View Full Version : OP Challenge May 2011

05-01-2011, 01:42 PM
Hi all :wave:

As promised here is this month's Oil Pastel challenge. You can add another media if necessary but Oil Pastel MUST be the main.

We would like to know the details of the support and size and anything used and please feel free to post as a WIP. If you need some help post where you are at and I'm sure someone can advise you. We are all friendly and helpful here so don't be timid! If you run over the month you can still post it here.

These are my own refs so no issues with rights - just have fun with them all and I hope there is something you will all like.

First one that Bill will certainly avoid -

Don't know what theyh are called I just bought them for my garden.
Higher res in RIL

These hang around the cafe on Caldey Island Village waiting to see what comes their way.
Larger res i n RIL http://www.wetcanvas.com/RefLib/showphoto.php?photo=129801&size=big&cat=


Higher Res in RIL

I put this in as it was popular when I showed it and I thought some of you might enjoy working on it.

Higher res in RIL http://www.wetcanvas.com/RefLib/showphoto.php?photo=129802&size=big&cat=

Hoar park Craft Village at Easter in the sunshine.


The wool craft shop at Hoar park

I'll have to add the last 2 images to the RIL now and wait for approval so I'll hav e to post the links when they've been apporved.
Have fun all!

Pat Isaac
05-02-2011, 08:42 AM
Great images, Lin. Thanks for hosting this month. Those blue flowers are electric.


05-02-2011, 08:57 AM
Yes those flowers probably glow in the dark. :wink2:

I think I'll give your Wales coast line a try. Is it OK if I make the horizon line level??? :D

05-02-2011, 05:50 PM
Of course Hal - I was in a wheelchair on top of a cliff whne I took it. lol so be my guest. i can't wait to see what you do with it.

Here are the missing links

Wool shop

Cafe tables

05-02-2011, 06:45 PM
My name is Margareth and I am a newcommer to Wetcanvas.
I am drawing and painting frequently for 4 years now and I just started discovering OPs and already have great fun exploring. I already looked at a lot of wonderfull threads and I am getting more exited about working with OPs. I like the challanges you have every month and I hope to join in from now.

Pat Isaac
05-02-2011, 07:06 PM
Welcome, Margareth....:wave: Glad you will be joining us and look forward to your posts.


05-02-2011, 07:27 PM
Welcome Margareth. I'm so glad that you will join the challenge. You can pick up a lot of hints and tips for working with OPs here and we are all happy to help.

Can't wait to see what you do :)

05-02-2011, 10:33 PM
One more welcome Margaret. Please join in. We have a wide range of skill levels here.

05-02-2011, 10:57 PM
Welcome, Margareth! Glad you're here. I'm looking forward to what you do with this challenge, Lin posted some gorgeous photos with such a great variety. Have fun!

05-02-2011, 11:09 PM
I like the ducks! I think that's what I'm going to do. Maybe a big, close-up view. They'll be my first OP piece since discovering Golden's Acrylic Ground for Pastels. I just have to let the ground dry overnight.

05-04-2011, 08:45 PM
the train is cool-- I may give that a try :)

05-05-2011, 07:40 PM
Hi PJ - can't wait to see it :)

05-05-2011, 08:06 PM
I had a go at the wool shop, on newsprint. Multiple brands of pastels used -- I've got a pretty good range of colors made up of a few sticks each of a bunch of different brands. I want to settle on what brands I like best before investing in a full set.


Then I realized everything was a bit floaty, so I made a quick plan in PhotoShop for tying everything together.


I did try to implement this, but the paper couldn't take it. Especially as I had already used mostly Holbein Academic on the background. They are not nice.

05-06-2011, 02:17 AM
Whoa, those are really blue! Nice references for this month, Lin! :)

05-06-2011, 10:01 AM
Thanks Crystal - hope you can join in

leslie - great to have you with us. I think you have done amazingly well with student grades and on Newsprint :eek: That has virtually no tooth. Very well done :thumbsup: lovely colour work too and i like the compositional choices.

05-06-2011, 10:52 AM
Thanks, Lin. I got a few of the Holbein Academics hoping they would be more like their (prohibitively expensive) big brothers, but no luck. I'll probably go with the Neopastels when I get my set.

I love the feel of the other OPs on newsprint. But you never know, maybe I'll grow up someday. :)

Although I *am* running out of years to do so.

05-06-2011, 11:32 AM
Neopastels are hideously expensive here. i'm still trying to extend my 48 to 96 - wishI'd had the cash when i could have got it at 90 + pp, now the cheapest I can find is 120 +pp *sigh*

Can't get Holbeins at all. Senns are a little too soft for some things so...

