View Full Version : December 2011, Oil Pastel Monthly Challenge

11-30-2011, 10:07 PM
This challenge is open to any artist working with oil pastels, you may also use mixed media as long as oil pastel is the dominate medium used in your painting.

December is a busy month, I'm putting in some extra photos to hopefully stimulate everyone's muse and get some more participation. The references are all my own so there are no copyright issues, feel free to use them in any way you wish, be creative and apply your own interpretation of the images you see. You can work on just one image, crop, combine images, or just do several paintings of different images, it is entirely up to you the artist.

Once you have finished your painting, post it here in this thread and let us know your methods, brands of oil pastels and painting surface and the size of the painting. Feel free to post your WIPs and if you need any help be sure to ask, we all like to help each other.

I hope something here will excite your muse.

I'm looking forward to seeing your work. Please have fun.

I had to get a photo of Gus in for this month.
Portsmouth Light, NH
Iron Horse, from last month's Gouache Challenge. The idea was to either paint a dramatic still life or to turn the horse into a realistic painting or put Conan on this back for a fantasy painting.
Sculputure Fountain, historic Fuller's Gardens, North Hampton, NH
Misty Marsh, Salt Marsh on the Great Bay, New Hampshire.

11-30-2011, 10:25 PM
Additional images for the December Challenge:

Lin suggested that I include a photo of myself for a portrait but it's been so long since I've had a photo of myself that I stuck in one of my number one son: Lance. (Gus is my number two son.)

The Grand Canyon

Portsmouth Harbor from Kittery Point, Maine

Well in The Fuller Gardens, North Hampton, NH.

Yellow Roses, Sorry I didn't get the base of the vase included in the photo. That just make the challenge more challenging. :D

12-01-2011, 05:22 AM
These are amazing Hal, Count me in for a couple :)

12-01-2011, 06:58 AM
Wow!! Hal what a collection, I have my eye on a few too.

12-01-2011, 07:46 AM
Hal, these are a great collection - I'm going to give it a go on perhaps a couple as well. Mary

12-01-2011, 08:11 AM
Mary, Mo and Stee, (I have to resist a Three St----- wise crack here :evil: ) thank you. I know it'll be a very busy month for all of us but I hope our challenge activity will pick up.

Pat Isaac
12-01-2011, 08:29 AM
Thanks, Hal.....Great photos and Gus is just posing so nicely.


12-01-2011, 11:36 AM
What a beautiful area you live in Hal. I am inspired!

12-01-2011, 05:25 PM
Great photos Hal, I'll try to do a couple, definitely. Thank you for hosting.

12-01-2011, 07:11 PM
Vlad, Candace, thank you. I hope you can both join for a couple of works.

Yes Candace, coastal New Hampshire just abounds with subject matter for artists.

12-01-2011, 07:28 PM
Great photos with a huge collection. I will try to dig out my oil pastels and do one.

12-01-2011, 10:57 PM
Linn, I hope you will join this month.

12-01-2011, 11:04 PM
Hal, a great set of references. Thank you. I can't wait till Friday night.

12-02-2011, 08:57 AM
Hal, a great set of references. Thank you. I can't wait till Friday night.

Sandra, I hope you will join in this month.

Friday night?????

Back when I had a day job, Friday was the best day of the week. :wink2:

Pat Isaac
12-02-2011, 08:59 AM
It certainly was Hal and I still like Fridays.


12-02-2011, 12:43 PM
Hal likes Fridays because they are pizza night.

12-02-2011, 12:48 PM
My goodness Candace, what a memory! :thumbsup:

Yes indeed Friday is pizza night. :D

12-03-2011, 12:42 AM
Ah, I remember what's important.....

12-03-2011, 01:50 AM
Hi all,
I have decided to have a go at the Monthly challenge now that I am finished art school. Here is my first contribution... (loved the pics Hal!)


Cray-Pas and Sennelier oil pastels on Canson Mi-Teintes (rough side) green. 22cmx20cm.

I really liked this picture and decided to crop it for a slightly different view.

12-03-2011, 05:10 AM
Beautiful work Elaine! Love the textures and colors.

12-03-2011, 09:37 AM
Elaine, excellent crop and wonderful work, especially on the rough side of the Canson's. The rough side is generally not to my liking.

Thank you for participating, an excellent first contribution to get things started.

Pat Isaac
12-03-2011, 09:42 AM
It is a very nice crop and nicely done on the Canson. I also am not partiularly fond of the rough side.


12-03-2011, 11:38 AM
so many beautiful refs hal - i really want to play. i have some open stock neos on order so really want a go. but it all depends if an how much use i get back in my arm.

