AM
Thanks Pat, Tatiana and Dave and Dave I love the cottage. It is beautifully done and love the colour. Definitely a place I would like to visit. Great job.

Pat Isaac
07-09-2010, 08:15 AM
I can definitely see some Vangogh influences here...nice color.


07-09-2010, 08:35 AM
Thanks Judy and Pat. However, now that I look at it on the screen, I am disturbed by the non-vertical side of the house... Maybe it's just my photography - or I should use a set-square next time...

07-09-2010, 10:19 AM
Dave, it is looking interesting, bright and...( I'm agree with Pat) somewhat Vangoghish !
Nice for change to see something beside of flowers! :-)

07-09-2010, 10:51 AM
Thanks Tatiana! I decided I didn't want to try to do a straight copy of the photo, but think I need to do more work on developing my VG-style!

I think I'm a bit over faced by the goats, but I will be watching with interest to see what everyone else comes up with this month...

07-09-2010, 03:27 PM
Hi everyone, some nice works here... Hopefully will join later.

07-09-2010, 11:10 PM
I may try the cottage next, but I'm a little intimidated by all of those straight lines. And animals are not my forte, but I may give them a try as well.

07-10-2010, 01:16 AM
ACK! Miss a day. Miss a lot. The other OP paintings I am seeing are going well and finally someone chose the house! :lol: Good works so far, people!

07-13-2010, 03:46 PM
I had to take some time away for other commitments but got back into it yesterday. We are having a heat spell so the oil pastels were very sticky. I put on the ac and today much much better. :wink2:

Anyway I worked on the left flower and at the same time am adding bits to the background so that it feels a part of the entire picture. My greens are seeming very vibrant so I would appreciate some advice on the best way to tame them down a bit. I do plan on blending it out but for now am just establishing big areas etc.

As you can see I have only worked the left flower but hope to have more tomorrow. Thanks again for your help along the way.


Pat Isaac
07-13-2010, 04:35 PM
The left flower looks great, Judy. Nice modeling of the petals.


07-13-2010, 06:41 PM
Pretty good, Judy!
I'm agree with Pat, it is developing nicely!

07-15-2010, 07:20 PM
Well I worked a bit more on the flowers. I need to figure out how to tone down my green. Not sure if adding some other colours will help that. I will experiment on a separate paper. I really like the feel of the Holbeins. Very nice and smooth and blend very nicely.


07-15-2010, 10:22 PM
WOW. Need more time to look through the thread before I comment, but just scrolling through I see some beatiful paintings. Looks like everyone had done very well and, to me at least, surprisingly were drawn to the iris. I say that because I always found iris to have such a complicated structure and found it very difficult to render well.

Congratulations to all on some good work.

:wave: :clap: :wave:

Pat Isaac
07-16-2010, 07:51 AM
These are looking great and the darker greens that you have put in look fine to me.


07-16-2010, 08:04 AM
Thanks Pat. I am OK with the darker greens. They are a mix of dark green and red because I wanted a strong dark area but the lighter green is almost electric. I wanted to keep that new grass spring green colouring but it is a bit much right now and I am not sure how to tame it down with my next layers.

07-16-2010, 04:39 PM
I am not sure how to tame it down with my next layers.

Perhaps try to play with color on some sample paper, till will reach results you like... Then try to repeat it on your painting. This and that... something just should work! :crossfingers:

07-17-2010, 11:30 PM
Although I haven't picked up an OP in months, Tatiana, your Iris is so gorgeous I had to give it a try.

Obiviously any short comings of color are the fault of my enengi's and not a lack of artistic skills. (That's my story and I'm sticking with it.)


Lighting wasn't good for the photo, the top of the picture shouldn't be any darker than any of the rest of the canvas and there are about two inches of canvas above the top of the iris that aren't showing in this photo. it's late and I'm too tired to take another photo.

Erengi's on linen canvas on masonite (11 by 14 inches). I glued the gessoed surface of the canvas sheet to the masonite then used clear gesso on the natural side of the canvas. (I've been wanting to try this surface for quite a while. I was surprised at the texture the clear gesso raised on the linnen. It was quite pronounced.)

Thank you for hosting Titiana.

I'll let this rest a few days and see what needs some touching up.