I used DRs and Cray Pas for lower layers, Neos if I have the right colours and top off with Senns (which despite the price are so freely available there are a lot off special offers and can get open stock easier than neos)

05-08-2011, 12:16 PM
Mixed OPs on newsprint. Just a quick sketch. I thought it would be a good idea to go over the whole page with yellow first since it was a nice sunny day, but that didn't actually work out so well. I'm mostly just happy they are vaguely recognizable as ducks.


05-08-2011, 12:40 PM
Very cute Leslie. Nicely done.

I'm about halfway done with my Wales coast. I'll work on it more this afternoon and evening.

Spent the morning filling out applications for various and sundry summer art fairs.

05-08-2011, 01:09 PM
Thats nice Leslie. Very warm and cheerful - would make a lovely greetings card.
Hal - can't wait to see it.

Pat Isaac
05-08-2011, 01:17 PM
It is so warm and sunny, Leslie and I'm not sure the yellow down first was a bad idea.


05-11-2011, 01:10 AM
Leslie, I do like the ducks. Very cheery. And the wool yarn in a basket is very welcoming too. I like the first one as it is.

Thank you, Lin, for the references. Haven't had a chance to do oil pastels for a while.

Fabriano Artist Journal 6x9 inch
Erengi oil pastel
Mungyo oil pastel artist grade



05-11-2011, 07:26 AM
Speaking of cheery, Sandra, yours on that fabulous paper sure are. And I really like the tight crops you chose.


Hal, thanks for your encouragement.

Lin, thanks for your kind comments. Also, I was remiss before in not thanking you for the references and hosting this go round. The month is young, so I'm sure I will have the opportunity to butcher more of your lovely photographs. :)

Pat, thanks for the comments regarding the yellow. I'm still so feeling my way, so I appreciate any feedback on techniques, positive or negative.

Sandra, thanks for your encouraging comments.

Pat Isaac
05-11-2011, 08:08 AM
Welcome back, Sandra nice to see your sketches again. I do like the crops and the duck is giving everyone the eye...


05-11-2011, 08:42 AM
Sandra, great to have you join in. Flower looks vibrant.

My painting is giving me fits but I'll keep abusing my canvas and hope I get something I can present here. :o

05-11-2011, 11:12 AM
Sandra, your mallard is great. He looks a little eerie, like a magical bird of some kind. Cool blue flower too!

Giraph, great mallards on the grass. I think the yellow underlayer did give the whole painting a pleasant unity and convey the sunshine. It modified the other colors, but very yellow sunlight does that! Definitely an experiment that worked. Cool wool shop painting. Too bad the surface was too saturated to keep going and do the Photoshop version on it though, that came out even better.

05-11-2011, 01:46 PM
Leslie - I am sure yoru will do them justcie :)

Sandra great to see you. You've been a bit quiet of late. That paper is interesting - it looks like it has texture lines like Ingress ? Lovely crops and great to see you back with your cheerful interpretations

05-11-2011, 09:59 PM
giraph: Good job on the scene with yarn, very colorful! Beautiful ducks too!
gakinme: Beautiful hues and colors on your flowers-Very cute duck!

I decided to do the flowers they looked the easiest for a begginer like me. I think they are coneflowers, they look like the ones in my yard, and are usually bluish color but for some reason this year they are a bright purple like these flowers, hmmm.
Done on mi tentes white paper with various oil pastels and blended with turpenoid. C/C and comments most welcome as I'm still learning. :wave:

05-12-2011, 07:40 AM
Nice, Tammy! Cheerful seems to be the theme of the month. Coneflowers sounds right, too.

When you blend with the turpenoid, do you do it as you go along or only at the end? It's a very cool effect in this piece.


Thanks for your nice comments on my pieces, Tammy.

Thanks, Robert. I need to remember my seven Ps so the surface doesn't get saturated before I am finished. Right now I just start coloring like I was a five year old. :)

05-12-2011, 10:53 AM
Tammy - thanks for joining - great to see you here. Those flowers are lovely. The simplification works. A tough of the VVG's about the format. Really good.
You are progressign well and i look forward to seeing some more of your OP work.

05-12-2011, 06:30 PM
Tammy good beginning effort.

05-12-2011, 08:08 PM
Lin here is my Welsh Coast. It's 11 by 14 inches on canvas panel with Shiva paintstiks.


My camera doesn't seem to be giving me a good tight focus. Also the white seems to washout in the photograph and compromise some of the image's definition.

The foreground rocks gave me fits. I rubbed them out and started them over again at least five times. I've worn my white and blue paintstiks down to nubs.