12-03-2011, 02:50 PM
What a collection, Hal! You are spoiling us here!... I think I like you dog the best, but if I would pick up one for painting, it will be horse statue!

12-03-2011, 04:10 PM
Thanks bchlvr, Hal and Pat. I'm still experimenting with the oil pastels so my next one will be on the smooth side of Canson so I can see how the oils work on that. I might even do the same ref so I can see the difference.

12-03-2011, 08:11 PM
I started working on the statue:


12-03-2011, 08:22 PM
Larissa, your drawing is looking fantastic. Great job on the copper fountain.

12-04-2011, 10:39 AM
Thank you! I'm kind of afraid to add foliage, have no idea how to start...

12-04-2011, 11:35 AM
Elaine - beautiful

Larissa such a lovely atmosphere to this - can't wait to see how it goes

Hal - you know I think having more refs is better - more choice for different abilities and people can choose between confidence boosters or self-challenging.

I like so many of these and hope to be able to do something. I might feel up to getting out the neocolour IIs if my neopastels don't hurry up. I can't reach or stretch so my biggest obstacle atm is workspace organisation so as to avoid reach.

12-04-2011, 03:12 PM
Elaine, that green paper worked so well. I can't even tell it's green paper and you have so many cheerful spots in it it's a pleasure to look at.

Larissa, your piece looks good already. You have the statue spot on.

I had such a hard time with the statue. Generally, I'm good with anatomy but today, I kept misjudging the foreshortening. This piece must have gone through 10 erasures.:lol:

Erengi and Cray Pas Specialist and Nero black pencil
Classic Cachet black sketchbook 4x6 inch


Same materials


This one is super easy. I used the Stabilo Woody 3 in 1 watersoluable crayon white for the basic lines and then lightly went over with the Erengi oil pastel since it's so soft. If not for lack of paper, it would be a full statue.:lol:


12-04-2011, 08:52 PM
Larissa, the statue and fountain look lovely. Just go for it with the greenery, and have fun :) I look forward to seeing it finished.

Sandra, great sketches! Love the dog's eyes.

12-04-2011, 11:04 PM
Sorry, I'm late looking in. For some reason, even though I'm subscribed to this thread, I'm not receiving notices.

I finished the commission piece this tonight... that I have to show tomorrow..... no pressure. Then need more prints for a show this weekend since I have many of my prints in another show. After Saturday I should be able to participate.

Sandra, great work. I especially like the technique you used on the statue.

Aw... Gus looks so sad.

12-05-2011, 06:18 AM
Wow! Gorgeous references, Hal. Thanks for posting so many to choose from, I've got several of these tempting me!

12-05-2011, 06:21 AM
Elaine, lovely bright rendering of the well. It's so colorful and cheery, great style you've got, very accurate rendering too.

Great start on the statue and water, Larissa. I love the water texture and the way you played with colors in the gray statue, well done. Keep going!

Sandra, now I recognize where the horse and the crouching girl came from! Cool that you did her as a person rather than statue, love that dark paper too. Very cute version of Gus!

12-05-2011, 09:50 AM
Robert, glad you're feeling a bit better and are able to look in on us.

Yes, I like a lot of choices for these challenges. I just hope to entice more people to participate.

12-05-2011, 10:53 AM
Congratulations. My favorite part of being done, besides finally getting a paycheck, was that first month post college, where I didn't have anything hanging over my head that was due (papers, assignments, reports etc).

On the flowers, I appreciate the big color.

Great start and that water is wonderful.

You have a wonderful sketchy feel going. Thanks a ton for discussing your process - that's what helps us all learn from each other.



12-06-2011, 12:15 AM
Great pictures, Hal, thank you! Everyone's paintings are looking great too! :)

12-06-2011, 11:47 AM
The statue caught my eye Hal, so decided to change it to a night scene. This was done in my black sketch book A4 size with Caran D'ache neocolour op's took about 2hours. Looking at it here I can see now that her hand needs more defining. Hoping to do more later.


12-06-2011, 12:25 PM
Beautifully done Mo. The night scene works wonderfully here. Very nice use of analagous colors.

12-06-2011, 12:26 PM
This is a wonderful painting. I love the colours... they make me feel this photo was taken in the middle of winter :)

12-06-2011, 02:48 PM
Thank you Hal for the wonderful choices this month. Such lovely works so far. I hope I will have time in a few day to comment on everyone's. It seems all I have time for these days is work and Christmas Shopping. I managed to whip this out between loads of laundry.

I did not print this out. I used my IPhone to see the photo. (I really wish someone would come up with an app so that we could upload with the IPhone.) I started out with a gesture drawing done with the side of a broken cray-pa, then started laying in color.