07-17-2010, 11:43 PM
Oh Hal I love your version of the irises. They are such a pretty flower and really lend themselves to jumping in. I love the colours you achieved and the Erengis are starting to intrigue me. I am seeing some beautiful work with them and I think this turned out gorgeous.

07-18-2010, 12:08 AM
Hal, this is very reach! :clap:

Forget about extra colors, or any imperfections, this is good! :thumbsup: No questions about it.

I like what you did with support, very creative and sure gives to the work some very interesting effect of "real oil" painting!

Erengy has a potential. Some good purples could be found in full set of 92 colors and I'm going to play with it soon. I was curious what can I pull out of those pastels on a good day. :angel:

Glad I made you to pick up your sticks again!

07-18-2010, 02:53 AM
Hi Hal - I love your irises. They have a wonderfully soft feel, and the linen background is a great idea!

Pat Isaac
07-18-2010, 07:19 AM
Noneed to stick to that story, Hal as these irises are beautiful. Nice ruffled petals and strong color.


07-18-2010, 08:45 AM
Pat thank you.
Thank you Dave, Tatiana, and lonelm.

In skimming back through this thread, I'm much impressed with dave and Robins work. :thumbsup:

Robin that was a super wow.:clap:

Sorry Judy, shouldn't leave you out, great work.

07-19-2010, 05:44 PM
I am going to call this finished for now. I might go back and add a few cp lines in the grasses but I liked the effect I got with adding some yellows and golds to the electric field. It reads a bit better anyway. I will return to this I am sure. c&c still and always welcome. Thanks for support and suggestions along the way. This ended up being entirely Holbein after the under painting using the cretacolor wash.


07-19-2010, 06:23 PM
Wow!!! Fantastic Judy.

07-19-2010, 10:47 PM
My applause, Judy! :clap: :clap: :clap:

Wonderful finish on your irises!

07-20-2010, 02:03 AM
Judy - absolutely fantastic - it finished off really well. Love the hazy trees in the background, and the sharp definition you have achieved on the flowers.

07-20-2010, 09:14 AM
Well, her is my wip of the cottage. The support is a recycled pastel made of arches watercolor paper with golden pastel ground. The turquoise background was the under painting. I used index cards to create the straight lines. Once I am close to done I may go back into the lines and make them softer.


Now that I look at it, it seems more like night than day.

Pat Isaac
07-20-2010, 09:30 AM
Beautiful finish, Judy. Great job with the wispy grasses.
Nice start, Robin. I do like the texture on the cottage.


07-20-2010, 09:42 AM
Thanks Hal, Tatiana, Dave and Pat I am really liking OP, so happy I found them.

Robin-Great start on this, I love the texture you achieved in the buildings. This is going to be beautiful.

07-20-2010, 10:20 AM
Wonderful textures Robin.

07-20-2010, 11:08 AM
Wow Robin - your cottage is looking amazing already! I don't think my version of this picture was too great so I am looking forward to seeing where you go with this one.

Is anyone doing the goats??

07-20-2010, 11:11 AM
Robin - I love the texture in this one too. Once you get your other greenery and hightlights in, I'll bet it will lighten up to daytime!

Judy - Your iris are fantastic!

Hal - I just loved your iris, too! I especially like the effect of the linen canvas - made the perfect background, too. So good to see you back, posting and painting! I've missed you.

Tatiana - I had wanted to try the goats this month but my time has run out of month, so I will have to sit this one out. Too many other obligations thru the end of the month and into the first part of August.

07-20-2010, 11:18 AM
Is anyone doing the goats??

Dave, the goats are all yours.

Thank you Holly. At a recent art show, I sold a couple of my oil pastels. That encouraged to pick up my oillies and start painting with them again. I do enjoy the medium.

07-20-2010, 01:52 PM
Hal - it's great to see you around these parts agin - you have been very much missed.

I'm very late in joining in for 2 reasons.... one I've been extremely busy and most art time has been small breaks here and there and secondly it has been way to warm to use my OPs.

I must get on and do something.

Toomany pages to catcfh up on but I'll go through.

07-20-2010, 02:07 PM
Dave - welcome to OP and how cool is it to have anothr Brit... not too far from me either. Good job with such a limited palette. I dont' have that problem I have too many purples! I do see a touch of the old VG in yoru cottage.