I've spent the whole of this month on this painting. So don't be too brutal with your critiques.:D

05-12-2011, 08:56 PM
Hal - firstly - I KNOW the issues with photographine, especially anything that has a shine or gloss or lots of whites, so I can uinderstand that. Great that you se tthe world back on it's axis :rolleyes: as I can see from the horizon :thumbsup: . Rocks can be a nightmare but you have certainlyh done them justice. LOADS of bids nest on the separate outcopr - so a lot of the rocks have been guano painted.:D
You have certainly captured the sunny atmosphere. i is unusual for us to get a suuny day on holiday but this day we did and youhave captured the atmsophere well... oh memories! We are off back that way in a monthl. You have me excited to be there already.

Well done :thumbsup: glad you joined in. You seem to be enjoying your paintsticks too.

05-12-2011, 09:58 PM
Thank you Lin. Yeah, I'm having fun with the paintstiks.

I kind of wonder if some of the problem with the white was that it's still wet. It might photograph better tomorrow when the paint is dry.

05-13-2011, 09:02 AM
Thank you Lin. Yeah, I'm having fun with the paintstiks.

I kind of wonder if some of the problem with the white was that it's still wet. It might photograph better tomorrow when the paint is dry.

I think so Hal. I never photo my oil paintings until a couple of days later. Try it again.

05-13-2011, 05:45 PM
Hal, your drawing of the scene is excellent, the colors are really nice, and as Lin said, you really captured the atmosphere (at least of the photo, not been there). I will be curious how the photo comes out when it has dried a bit more.

05-13-2011, 09:11 PM
OK, Lin, here's your coneflowers (if that is their real name). Squint until your eyes are completely closed and they look pretty good.

Mixed OPs on Maruman Soho Sketch (good paper for some things, but not OP). About 8 x 10.


05-14-2011, 12:49 AM
Hello everybody! I apologize for my long absence. All I have as an excuse is that I've been doing nothing relevant.

Rockchick, your photos are real good and I'm leaning towards the steam engine and the blue flowers. Though the coast of Wales looks mighty good to play with too.

You read it right, Bill:

Bluuuuuueeeee Flowers

05-14-2011, 02:06 AM
Tammy, very colorful flowers with good contrasting background.

Leslie, now that's another take on the flower. I haven't even noticed the small flowers underneath.

Hal, totally surreal looking. Very good try.

I'm not even sure why I attempted this piece. I can't tell one color from the other.

Mungyo artist oil pastel, washed with spirit, and Lyra pencil to detail.


Lin, the Fabriano artist journal do have lines like the ingres paper. I've been busy at work. New job and don't have much time to surf so I'm keeping everything to a bare minimum. Perhaps I'll try this one again when I'm not so tired.

05-14-2011, 11:50 AM
Sandra, nice job. You got a lot of detail and I especially like the way you did the coastline in the background.


The best thing about the challenges is trying new things. I've not done a landscape before. This was hard anyway, and I then I couldn't get any detail. :( Also background is too colorful and foreground is too washed out. :(

But I'm sure trying it was good for me. :)


05-14-2011, 02:06 PM
WOW so,e busy beavers here

giraph :clap: for you for being so industrious wow. i don't know what the flowers are claled - just 'perennials' :rolleyes: I'm rubbish as a gardener - if it looks good i'll plant it :lol: i like your composition on this and choice of colours. It's good to try something new and that's the whole idea of challenges. Your landscape is very serene and the colours as bright as the scene as I remember.

Sandra I dont' see your problems with the colours. There are a lot of tricky shadows that cover some of the colours under the overhangs that can be tricky but you've handled it well.

GOSH :clap: :clap: great to see you!! How is the other half? will be good to haveyou joining in...someone should tell bill to get down to those blue flowers.

I've started on the sketching for the rocks too,. I realised how hard they are.
I remember having toruble sketching them the first time, whilst sat in a wheelchair on top of the opposite cliff.:eek: :eek: It's still giving me a nightmare and I'm trying to decide whether to use OPs or oil sticks.

let me look I might even have that original sketch scanned in.....

nope - I'll scan it when I upload my first progress skegtches.

Too tired to get anything done toayd 4th down dayin a row, frustrates the heck out of me.

05-14-2011, 10:27 PM
Leslie, Lin, thanks for comments on my piece.

Leslie, your simplified version for the rock in the foreground makes so much more sense.

I took another stab at it with my Mungyo's again in my Fabriano Artist Journal 6x9 inch. Too bad I can't draw it horizontally or the waves would match the grain of the paper.


05-14-2011, 10:41 PM
Leslie, Sandra great job on the coastline.

Your pieces look nice and fresh and not overworked like mine.

05-15-2011, 07:33 AM
Sandra, your piece *does* look fresh and not overworked. Good work on the left differentiated the (horizontal) foreground from the (vertical) rock face. It would have been cool to have incorporated the grain into the waves. Did you use CP again for details?