5 x 7ish Cray-pas with a few Sennilers thrown in.


I have a sink full of dishes calling my name and the cat thinks she needs petting.

C&C welcome.

12-06-2011, 05:18 PM
Donna that is a wonderful job. You have a great sense of volume and the texture and colors are great. Well done.

12-06-2011, 10:25 PM
Thank you, Elaine, Robert, Hal, Mark for your comments.

Mo, wow, your statue shines so well and yet the pose looks very alive. Great purple hue all over.

Donna, your piece doesn't look like a statue at all. It's almost lifelike. Very good proportions.

12-07-2011, 03:32 AM
Thanks for the generous comments everyone!

Mo, I love that you turned this into a night scene, and I really like the colours you have used. Very atmospheric.

Donna, the statue looks like it is coming to life. Great proportions. Really like the quality of light in the background and on the back of the horse.

12-07-2011, 04:17 AM
Elaine - Lovely work on the well

Larissa - Great start. Go for it.

Sandra - Good to see your oh so expressive work. Goodness, you do three & I'm still thinking about whether I can do one.

Mo - WOW !! Very effective.

Donna - Great texture you've achieved. Yep, cat lovers know what you mean. :)

Hal - Thanks for the photos. I hope to get to one in my usual stop-start way.

12-07-2011, 05:28 AM
Larissa,Sandra and Mo nice work on the statue (the hardest ref in IMHO, the human figure is so darn tricky) Mo and larissa you nailed the elipse the bane of all artists :evil: too, Elaine I love how your colours really zing off that green paper. Great textural rendition of the horse statue Donna and Sandra, you have more skill than I could wish for, in getting those proportions correct freehand,
I decided to try the horse too but haven't started blocking in yet, I spent a frustrated hour gridding up and still feel the legs are a bit on the stocky side even though i have double checked my measurements a couple of times *sigh* I'm just going to hit the colour later and see how it turns out. I also made a start on the honourable Gus, It will resemble a dog for sure but i'm not really seeing a Gus likeness so far, oh and I think i have added 50lbs to him ...sorry Hal, we'll just have to pretend it's Gus's bigger, wacky coloured, older brother. I'll post later if I get either of them finished after work tonight.

12-07-2011, 05:12 PM
Elaine, delightful and harmonious, nice painterly handling of foliage!
Mo, your picture has an abundance of mood, with the cool color, it seems a foreboding place, and the statue she is pure soul, warm and white, drinking from dark waters. Nice work, especially on the statue.

Pat Isaac
12-07-2011, 05:20 PM
Love your interpretation of the night scene, Mo. Very effective.
Great impression of the horse, Donna...


12-07-2011, 08:09 PM
Wow I never thought to try and make this a night scene. You did a great job with that. And with the stark purple it really jumps.

That horse is amazing. The colors you picked made it so very lively.

Here's my lighthouse:


8 x 10 on charcoal matboard with a quick acrylic underpainting with one coat of clear colorfix. Senns and Neopastels.



12-07-2011, 09:25 PM
Mark, I like what you did with the sky and the rocks! Great Job!

12-07-2011, 10:00 PM
Nice recession in that sky Mark and great work on the rocks.

12-07-2011, 10:25 PM
OK here is my effort for today.... I got back to my hotel keen to finish Gus and the horse but then ate dinner and fell asleep so on waking up I only had time to finish one.
this one is neopastels on a dull lilac colorfix primed watercolour paper 9.5"x12.5"
In hindsight I should have dulled down the rather bright blue background ...I prefer the more grayish blue in the ref. http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Dec-2011/177539-13233134124531.jpg
Apologies if the pic quality is poor ...hotel lighting and phone camera aren't ideal partners for taking good photos.

Pat Isaac
12-08-2011, 08:17 AM
Nice work, Mark and Steve. I always am interested in the images that people choose.


12-08-2011, 07:50 PM
The mist, black color paper, 21cm x 14cm,Cray-pas Expressionist.


12-08-2011, 10:31 PM
Ong (I hope that is proper) welcome to the forum. Lovely work. You caputred the mood of the place.

I hope to see more of your work.

Mark great job on the lighhouse. The sky is terrific.

OMG Stee. That is unbelievable. the colors and totality of the work is wonderful. Wow.:thumbsup:

12-08-2011, 11:06 PM
Hi everybody, finally got some free time. First, please meet Gus:


Erengi oil pastels on 9x12 Canson paper. All comments are welcome.
Thank you.