Arby - it is very easy to get lost in flowers. I don't really like botanical art but they always seem to appear their heads in challenges :eek:.In fact I'm pretty sure this is the exact same ref I di for one of the CP monthly challenges a while ago. If you perservere with OPs you will find what a wonderfully versatile and inspiring medium they are. Shame they are so temperature sensitive. Anyway I love what you have done with the Iris.
Nice start on the cottage.

Crystal - it is brave to step out of your comfort zone. Never abandon anything - just treat it as a prototype study.

lonelm - never really tried Creta colour or indeed water based OPs so I can't give any feedback on that. Your finished piece is beautiful so well worth the effort you obviously put into it.

Mary- i know nothing of Holbeins - we can't even get them here. (Despite them being named after an British court artist:rolleyes: ) They do look very rich though. WC paper can be a little 'slippy' try it with Gesso and you will notice the difference. I was given some extra fine craft sand. I'm going to try stirring that into plain white Gesso and seeing how it works, when I get around to it of course.

Hal - WOW! your Iris is outstanding. So soft and delicate and that background works so well with it!

07-20-2010, 02:41 PM
Hal - it's great to see you around these parts agin - you have been very much missed.

Thank you Lin. I see you're so, so busy as always.

07-20-2010, 02:58 PM
Robin, I have only one thing to say - WOW! :clap: :clap:

I was pretty sure somebody can pull this out! Texture on stone is amazing... and I love shadows too! :thumbsup:

Speaking of those goats... Is ANYBODY here brave enough to start on those two ?..c

Bill?.. You did such a great kitty... (not even mentioning that very blue flower of yours!) What about a goat? Maybe just one, ha ?!... :angel:

07-22-2010, 08:10 AM
well here's my effort for this month, cropped down to the centre of the iris, tweeked the colours a bit and called it 'iris fire'. About an hour, A4 size on canvas paper with senneliars...


...will be back later to comment on everyone elses fab entries...:wave:

07-22-2010, 08:55 AM
Kathy, your flower is awesome! I am so literal-minded. I try to figure out how I can duplicate what I see. But you really made those iris sing!

07-22-2010, 11:15 AM
Wow, Skatty - that IS a blazing fire.

I had a vague thought about doing something more unusual with the irises. I'm thinking of doing them as an acrylic impasto (with lots of THICK quinacridone magenta!), but of course I won't be able to post it here... (maybe a link to the acrylics forum)...

07-23-2010, 05:18 AM
thanks for comments Robin and Dave
Dave - that bg smoothie did the trick, love those senns, and the house is tres impressionistic...
Robin - you picked out the soul of the irises and showed us their gentleness, and great beginning on the house...
Judy - your irises turned out beautiful, love 'em...
Hal - love the soft blending in those flower falls, super...
Crystal - that goat wasn't bad, he looks most miffed at the purple scribble, hope you have another go...
hope I didn't miss anyone, chow fer now :wave:

07-23-2010, 11:49 AM
Here is something different for change!
Love your version, Scatty! Real burst of colors!

07-23-2010, 11:55 AM
Scatty love your version of the irises. So vibrant and clean. It is mesmerizing. Great job.

07-23-2010, 11:56 AM
Fascinating Scatty.

Pat Isaac
07-23-2010, 12:03 PM
Great interpretation of the iris, Scatty and nice bold color.


07-23-2010, 11:59 PM
Tatiana, thank you for the great references.

Dave, thanks for showing the differences of a darker background. The flowers do pop now. I do that to my houses too, making them lean and dance.

Wow, Robin, your piece looks almost like watercolor. The petals has great swirls of color. Looking forward to see your finished cottage piece.

Crystal, I like your painting. You must really do a lot of horse portraits it looks like a horse immediately to me with great muscles. You gave it very sensitive eyes.

Judy, wow, just an underpainting and it looks good already. And your finished product is beautiful. So you like the Holbeins? Good.

Hal, that's a superb piece. The colors are so pretty. This belongs on a wall with classic furniture around it.
Scatty, great interpretation!! Love the eye popping colors.