Thanks for your comments, Hal and Sandra.

I went looking for more information about this cute little rock and found a photo with a person (= flyspeck) on it. This sucker is huge! Makes me look at Lin's photo in a whole different way. http://www.naturalarches.org/gallery-Wales-GreenBridge.htm

05-15-2011, 08:43 AM
Cool coneflowers, Tammy. I like the different angles you posed them and the lively balance, very much Van Gogh in their intensity.

Sandra, awesome version of the Green Bridge in Wales. This one worked out so well. Though I like the way you did the rocks in the first one, they're twisting and distorting in a way that's completely natural for that kind of geology. Wonderful rocks.

Leslie, yours is cool too with a completely different texture. Love the colors you got on the rocks. Your blue flowers came out well, very cool choice of background to set them off and nice design. The graceful stems remind me of Art Nouveau, something I love.

Hal - wow! Love your heavy impasto version of the rocks on the Green Bridge. Your painting has such beautiful textures and gorgeous depth. Well done.

I love seeing the many different versions of these references. I wound up doing a popular one too - still not 100% happy with mine, especially the water. Might play with it some more muting it a bit to bring it into line with the rest and see what else I can do with my rocks. Or just try it again with different pastels and techniques.

Green Bridge, Wales
9" x 12"
Mungyo Artist's Soft Oil Pastels
Aquabee Bogus Recycled Rough paper
Photo reference by oldrockchick for May 2011 Oil Pastel Challenge

I tried something I'd never done before, letting the bottom of the painting trail off looser and looser till it becomes just the bare paper. Let me know if that worked, ok? I've seen it in a lot of good paintings and thought it might be cool.

05-15-2011, 08:48 AM
Great colors, Robert, and your rock formation is superb! So much detail. Also good crop on the left, you avoided a troublesome area.

I love the color of the paper too. I was going to order some but then I read somewhere that the Bogus paper is Kraft paper. Is that true? I have some Kraft paper and couldn't get the OP to stick very well.

05-15-2011, 12:01 PM
Sandra - yes I see how the lines of the paper would be good for the waves, and the horizontal lines in the rocks. Good effort again and a nice feel to it.

Robert - it's almost have if you have been there. The way you have captured the light and the foregorund especially .

Incidentally - I photo'd the flowers when I bought them in threir pots. When I planted them in the garden they've not turned purple :eek:

05-15-2011, 07:08 PM
Well done to everyone who has tackled those rocks, I didn't know where to start with that one so i opted for one of the Ducks instead.

Done with Mungyo extra softs on a piece of Khadi handmade paper with a coat of blue/grey colorfix primer, the size being just under A4. It went through a nice stage where it looked quite good but it has ended up looking a little overworked.

05-15-2011, 07:51 PM
Steve, that is sick, it is so good. Do you use any tools to do the blending or the details? Is it the primer peeking through at the top or have you painted it blue? Enquiring minds want to know. (Bad American ad line reference.)

05-15-2011, 08:30 PM
Thanks Leslie,
The pale blue specks peeking through top right are a glimpse of the primer. I use mainly finger blending and paper tortillions, i tried clay shapers but didn't really like them. The beak details were added right at the end using a tiny drop of solvent to liquify the OP then i added the fine line with a rigger brush, this was the 1st time i have tried this as i would usually use a polychromos pencil for adding fine lines. The grass texture was added by allowing the white and yellow pastels to skip over the heavy texture of the paper. the bird itself was done by adding small dabs of pastel then using the tortillion to smear the colours in the direction of feather growth to give an impression of form..... not sure that is much help ?

05-15-2011, 08:42 PM
Steve, I'm jealous as hell. :thumbsup: :wink2:

05-15-2011, 08:46 PM
Leslie, thank you for that link. That place is truly magnificient.

Robert great job on the rocks. Very well done.

05-15-2011, 11:17 PM
Steve, your mallard rocks! I love the way you made the grass lay flat shading it bluer as it recedes and less detailed. The bird's so well rounded and accurate, the shine of his green head so rich and gorgeous and the little yellow flowers in the grass brighten it and keep it from being monochromatic. That's just splendid!

You have this perfect "Sun coming up on a summer day" feeling about it with that blue in the background, like the sun's just starting to burn off mist.

Thank you for all your comments on my rocks!

Lin, funny you should say that. In a way I felt as though I had, just a feeling about the place. It's very close to some of my places of the heart.

I like the mallards too and still might do them but I had to do that scene. It just called to me this time. This is RIL so I might do it in other mediums too.

05-16-2011, 07:54 AM
Steve, that is very helpful and I really appreciate you taking the time to explain it.