12-08-2011, 11:17 PM
Elaine, great work, beautiful colors and textures
Larissa, good start
Sandra, very nice powerful impressions
Mo, great work on statue, catches the eye
Donna, perfect horse, nice sense of light
Mark, great work on lighthouse
Steve, the horse looks great
mysurface, love the colors, wonderful painting

12-08-2011, 11:24 PM
And the horse, Erengis on 9x12 Canson paper:


All comments are greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Pat Isaac
12-09-2011, 07:44 AM
Vlad, how nice to see your work again. Lovely and you certianly haven't lost your touch.
Good to see you also Hean Kuan and this is a very nice moody piece and full of painterly quality.


12-09-2011, 08:42 AM
Vlad, love your version of my Gus. Great job.

My goodness another painting of the Iron Horse Statue. Terrific job.

That reference photo is going to be worn out. :lol:

Everyone working on the horse has done incredible work. I'm just blown away by the wonderful work.

I just finished two paintings for a comission, one oil pastel and one acrylic.
I have to prep for a condo annual meeting (assembling packages) tonight and I have an art show tomorrow. I would still like to mat a couple more giclee prints for tomorrow's show plus frame one more painting.

Then I should be able to start some new painting this month.

However the work has been so great so far this month that my contrbution would undoubtedly lower the quality of the thread considerably.

12-09-2011, 08:44 AM
Steve, I like the light and texture, it has the look of aged stone!
Ong, I like the energy, mood and color.
Vlad, they both nice painterly strokes and color.
Great work guys!:thumbsup:

12-09-2011, 09:55 AM
Elaine, nice crop and colors used for the well. Well done!
Larissa, great start on the statue that one was too intimidating for me.
Sandra, great sketches. I especially like Gus.
Mo, beautiful night scene!
Mark, great job on the lighthouse
Stee, and Vlad, you guys were not supposed to totally leave me in the dust on the horse! Beautiful work both of you.
Mysurface, good job.
Now I will try to do justice to Gus. Mine will not hold a candle to Vlad's but you will not see it anyway. My computer broke and there is no way to upload with my iPhone.

12-09-2011, 10:13 PM
Thank you Pat, sometimes you are so busy there is no time for inspiration, even though there are such beautiful references every month...
Hal, thank you, I would do even better if the Gus' photo had higher resolution so I could see and paint his eyes
Tracy, thank you
Donna, thanks a lot, did you fix your computer yet?

Here is my lighthouse, Sennelier oil pastels on 9x12 Sennelier oil pastels pad (tried new support and very satisfied with a process and results: http://www.google.com/products/catalog?hl=en&rlz=&q=Sennelier+oil+pastels+pad&gs_upl=0l0l0l1251l0l0l0l0l0l0l0l0ll0l0&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=6107346216826596924&sa=X&ei=Wc_iTo2HAejX0QGggYXsBQ&ved=0CIcBEPMCMAQ)


12-09-2011, 10:19 PM
No Vlad, I need to order a new power cord. I can't get it until after Christmas.
I can only upload to my Facebook page
Donna Triska Artist.

I am commenting from my iPhone.

12-09-2011, 10:23 PM
So you have added it to your wishlist? :wink2:

12-09-2011, 10:52 PM
Vlad, I love what you've done with the composition, great job!

Leya Lakshmanan
12-10-2011, 02:51 AM
I cropped the lighthouse photo, and have used student-grade oil pastels on A4 size paper.


12-10-2011, 06:06 AM
Lots of good stuff being posted. Great lighthouses from Steve, Vlad & Leya. Very nice mist from mysurfaceand how about Gus & those horses from Steve & Vlad. Wow.

12-10-2011, 12:46 PM
My sketch of Gus is here. http://http//www.facebook.com/pages/Donna-Triska-Artist/206142239445819

12-11-2011, 03:42 PM
Leya, Vlad great lighthouses. The sky is lovely on both of them.

Donna, I get an error code when trying to access your facebook image. If it is in the oil pastel section there, I'll try to take a look from that direction.

12-11-2011, 04:12 PM
Leya, a very good crop and very cheery piece. I like how you did the house and the jeep too. Descriptive but not overpowering.

Vlad, what is it that you like about oil pastel pads? The texture? The lighthouse is so detailed on the top! and the jeep too. Definitely center of interest. Very nice. Gus looks good! He doesn't look so sad as mine. Very good colors you chose for the background. It matches the color so well with your horse.

Mark, ooh, you changed the foreground. Definitely much more wild in look!

Steve, beautiful horse. It's really just like the photo but yours have much more dimensional feel! Nice job.

Hean Kuan, good to see you here. Very good and lively foreground that livens up your piece! And your bold strokes translates energy!