It's finally Friday. I started this this morning after breakfast and now after dinner, I finally get to finish the piece. It's my way of easing into the weekend mindlessly. Thank goodness it's weekend. I've been so tired this week.

65 lbs kraft colored cardstock 8.5 x 11 inch full page
Caran D'Ache Neopastel


07-24-2010, 02:17 AM
Sandra - great start on the goats!

Pat Isaac
07-24-2010, 08:13 AM
Wonderful goats, Sandra and I love their expressions.


07-24-2010, 08:29 AM
Sandra, your goats are so cute and expressive. Well done. :thumbsup:

07-24-2010, 08:40 AM
Sandra - I agree with Hal. The caption should be: " . . . and just let me tell YOU what Billy Goat Gruff said about YOU!" :lol: Love it!

07-24-2010, 08:55 AM
Sandra great job on the goats. I love the one blasting in the other's ear. They have such personality.

If I had time I was going to attempt a second this month and they would have been it but alas my time ran out. Glad someone took them on.

07-24-2010, 09:05 AM
Sandra, love the expressive look in the front goats eyes, well done...

07-25-2010, 01:31 AM
Goats! Finally!

I'm SOOO glad, I was afraid I will not see those goat faces in OPs!..

Thank You, Sandra! I agree with Kat here - expressive.. and also funny and cute!

07-25-2010, 12:43 PM
Dear everyone,
Those goats have been lurking in my mind for a couple of weeks and as I really wanted to get something down to join in the July challenge, today I spent a couple of hours with the Neocolour IIs. These are done on watercolour paper, size A4. This might end up as an underpainting for an OP picture later. I like NeoIIs but OP is better at blending and colour transitions.
Tatiana, thank you very much for the pictures, you chose a nice variety of different subjects and everyone has made such great paintings from them.



Pat Isaac
07-25-2010, 01:27 PM
Wonderful start, Brenda and those expressions are priceless.


07-25-2010, 01:54 PM
Brenda lovely job on these two. I love the shading on the front one's face, great texture and colour.

07-25-2010, 04:30 PM
Dave, I love the foliage in your painting of the cottage. The whole painting has an upbeat feeling. I love your colors!

Hal, now I want to turn all of my canvases inside out! :lol: Your iris are beautiful. I almost expect them to be blown by a breeze.

Judy, your iris turned out beautifully. Thanks for sharing your WIP. The grass recedes from the foreground to middle ground, giving the painting a lot of depth. I found myself asking, "how'd she do that?"

Sandra, your goats are so colorful! It does look like they are having a conversation. Nice, loose quality.

Brenda, I love the way you described the goat on the right hand side. The colors and textures on the nose and on the body is interesting. The yellows on the nose really pulls it forward.

Well, I finally got back to my cottage. I added more white to the house since it still felt too dark to me when I'd finished everything else. The reds in the photo are a little brighter than IRL, but this was a real bear to get color corrected, so I left it that way.


07-25-2010, 04:34 PM
Robin this is spectacular. I love the textures and values all read so true. It is an awesome piece. Great work.

07-25-2010, 04:38 PM
Robin your cottage is magnificient. I wasn't moved by the cottage photo (sorry Tatiana) but you've show that it is a magnificient subject under your application of OPs. :thumbsup:

Pat Isaac
07-25-2010, 04:41 PM
Excellent, Robin. Great texture and color. I only have a teeny nit pick. The white lights on the tree to the right might be better if they weren't so white but maybe a yellower color. no mtter it is still a wonderful painting.


07-25-2010, 06:50 PM
Brenda, more of GOATS!

What a nice surprise! I like Neocolors, have only few of them, but they are nice. I
m glag you like this month references. I have full intention to work on those goats myself, but not during this month.

07-25-2010, 06:51 PM
Ohhhh... Robin, I'm in LOVE with that little cottage of yours!

07-25-2010, 07:26 PM
Brenda, you have some very happy goats there. I understand what you mean that oil pastel has better transition. That's what I notice more and more especially when I wash them. I assume you washed this piece in many places?

Robin, wow, very nice house there. It looks just like an ad!! Great colors.

Thanks to everyone on comments for my piece.

07-25-2010, 09:08 PM
Thanks, everyone for your kindness. I learned a ton figuring out how to render this in oil pastel.