05-16-2011, 11:20 AM
Steve - that is awesome! The secret is definately directionality and your definately nailed it. Excellent. Now you've warmed up - I'm sure you could handle the rocks :)

I made a start on the rocks myself. I drew it out and played with it a bit. I enlarged the bridge and reduced the other 2 so I could get them all onto one board, but still cut a little off. I transfered the sketch over by tracing and then flipping it and going over the traced sketch out with FC Polys in different colours so I could tell what';s where. When I finished I used a ink pen to outline the forefront bridge piece so as to see where I was going.

With all that done I set about underpainting. I have used cheapo OPs before, sometimes CPs, wc CPs or even wc or acrylics. This time i decided to try Inkense. I'm, still working on it so I'll post a WIP when I've done it all. I'm working really slowly atm as I'm not feeling too good. Haven't been all week. I want a tight finished piece, and if good enough I might frame and hang it. This is because it is a place reminiscent of peaceful days in a beautiful and inspiring place that means much to me. All the 5 years we have been going, this was the first time we have been able to access it, and on a pleasant enough day to sit and spend time. It gets very windy and cold up on the cliffs.

Shirl Parker
05-16-2011, 01:09 PM
Steve, I echo what Robert said. well done.

05-16-2011, 09:56 PM
Robert, a very good take on the rocks. You have given it more airy space and uniform structure.

Steve, wow, gorgeous piece. I want a duck like that right in my yard. Thanks for telling us how you did it.

truck driver
05-17-2011, 02:04 AM
O.k. I like the whales coastline photo. I spent the time to do some manipulation of it, and will post that in the morning. I of course straightened it, as well as a few other slight perspective modifications. I havent drawn or painted yet though. I will try to do that, before the end of the month.


Pat Isaac
05-17-2011, 07:25 AM
Trying to catch up a little, that is a great duck, Steve. I love how the grass fades into the background.
Great job on those rocks everyone.


05-17-2011, 08:19 AM
Pat, glad to see you back. All's right with the world. Amen.:)


05-17-2011, 08:33 AM
RG, great to have you look in on us. Looking forward to your work.

05-17-2011, 10:11 AM
RG It's great to have you back! Can't wait to see what you do with the Green Bridge.

Had to stop working on mine, a meeting I was supposed to go to was redirected to my house as I was too unwel;l to drive. I have had trouble with my eyes over the last week. i'm still on the Inktense underpainting. lol It's a very very tricky rock formation and hard for me to see where one starts and another ends..... I remmebr having fun with that when I was sat on the windy cliff drawing it in my sketchbook alst year. I'll look out the sketch and scan it in

05-17-2011, 10:23 AM
I found the original in my plein air sketchbook. I guess I have a little head start on some of you, not only because i've been there, but because I've sketchedd it before... When I posted some pics in our then 'Travel Thread' a lot of you liked it and Robert said he fancied having a go at it. So I thought it would be a good one to include.

On the day we went there I excitedly got out my sketch book and pencil ready to start, then realised exactly how hard it was!!! While i was there some girl walkers came past and saw me and one said;' oh what a great place to sit and draw'. She then kept her mates waiting while she sat down, got out her sketch book and joined me.

Fortunatley my sketch book has elastic so I could avoid the pages blowing in the wind.

I scanned it in...


I have a pic of me sitting there on the edge of a cliff drawing this. Dave took a walk around the very headland that is behind the brodge and took it from there...


This photo makes the place look weird. Looking at the part of the cliff behind me it looks like it is possible to go up and fall off the end of te world.

05-18-2011, 06:09 AM
Lovely sketch, Lin. You've captured a good sense of the enormity of it. Can't wait to see your painting! I've seen your work in other forums and been well impressed.

05-18-2011, 08:29 AM
Excellent sketch Lin. Looks as if you have the makings of a masterpiece just using the sketch as a reference.

05-18-2011, 09:53 AM
Giraph - thank you so much :)

Hal - don't know about a masterpiece but I am trying to do a 'real' piece of art , on a panel too.

Making slow progress though as I dont' have the energy fro anything much.

05-18-2011, 09:59 AM
Hi guys.... New Member Artbox has started a WIP and has posted it here...


please go look its superb

05-18-2011, 10:34 AM
Artbox is doing some super work. (I think she's actually an old master, in disguise, just having fun with us.) :wink2:

Pat Isaac
05-18-2011, 11:05 AM
It is a wonderful sketch, Lin. Look forward to the finish and it does look as if you are sitting on tip of the world in the photo.