I did a couple more.

A mix of Sennelier Jumbos, Erengi and Mungyo oil pastel.

This one is on 65 lb purple cardstock. OdorlessThinner was used in first layer of the mix of the three so it's evenly spread without much effort. Then a bit more color mostly Sennelier and finger smudge when dried for the sky. The real bright parts though are Mungyo since it's most opaque. The branches at first was with Mungyo but it didn't have a darker shade so I took my Faber Castell Pitt Big Brush blue India Ink marker for the branches.


Same material but the background originally had some blue watercolor here and there.

Super Deluxe Bee Company 93 lb sketchbook 9x12 inch - 2/3 page only

This journal is worthless for watermedia. But it has a good texture for oil pastel on one side that has texture and the other side is smooth like Bristol smooth.


This next piece originally had Golden Coarse Ground and was used for the bottom piece of this page from the same sketchbook above. The upper piece has Golden fine pumice which is a much better ground. I put thinner all over it to blend the color to reuse it since it was so awful.


Then I lavishly waste the Erengi oil pastels that I don't like on this piece. It was so fun to use huge amounts of it since the ground is so coarse.

Some Sennelier, some Mungyo. The bottom has the Pitt India ink marker again.

4x6 inch


12-12-2011, 05:56 AM
Ok thought i'd contribute to this month's challenge.
I really liked the photo of the horse.

So here's my small attempt 7 x 5 inches (the drawing area, the paper is slightly bigger), using Sennelier on gray Borden & Riley paper. Wasn't sure should I crop the image down to the exact drawing or leave the paper showing.

When I started I intended to dramatize the contrasts, but when i got into the painting my attention turned toward the lines of the mane and cloth and I lost sight a little of my objective. Also i did the black background too early and it ended up getting in the way a bit.

It's one I could end up spending a lot of time on, but I wanted to keep things moving so here it is:


12-12-2011, 04:40 PM
Sandra, delighted to have you pitching in this month. I use a lot of my oil pastels on a piece. I tend to grind them into the canvas or gessoed paper.

I once took a week long work shop with Herman Margulies a very prominent soft pastellist. He would grind his pastels into his homemade boards. His boards were made of museum board, with black gesso and some kind of grit mixed in. As far as I know he always painted on a black surface. He pressed so hard that he often broke the sticks and taught me to apply the pigment while twisting the pastel stick. I tend to do the same thing with the oilies. If I want to lay down a bold stroke I apply it with a twist as I'm drawing the stroke.

By the way those crayon erasers worked great on my dog portrait in our studio forum. I forget who recommended them but they worked great on that painting and I look forward to trying them again.

Enough digression, Sandra you had a lot of fun and I especially enjoyed your version of the Grand Canyon.

12-12-2011, 04:43 PM
Jman, I think you did a magnificient job on the iron horse. I like the feel of his heft and weight. It is a heavy piece and to me you captured the feel of his weight.

I do like the black background.

12-13-2011, 02:23 PM
Lea, nicely done

Hi Sandra, very nice works, my favorite is a foggy marsh. About the pads: in fact, I tried them for the first time
and now I'm sure they've been developed for oil pastels and the overall experience is great.
They have that special kind of surface - textured yet not that absorbent.

Jman, great job on a horse

And thank you all for your comments:music: .

12-13-2011, 02:52 PM

Jeez i was thinking it was terracotta.

12-16-2011, 07:41 PM
Nope Jman, it's iron and quite heavy.

It could be a weapon in the game of "Clue." Mrs Peacock, in the Library with the iron horse. :wink2:

12-16-2011, 08:28 PM
Hey, Hal! Eileen here; glad you like the crayon erasers! Aren't they great? I actually use them more than the paintshapers.

12-16-2011, 10:20 PM
Eileen, thank you for recommending them. They have worked well on my first two efforts. I like their heft and they are a bit softer then clay shapers.

12-16-2011, 11:51 PM
What is a crayon eraser?

12-17-2011, 01:39 PM
What is a crayon eraser?

They're shaped like oversized crayons but are easily cut into shapes that lend themselves to the blending of oil pastels. I've only tried them a couple of times and they seem to work fairly well. They are softer than my clayshapers but I can put more pressure on the thick body of the eraser and I think I can move the OPs around more effectively.http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Dec-2011/140488-crayola_erasers.jpg

12-17-2011, 01:46 PM
I squeezed in my version of the Grand Canyon. I seem to be overwhelmed by life at the moment and wanted to do something that didn't require much in the way of accurate drawing.