Pat, thank you. I agree that the flowers were too bright, so I toned them down. I intend to make a living as an artist in a few years, so observations like that really help me.

07-26-2010, 12:24 AM
Hi everyone, great stuff this month. I don't usually lurk in this forum but I decided to try out my oil pastels (Which I never use). It's a bit bland but not bad. It's 9 x 12 inches on watercolor paper. next time I'd like to try canvas sheet. I just have expressionist pastels by cray-pas.

07-26-2010, 02:16 AM
Brenda - great work on the goats - you've really caught their "personalities"!

And Robin - your cottage is breathtaking - a great example of how a painting can be even better than a photo. Having tried this image myself, I see it is a lot harder than it looks to make it work, and yours is stunning.

07-26-2010, 02:20 AM
Cher - great work on the irises. Your drawing is great, but I reckon the "blandness" can be quite easily improved by adding some more oil pastel - emphasising the darks with a bit more pressure and some more fine strokes on the grasses.

07-26-2010, 03:16 AM
Robin, your cottage is fabulous I particularly like the dark red colour on the cottage and the contrast with the white section. Great foliage too. I see you're planning to go professional and I have to say this is the kind of picture I would buy, so you're on the right track for sure.
Cher, those are good irises! You captured the flower shape very well.
Thank you everyone for nice comments on goats. Sandra, yes I started my goats using the NeoII like watercolour - I rub the sticks onto an enamel plate to lay down a deposit of pigment, then wet it and paint just like regular watercolour. Then I switched to using dry sticks on paper and wetting that.

07-26-2010, 06:33 AM
Robin - Fantastic finish on the cottage! I am particularly impressed with the stone work. I have lots of problems making rocks look like anything other than blobs, so I notice others a bit more, I guess.

Cher - love your iris - I agree with Dave, maybe a few more layers on top emphasizing the iris and some more definition of the grasses in the foreground.

Brenda - your goats are so cute. I really wanted to try them this month but I just haven't had the time to give it a go. I may come back later and revisit them. I have another photo of goats that I really want to work on too - - maybe I will work on them both at the same time.

Pat Isaac
07-26-2010, 07:53 AM
Hi Cher and thanks for trying our challenge. Nicely done on the iris and I also agree that some more variation in the values would make the iris pop.


07-26-2010, 10:47 PM
:wave: Hello everyone, I'm a new member to this awesome community. I took up painting as a hobby, but it's been years since I last played with my OPs. I've been lurking here for almost a month, silently admiring the awe-inspiring works of all the artists here. My salute to the moderator of this forum, Pat, and all participating artists / members, you guys have done wonderful jobs. I learned so much by browsing through many useful topics in this forum.

This month's reference photos for the challenge are so delightful, I just couldn't contain my excitement and desire to join in the fun. Thanks for the lovely photos, Tatiana. At first I did the cottage but abandoned it halfway, it's tough for me. Then I picked the mischievous goats. It's not easy for me either but I had so much fun doing it. I took several photos of my work and posted them in my blog (http://elenaharadia.blogspot.com/).

Everyone else created marvelous pieces here, my salute goes to Dave, Robin, Crystal, Mary, Judy, Hal, Kathy, Sandra, Brenda and Cher. Thank you for the inspirations your paintings have given me.

Here's mine. Go ahead, have a laugh, I don't mind at all. :D

Done on a 135 gsm, 279 mm x 381 mm drawing pad, using Buncho Oil Pastel (I believe it's a student grade OP). I promise myself I'll invest in premium quality OP very soon.

Warmest regards,

Pat Isaac
07-26-2010, 11:08 PM
Welcome to the OP forum, Elena and I'm so happy you joined us....:wave: Your goats are wonderful and you have captured their mischevious expresson. I love the background of your blog. Don't be a stranger and come back soon.


07-26-2010, 11:13 PM
Ooops! My computer is misbehaving!

07-26-2010, 11:13 PM
Cher, nice flowers!

I can not tell much how expressionist pastels are like, never had those. I may only guess being Craypass they are somewhat harder pastels what makes it not so easy to use on watercolor paper. I think you did great especially for what you had to work with! Congratulations and... looking forward to see more of your works here on OP forum!