05-18-2011, 03:32 PM
Hey Lin, nice gestural almost caligraphic sketch, i can almost make out arabic or hebrew style letter shapes amongst your marks. As it seems this months challenge has been all about the green bridge, i might bow to pressure and give it a go but try a different technique to my usual attempts. Will have to be next week though as i'm off to London this weekend for some shopping and some photographing...i need some shots of interesting buildings.
Even though i need a second house to store my arty materials as it is, i love going to London as they have such amazing art shops with crazy low prices so the art supplies anonymous thread may be having a new post from me soon :)

05-18-2011, 06:14 PM
aw Steve an art mats buying trip you make me envious

05-20-2011, 09:13 AM
Hi! I'm new to OP's and am excited to find this forum. The monthly challenge is exactly what I was looking for to get started. I've been playing around with the flowers. Hoping to post something as soon as I figure out how.

05-20-2011, 01:06 PM
Hi Kristijor :wave:
Pleased to meet you. Yes these challenges are a great way to learn and exchange ideas. We also have our 'Oil Gusher' weekly chat thread where you can chat about anything and get to know us, so far this weeks topics seem to be 'clutter' and 'toilet reading' :lol: .
Anyway we have lots of useful threads here where you can find genuinely useful info.
If you have any problems just post where you have got to and our more experienced OPers will help you out

Can't wait to see what you come up with.

05-20-2011, 01:13 PM
Kristijor by all means join. Just a couple more posts and you'll be permitted to post images here. There's enough month left to try one or more of the challenges and post it here.

Just downside your image so no one side is more than 800 pixels and you can upload my using the icon that looks like a postcard or the paperclip at the top of the message panel.

By all means join in.

05-20-2011, 01:18 PM
Well here is my piec for this challnege done an artboard size

This is it FINISHED:-

'The Green Bridge Of Wales'
14" x 11" Triple Gessoed as standard
Coated with Colourfix Primer
CD Neopastels & Sennelier

i used Derwent Inktense blocks by applyig light and dry then washing with a brush and water. For the smaller areas a wet brush stroked onto the Inktense block. I also used a drawing pen to define key aras

I found they didn't lift when I applied the OPs, they saved the need for multiple layers of OPs or hard OP and turps underlayer. Also they didn't fill up too much of the tooth.

i used my finger to blend the sky and used extra firm shapers.

It looks rough close up, but much better from a distance:


Here is a picture of the WIP with the Inktense underpainting

05-20-2011, 01:41 PM
Well done Lin. That is a beautiful job.

05-20-2011, 04:04 PM
Wow, Lin, awesome. Thanks for the WIP info and pictures too.

05-20-2011, 11:55 PM
Lin, your work has wonderful depth to it.

Well, this is my first attempt at OP's. I purchased a set of CrayPas Expressionist and some Canson MT and set to work. I'm already finding it difficult. I've laid down too much OP and things are looking flat.http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-May-2011/965741-wetcanvas_001.jpg
I don't have much experience with color - I've always stuck with graphite and charcoal. I am really enjoying OP so far though. Any suggestions on how to create more depth?


05-21-2011, 07:24 AM
Hi Kristi and welcoem to the challenging world of colour and OPs.
With colour, warm colours come forth and cool colours recede. This is one way to get depth. Another is things in front are clearer and more detailed and as things recede they lose definition and become paler.
In the instance of the flowers, there is little depth of field so all is pretty much the same. As you layer and commence you will find they emerge.

05-21-2011, 10:03 AM
Thanks Lin! That makes perfect sense. I will start addressing the bricks in the background and see what happens.

Pat Isaac
05-21-2011, 10:08 AM
Nicely done, Lin...
Welcome to the Op forums, Kristi. Nice start.


05-21-2011, 10:22 AM
Very nice piece, Lin. So in the end, did the entire piece get covered by OPs?

Actually, the WIP looks very real too especially with all the differences in the color depths. What is a drawing pen? You mean a black pen, marker pen?

Have you tried putting the Inktense blocks on top of the OP? Would it be too hard and scrape it away?

And off topic question? How much different is using watercolor compared to using the Inktense blocks? Like covering the sky, wouldn't watercolor be faster? Or is there some properties that make you choose inktense over watercolor for wider expanse of color?

Kristi, a nice contrast of colors already.

05-21-2011, 01:24 PM
Wow such lovely work this month! I have not been to devote very much time to art work in the past few months and had hoped to have join in this one. Truth be told I had a few hours yesterday and tried to do Green Bridge and failed miserably.

05-21-2011, 06:26 PM
Very nice piece, Lin. So in the end, did the entire piece get covered by OPs?

Actually, the WIP looks very real too especially with all the differences in the color depths. What is a drawing pen? You mean a black pen, marker pen?

Have you tried putting the Inktense blocks on top of the OP? Would it be too hard and scrape it away?