So here's Hal's canyon:
8 by 10 inches on black canson drawing board with Gray Pas, Specialist oil pastels. The Gray Pas was surprisingly crumbly on this surface. This surface has much less texture than the mitentes pastel paper.

No finger blending on this one. All blending done with the crayola erasers. Since the are softer, they seem to be a good substitue for finger blending (other than the warmth of the fingers softening the OPs).

Suggestions for improvement welcome.

Pat Isaac
12-17-2011, 01:57 PM
I hear you, Hal. Don't think I'll be able to do that till after the holidays.
Nicely done, and I seem to have trouble with any type of Canson, though the new paper looks very similar to Colorfix. I would darken the foreground on the right th the hills behind recede better.
Good luck at the art show.


12-17-2011, 07:23 PM
Thank you Pat. Yeah the right side needs more work.

This Canson black panel was fairly smooth. However, It did hold the OPs well.

12-18-2011, 09:13 AM
Vlad your lighthouse painting is great! I'd be real happy with that one too.

Sandra I really like the last pic in your series-

jmanowar your horse statue is awesome...

Hal, great pics for the month, I did the canyon but I need to photograph it tomorrow and post it--
when I took a look at the pics today, I felt like drawing, but then when I looked at all of the paintings posted on here, I felt INSPIRED to draw.... great work everyone.

12-18-2011, 10:21 AM
PJ, great to have you checking in. I hope you've recovered from the flooding over there to jump in and join us. Look forward to seeing your canyon piece.

12-18-2011, 11:55 AM
Thanks to everyone for comments on my piece.

Hal, I love the tree on the left side. It has such volume! Thanks for the photo of all the erasers. It feels like Christmas just looking at all those colors. Hope Christmas is not to hectic for you.

I did a quick sketch of your son. Sorry I kind of made a mess of it.

Erengi oil pastel
65 lb black cardstock 8.5 x 11 inch
Nero pencil


12-18-2011, 03:14 PM
Thank you Sandra. You notice I'm leaving it to others to attempt a portrait of my Son. My attempt would be a total hash.

Good try on my Son. It's so much better than anything I could do.

12-18-2011, 05:40 PM
Here's one more. Mungyo Gallery artist oil pastel, Portfolio Watersoluable oil pastel with wash, some Chinese ink, some Dr. Ph Martin's Bombay India Ink on Bee Company Super Deluxe sketchbook 9x12 inch 1/3 page 93 lb.


12-18-2011, 06:23 PM
Sandra that is a lovely piece.

Of course, I don't recall there being any eyes in the reference photo? :wink2:

12-18-2011, 08:28 PM
well, it feels great to get one of these done finally-- this is 8x11 with Lyra and sennellier.


We are finally getting settled back to near normal from the flooding at our home in Thailand- thankfully our house itself was spared but we've had 8 trees die and the hedge bush along the front of our yard-- but, we're doing well.

12-18-2011, 08:40 PM
PJ that is a wonderful piece. It's great to have you join us again.

Really nice work.

12-18-2011, 08:47 PM
thank you Hal- the middle isn't quite as smooth as I wanted, it started caking up on me but I like how some of the tone and texture on the rest of it turned out.

12-19-2011, 01:38 AM
Jman - Iron or Terracotta, good job with the horse.
Hal - Thanks for the info on the erasers. Prob not avail in Oz but I'll have a search. Gotta be better than half a wooden peg.
Paul - I like your Grand Canyon.
Sandra - The eyes have it. :D

My contribution is submitted with apologies to Gus (A much more handsome fellow than I have portrayed). One thing may be correct though. He's probably Master of his Universe. I just put him in a different one.
Approx 10 1/2 x 6 1/2 inches. W/c paper. Water soluble OPs base with Mont Marte OPs on top and a poly oil based black pencil.


'Nuff said.

12-19-2011, 02:23 PM
Hal, great canyon view, beautiful colors and very good blending job
Sandra, great job, both are very interesting works, lovely colors on the second one
Paul, nice and airy
Graham, nice composition:wink2: , Gus sits like an eagle

12-19-2011, 03:42 PM
Thank you Vlad.

Graham, Gus and I absolutely love your canyon view. Gus would love the perch. It would be so much more rewarding to have that view than the woods view out our back deck. :thumbsup: :wink2:

12-19-2011, 08:31 PM
PJ, that definitely has the cold icy look! Well done!

Graham, love your take on Gus and Grand Canyon!

12-20-2011, 05:37 AM
Thank you for the comments :)

here's another- I took a different approach on this by outlining the initial pencil sketch with a black ink fountain pen and then coloring it in with the oil pastels. This is on an off white sketch pad-- kind of fun, might try doing more this way. I could have done more with cleaning it up some but I think I'll leave it.