Elena, your goats are perfect!
I love the coat structure the most. Same as for Cher, I think you did great with your student grade pastels, but you deserve an upgrade! Perhaps Sennelier will make a good choice. With lots of sales here and there you can get it relatively cheap. :-)

07-26-2010, 11:28 PM
Pat: Thank you for the warm welcome. I'm very happy to be here.

Tatiana: Thank you for your kind comments and advice. Yup, Sennelier is definitely in my wish list, gonna get them soon. :)

07-27-2010, 02:25 AM
Elena - welcome to the oil pastels forum! Your goats are wonderful - I didn't even dare to try these, but you have done a great job on them.

07-27-2010, 04:04 AM
Dave, thank you very much.

p/s: I love Van Gogh's style of painting too.

07-27-2010, 07:56 AM
Elena - welcome and I absolutely love your goats, you gave real texture to the hair and their expressions are spot on. Great job.

07-27-2010, 10:23 AM
Elena, charming goats, nice modeling on the right hand goat.

Pat, I hope I'm not violating a challenge rule by showing works by Heade to illustrate a point you and others have been making to Cher.

Martin Johnson Heade is one of my favorite painters, especially florals with wonderful, dramatic contrasts of light and darks (a full value range)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Jul-2010/140488-ref_heade_2.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Jul-2010/140488-ref_heade_3.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Jul-2010/140488-ref_heade.jpg

Pat, if I'm wrong posting these examples feel free to delete this posting.

Pat Isaac
07-27-2010, 10:24 AM
That's fine, Hal and those are wonderful examples of values in the flowers...beautiful work.


07-27-2010, 02:17 PM
Elena, no need to laugh. These goats are awesome! I hope that you will post more work. I am still learning how to use OPs, so I learn something new every time someone posts their paintings.

07-27-2010, 03:27 PM
Robin your iris painting was wonderful. I doubt you will learn much from us???:confused:

07-27-2010, 08:38 PM
Sincerely Hal. I have learned everything about oil pastels right here (and from RobertSloan2's website). I didn't know you could use them on paper, or that you could use fixative or varnish. And there are so many ways to use them. I have a hard time making anything that involves a paint brush right now (I used to know how), so this has been a real joy.

07-27-2010, 09:14 PM
Judy, thank you very much. Your irises are stunning. I wish I could paint the way you did, I like your style.

Hal, thank you so much for the nice comment. I'm fascinated by what you did with the irises. Also, thank you for showing us the wonderful examples. I could learn a lot here.

Robin, thank you very much for the encouragement. Your cottage made me gasped with wonder. It's simply magical.

Thank you all for the kindness you've shown towards a newcomer such as myself. I consider you all to be my Masters.

07-28-2010, 05:04 PM
I've finished my somewhat different version of Tatiana's irises photo - in acrylics and heavy impasto! If anyone is interested, here is the link to the photo in the acrylics forum: http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=631922 (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?p=8915651#post8915651)

It didn't quite turn out as intended, but it was fun! I though a bit of variety would help.

07-29-2010, 11:06 AM
Tatiana, My apologies for not being able to participate this month.
Everyone has produced excellent paintings, well done.

truck driver
07-31-2010, 06:01 AM
o.k. I came to threaten you all with whats coming later today... But I cant see any images at all.. Is this just me..

Forewarning -- Your host for August is -- ME :)


07-31-2010, 06:06 PM
I don't know, but my goats are not cows. You called them cows. :envy: :lol:

truck driver
08-01-2010, 05:57 PM
I've been having issues getting challenge pictures uploaded. WILL TRY LATER tonight, and if i cant get them up will send them to pat and bill.. so they can get it done.. I'm not procrastinating.. Really..


08-01-2010, 07:05 PM
Not a problem, Paul!

I didn't participate either... I wish I would, but... other things were supposed to be finished first.
I think we all had a great month of painting and watching each other do it...

Thank you to everyone who was a part of this monthly challenge!
I wish I would comment more, but I had computers problems whole this month (really- why not?!) and some day it was complicated task even just check my own e-mail. Oh, well. :-)

Now I'm going to check out what will be in menu for August!

RG... if you have some problems with pictures don't worry.. I heard it should be fine by Monday. WC is going to do some server updates, or something of this sort. It should be fine next week!