And off topic question? How much different is using watercolor compared to using the Inktense blocks? Like covering the sky, wouldn't watercolor be faster? Or is there some properties that make you choose inktense over watercolor for wider expanse of color?

Kristi, a nice contrast of colors already.

Every single bit is covered in OP Sandra.

With Inktense because it is so strong you use less and it clogs the tooth less so still leaves loads of scope for layers. Inktense are so strong , and they dont' lift.
I haven't tried using Inktense over OP, I dont' think it would work too well.

If you apply Intkense and wet it, once dry it is immovable. You can re wet or scrape or whatever and it is ther eto stay!

I did the sky by adding ash grey, sky blue and white OP and a light grey/mauve and a darker blur in gradients. i then blended it with my fingers. I covered the whole thing with OPs and used either fingers or colour shapers.

Having such a bright translucent underpainting made it such that I could get away with just 2 layers of OP, mainly Neos topped with Senns.

A drawing pen is any pen i use for drawing like a permanent pen not as thick as a marker, this one was a 0.3 black.

05-22-2011, 07:17 AM
wow, these are all so good- I hope I can get at least one or 2 before the end of the month.

05-22-2011, 07:28 PM
Great finish Lin, and great start Kristi.
Well here is my attempt at the green bridge on orange A4 canford cardstock using mungyo extra softs. Done start to finish in about 3 hours in my hotel room this evening, in fact it was probably slightly less as i stopped to take the progress shots along the way.


05-23-2011, 10:55 AM
WOW Steve only 3 hours, well done :clap: :thumbsup:
Interesting almost Seurat style too.
How did you do that funky animated WIP (and get it small enough for the forum to let you post it) Saves a lot of space in the post too.

Pat Isaac
05-23-2011, 03:54 PM
Great piece, Steve and very Seurat like. I also would like to know about the video.


05-23-2011, 05:54 PM
Thanks Ladies, the animated gif was done by a free windows tool called beneton movie gif, but any gif animation software can stitch images together into an animation like this. You just load your frames then rearrange them into the order you want them to appear in, then specify how long you want each frame to be visible. The wetcanvas upload limit is only 1mb so you will need to keep the frame size pretty small. having your longest side at about 350 pixels should allow you to get at least 10 frames or by having fewer frames you could make each frame larger.

Pat Isaac
05-23-2011, 05:57 PM
Thanks, Steve. I have a Mac so not sure if I can get this.


05-23-2011, 06:13 PM
Pat you could try GIFfun (give it a google) which is a free gif tool for Macs. I don't know if it is as easy to use as the windows apps but worth a try at $0

05-23-2011, 07:24 PM
Kristi, I really like how your flowers started out. Hope you can post the finished piece.

Steve, very interesting piece. You know I always have a question: it looks like paper showing through?

05-23-2011, 07:59 PM
Steve very effective style and great animation. Great job.

05-24-2011, 08:28 AM
Thanks Hal

.Steve, very interesting piece. You know I always have a question: it looks like paper showing through?
Leslie, you are right when i do pointilism type pictures it makes it easier to have a strong coloured support that can be left to show through, it gives an overall unity and also saves on pastel as I don't feel as obliged to cover all the holes like i do when working on white paper or supports - I chose bright orange in this instance as it is the complementary to the blue of the ocean. Incidentally once a painting is finished to this stage it is really easy to use a totillion to drag colour from adjacent dots onto the holes to give 100% coverage and even blend further to make the painting look like a standard realism type painting rather than an impressionistic painting if desired. it's another great thing about these oilies that i love, once applied they can still be manipulated so easily. :cat:

05-25-2011, 07:22 AM
Steve, thanks for the detailed information. More ideas to experiment with. I like the idea that you retain the option open to blend it out in the end if you want.

05-28-2011, 12:17 AM
Steve, definitely an impressionist touch to your last one.

Lin, thanks for the details on how you did yours too.

I did one more sketch tonight.

Erengi Oil Pastels
Fabriano Artist Journal 7 x 9 inch


05-28-2011, 02:36 AM
Well this was a blast-- I love trains so I really had fun with this... :)
I started with a new set of Lyra's that I found.... I think they are student grade but they're actually quite good in terms of pushing around... much better than other student grades I've tried. finished it off with senneliers.... enjoyable experience all around.


Pat Isaac
05-28-2011, 08:11 AM
Great sketch Sandra.....really like the light.
Nice color and depth in your train painting, PJ.


05-28-2011, 08:12 AM
Great sketch, Sandra. Love your color choices! That paper really looks like it would be fun to work with.

Nice train, Paul. The detail scared me about that ref, but you did a great job with it.

05-28-2011, 09:19 AM
Sandra, delightful sketch.

Paul wonderful job and a charming take on the engine.