I decided to leave out the truck and highlight the really cool broken down brick & concrete wall in the foreground instead.


12-20-2011, 09:16 AM
Hi PJ, it's great you've recovered from your flooding and are participating again. You have great textures working here. Great job.

Pat Isaac
12-20-2011, 09:33 AM
Nice canyon paintings and Gus has a great perch.
The lighthouse has a nice watercolor feel to it Pj.


12-20-2011, 11:48 AM
Glad to see it supported this busy month - alas apologies I have been so busy not had much chance to commetn - but I promised HalI'd do something.

I really hope you like this.

I took the photo but I move too much with my camera so it is a little sharper in reality.I need a tripod. - I can't stand and keep still long enough and seated I tend to be at the wrong angle and can't crop square.

so sorry it is a little fuzzy.

On reflection I wish I'd left out the chainy bits over the flower well as they look odd and detract from the main and ruin the horizontality of the piece. Also the tree branch looks like it is growing out of his head.

I called it

'Sons of Hal'
A4 Gessoe'd wc paper
Neos and Senns

Mike great to see you :thumbsup:
Sandra - interesting versions
PJ - glad to see your work - lovely atmosphere on the rocky one and loving the lighthouse

I'll see if I can get a better photo when my arm isn't quite so wobbly.

12-20-2011, 12:06 PM
Looks like there's been some nice contributions.

Didn't see anybody doing this one:


I made a few changes, removed a bush or two etc.
I enjoyed capturing a soft light effect in the background.
Later I actually put in a couple boats but they looked too much like an after-thought and didn't really contribute much to the composition so removed them. It's another small piece 7x5 inches on grey paper.

Foliage is difficult! It's frustrating because even though i've actually painted a fair amount of leafy foliage in my time, I still have little confidence about it.

Pat Isaac
12-20-2011, 12:09 PM
What a nice combination of photos, Lin. I always love your nice strong color.
Nicely done, Jman.


12-20-2011, 11:59 PM
This month is getting a great response...well done everyone :)
Well Hal, here is my version of your best friend...Neos on 12x10" daler board for oils.

12-21-2011, 12:47 AM
I had high hopes to contribute a few pics this month, but life and sick family has gotten in the way so far! There have been some great drawings - the horses are fantastic - and Stee, Gus is wonderful. Great fur coat on him and love the expression on his face.

Pat Isaac
12-21-2011, 07:19 AM
Awesome, Steve. Terrific job on the fur and his expression.


12-21-2011, 12:30 PM
Wow excellent dog Steve. I want to try OPs on board at some point. Here's my rough'n'ready attempt at the horse using Cray Pas Expressionists and Neopastels on blue/grey Strathmore charcoal paper (23cmx27cm). not sure how to make this image smaller! http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/21-Dec-2011/973128-ironhorse_OP.jpg

12-21-2011, 12:58 PM
Would like to add my compliments to Steve on the latest contribution.
Captured the dog's expression really well, fur done really well. And I really enjoy the foggy impressionist sort of be-speckled treatment of the concrete and background. Really nice work.

Nice horse AnnKB, those highlights capture the lighting well.

Pat Isaac
12-21-2011, 02:22 PM
Nicely done, Ann and I really like the hint of warm tones on the horse.


12-21-2011, 03:28 PM
For some reason I wasn't getting updates on posts here and I didn't think anything was going. Wow far from it.

Lin, Hal's two sons is just great and you included the well in as well. Super.

Jman, great job on the foilage. You smiplified the ref and turned it into a great painting.

Stee, great job on the fur texture. You did make him look a bit serious though. He is such a sweetheart. Wonderful work.

Ann, your iron horse is wonderful. Nicely drawn and great feel to the textures.

12-22-2011, 07:14 AM
Paul - Great lighthouse. I like the texture in the fence too.

Linn - Hi - Love the rich colours you've used on "the sons"

jman - That's a lovely peaceful scene you've created there.

Steve - Wow, great job on Gus.

Ann - Dunno about rough'n'ready. Your horse looks good to me.

I managed to get another done (surprisingly for me). 10 x 7 1/2 inches on W/Col paper. Some of the base in water soluble ops and the rest using my usual Mont Marte oil pastels. Oh, it's my version of the misty marsh.


To those who celebrate it, a Merry Christmas and Peace to all from one of the blokes down under.

Thanks again Hal for the photos.

12-22-2011, 02:19 PM
Paul, very nice work on Lighthouse
Lin, fantastic composition
Jman, great work, whatever you say:wink2: , I like your foliage a lot
Steve, the dog is beautiful, I like how you did the fur:thumbsup:
Ann, great work on horse, like it very much
Graham, nicely done, beautiful colors

Merry Christmas!!!

12-22-2011, 03:43 PM
Graham, it's a lovely piece of work.

Any Merry Christmas right back at you and everyone else.

12-24-2011, 01:13 PM
Hi Hal, great paintings from everyone. I really like your references this month especially those two sons of yours! Happy Christmas to you and yours.

12-24-2011, 01:49 PM
Jen thank you for stopping by. Wish you would join us here. :D

12-24-2011, 04:38 PM
I don't do oil pastels unfortunately but love to watch you guys!

12-24-2011, 06:42 PM
Jen we'll permit you to start paining with oil pastels. We are very open minded that way.

12-25-2011, 11:12 AM
Mike, very atmospheric piece and good colors.

Ann, the statue almost is coming alive and going to run away. Good choice of paper.

Paul, good take on the surrounding area for the lighthouse piece.

Lin, what a good idea to put the two together. The foliage is so nicely blended. Did you use thinner of any sort?

Jman, I couldn't make head and toe of that photo reference but you gave it such a directional feel to it. Good job. And great colors too.

Steve, wow, Gus looks very real in your piece. Not photo real but artistically real. It's beautiful. Even the gravel it lies on looks so real. Is the board gray to start off with? Did you use thinner for this one or you just used it dry this time?

Merry Christmas to everyone too.

12-26-2011, 11:37 AM
ust a quicke- trying to rush through as we have a board game ready to play.

I told Hal I'd try to get a better pic of my Sons of Hal. Well I used my new mini tripod to avoid camera shake and got this.... cos the roation was a little out I lost a little off the edges to straighten it up. I had to give Hals human son some legs as there weren't any in the ref./


12-26-2011, 11:49 AM
Well done Lin. My two sons looks just great.

Have a great game tonight.

12-26-2011, 02:10 PM
Thanks Hal - glad you liked it

Sandra I onlu used OMS with a brush to lay out unerlying colours of a little blue for the sky and somne darks in the undergrown and some colour zones to take off the white.

12-27-2011, 08:36 AM
Great job Lin, nice composition and Hal liked it:wink2:

12-27-2011, 10:10 AM
I haven't been doing OPs for a while, but Hal, your photos really sucked me in - I just had to participate in this challenge! I have enjoyed looking through and seeing the familiar "faces" and the great work being done.:wave:

Here is my iron horse.
21x20cm Mostly Senns on Colourfixed watercolour paper.
Not too happy with the head, but really enjoyed returning to OPs - may do some more!


12-27-2011, 10:30 AM
GUYS & GALS - Just to let you know. I WILL be hosting the January challenge.

BUT I have family here from 30Dec and 31 Dec to Jan 1st we are going to a Rocky Horror Party to see in the New Year. As I'm not in the best of health I can't guarantee being up early on New Year's Day so I may be a little late posting. We are also having a family dinner. IF i don't get to post until late on the 1st (or possibly early on 2nd) dont' worry. The alternative is to post on 30th December before it all gets busy family. They go back on 2nd Jan so hosting will be no problem from then. The images are all ready and prepped to go.

Don't panic if they are not there - they will be. I dont' wnat to post when I'm drunk after the New Year's Party. (I'm incoherent enough when I'm sober :D )

Pat Isaac
12-27-2011, 10:35 AM
Nicely done, Cath and good to see you delving into the OPs again.
Not to worry, Lin. It will be woth the wait.


12-27-2011, 10:58 AM
I've posted you teh refs Pat but hit too soon so sent the last one in a separate message

12-27-2011, 12:07 PM
Cath, great work. The metalic feel of the iron horse rings very true in your piece. Beautifully drawn and rendered.:thumbsup:

12-31-2011, 09:57 AM
Hi guys

Thanks to Hal for hosting some great images.

i've posted a day early as I'm gadding off out tonight.. new one is up here..


Dont' forget though, that if you haven't finished your work for Dec or want to try one you still can and post it here!

12-31-2011, 10:17 AM
I'll keep this thread actiive for a few more days. I know I have one more piece I would like to do but this month has swamped me.

If anyone would like to do another piece please post it here.

01-02-2012, 11:22 AM
OMgosh, there were some amazing paintings this month! Hal, your pictures were great. Everyone out did themselves, such awesome work. . . I have to say that Steve's painting of Gus rocks. Its beautiful.

01-02-2012, 02:03 PM
Thank you Rainy. Steve's painting did rock and I'm amazed at the incredible work done with the iron horse reference. Those paintings were outstanding.