05-28-2011, 09:58 AM
Sandra I really like your sketch -- love how there's no floor but there is.

Thank you Pat, Leslie and Hal-- I like the original much more than the pic, which is funny because I usually like the pic better than the original LOL.

Leslie it's funny you mentioned the detail, I wanted to paint a train last year but gave up because the reference was so detailed.... When I saw this reference I really wanted to paint it, at first I thought it would take forever but I actually didn't spend very much time on this at all, just a few hours in a couple days, but I made a point to not get worked up over the detail, and to just let it flow. I could have spent much more time detailing it out but decided this was enough :)

05-28-2011, 10:19 AM
Sandra thats a good extraction. I wondered what people would do with the ref and hoped that it would make you all think about what yu wanted to include and leave out. It gives a sense of the movement of the place.:thumbsup:

Jim - I am so pleased it was an enjoyable experience for you. Glad you love trains, what a fortuitous choice of refs I posted - for you. YOu have been very brave to take on this ref. I put it there for a CHALLENGE in every sense of the word. I know - I have pulled hair out doing a train before - not easy. That's why I chose this ref as it is a close up wihtout all the complex undercarriage gubbins. WELL DONE YOU for a lovely rendition of this difficult ref. :clap:

05-28-2011, 10:35 AM
Lin, I think you meant Paul (or PJ) haha--
yeah, minus the wheels, pinions and all that MESS in the undercarriage was what made this one do-able for me :)
thank you!

05-29-2011, 01:30 AM
Here's my rendition of the green bridge of wales- this pic doesn't look quite as good as the original but we all know how that goes already.


05-29-2011, 10:27 AM
Wow PJ, you've really got the curvature of the earth working for you there, neat touch.
Really great work on the piece PJ. It's a great example of how less is more. (ie not overworked)

05-29-2011, 10:30 AM
PJ - some nice geometric shaping in the rocks there.

05-29-2011, 02:22 PM
Nice job on the Green Bridge, Paul. I totally agree with Hal about not overworking it. This looks very fresh.

Pat Isaac
05-29-2011, 05:11 PM
Nice bright clean color on that bridge painting....

05-29-2011, 07:41 PM
Thank you so much Hal, Lin, Leslie and Pat--

The curvature thing came a bit after I had already set the blocks, at first I was trying to get a diagonal slice look and then realized the curvature looked more natural and better. One of those in-painting adjustments :)

I really appreciate the feedback about "not overworking" - I've really been trying to get comfortable with the oil pastels enough to have the ability to create paintings that are not over worked but that are still nice to look at--- at least I know I'm on the right track- thank you !!!! I've learned tons from you all on this forum.

05-30-2011, 12:10 PM
Paul, that is such a cute interpretation of the train. Love it that you kept the train engineer. Good simple rendition of the rocks too.

Two more from me.

I was doing the train the other night and it wasn't going anywhere. So this morning, I only did portions of it.

Portfolio watersoluable oil pastels
Fabriano Artist Journal 7x9 inch


This one is Portfolio watersoluable oil pastel first, then Holbein white and Sennelier pink of some sort, then back to Portfolio.

Classic Cachet black sketchbook 4x6 inch

Totally enjoyed all the finger smudging exercise this morning. I think so far I express colors best with dry media and oil pastels is tops, followed by soft pastels.


05-30-2011, 12:22 PM
Sandra, I think both these works are wonderful. I especially love the flower and the rich dark background.

05-30-2011, 05:17 PM
Sandra - I think it's a great idea to take a prt of the tain to concentrate on. i considered the same but am yet to make a start, although mine will be a bigger parrt. Trains are NOT easy! I think yours is very well handled. Nice stylish work on the flower too.

Glad you are all enjoying my challenges this month.
I'm off on my holidays in just over a week and will be getting over 1000 new photos... that's how manyI took last year!

05-31-2011, 09:32 AM
Sandra, these two are great. And you have the best sketchbooks!

Lin, looking forward to more of your photos!

05-31-2011, 01:38 PM
All these paintings were so cool to look at! You all did wonderful! bravo!

06-01-2011, 04:40 PM
Congratulations @ everyone!

Keep lurking around saying nothing and looking at your works and what a great job you've been doing. You have been evolving and refining your use of the OP so well!

06-01-2011, 07:00 PM
GOSH - oh GOSH is it good to see you after such a long time.

Thanks all for joining in with my challenge. Please support the June Challenge now, when Bill posts it.

06-09-2011, 08:34 PM
GOSH - oh GOSH is it good to see you after such a long time.

Thanks all for joining in with my challenge. Please support the June Challenge now, when Bill posts it.

That's what I'm doing at the moment. :evil:

Will be done tonight or tomorrow. :crossfingers: