View Full Version : Oil Pastel Challenge Jan 2012 (yes 2012!!!!)

12-31-2011, 09:48 AM


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.

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.

Don't worry if you are new to the medium or a beginner - still have a go - that's what it is for - to try something different. We are all gentle and helpful folk here.

I've tried to post a cross- section of difficulites and subjects. I hope you find something that you like and can make your own. January is a long and boring month so hopefully this will keep you occupied!

Still a little wintry and seasonal - A reindeer! This was taken in Wales though not Lapland or Finland. I liked the mix of lighting on this scene with the sunshine through the leaves. This little deer was camera shy and took ages to get him!

An English Rose - from my garden. Something summery to lift your spirits.

An art gallery in Porthgain in Pembrokeshire.

I took this photo a couple of years ago when I visited Dave's folks in Essex. Taken half hour before sunset on the Winter Solstice in Epping Forest.

I snook in an extra and hope Pat won't get out her big stick. Reason - this one looked easier to do and as it was taken in Spring it might bring some cheerful thoughts of things to come.
Yorkshire Dales

This one was taken in my kitchen with ths sunshine beaming in through the window. My healthy and not-so healthy lunch! A nice still life with intersting lighting I thought.


Maybe one to stretch the technicalities. Two canal barges at Alvecote Marina, Warwickshire from an unusual angle. Do something interesting, expressive and creative with this!!


Sorry no people this month :rolleyes: . Can't wait to see all your work!!!!


Pat Isaac
12-31-2011, 09:59 AM


12-31-2011, 10:14 AM
Thank you Lin for Hosting, great photos. And thank you for posting early. Based on your activities, scheduled for tonight, You're probably going to be totally wasted tomorrow. :evil:

12-31-2011, 12:26 PM
Indeed Hal indeed. Look out for future pics as I am going as dressed as a character from Rocky Horror. Done the hair.

12-31-2011, 06:08 PM
I can't wait to see your get up as a Character from Rocky Horror! Hope I get a chance to do the challenge!

Happy New Year all!

01-01-2012, 02:34 PM
I'll post it in the other Thead Linda

01-02-2012, 01:13 PM

This is what I have till now. I am stuck with the shadows on the white table.
Can anybody please help? Also please let me know what else should I change.


Pat Isaac
01-02-2012, 01:20 PM
This is quite nice. You certainly have the texture of the cake. I might add a little blue to the gray shadows.


01-02-2012, 01:35 PM
Wow Doobi you are quick. I haven't even found time to think about which one I want to do this month.

Wonderful rendering of the objects. I'm guessing your light source is from the left, front. I that case I would think you should have some shadowing under the grapes, plate and cake. The blue between the cake and grapes, I think should be in shadow.

As an artist you can make the light source come from anywhere you want. As a personal preference, I prefer either a left or right light source rather than a frontal source. I like having strong unambigious shadowing in my paintings. Of course backlighting can be extremely dramatic.

That is all just an aside. You have a wonderful piece. I just think it would benefit from some strong shadowing.

01-02-2012, 02:21 PM
Hi Doobie - and Welcome to Oil Pastel Forum - always good to see new members in out happy family.

Grats also on being first.

The actual light came in through the window on the left. One thing to remember is that shadows are rarely black and white. Putting a little of the complementary colour into them can help.

Great work so far esp on the cake.

01-03-2012, 02:36 AM
Doobi, glad to see you're doing a challenge, great job on the cake- I agree you nailed the texture down well-- you also changed the perspective so that's why you're having a little trouble with the shadow, the reference is coming at it from a very shallow angle, like you're stooping down with your chin on the table and viewing it, yours is more of a steeper downward angle from above like you're sitting down at the table and about to eat it, so you'll need to adjust the angles of your shadows to account for the perspective change if you wanted it to be realistic.... but I would probably just skip the whole table on this one and let the plate speak for itself-- forget the shadows :) :)

01-03-2012, 08:39 AM
Hi everyone and Happy New Year!

This year starts with food:lol:

Lin, great references, thanks for hosting

Doobi, very nice work, I like the cake texture very much:thumbsup:

Here is my take, Sennelier oil pastels on 9x12" Sennelier oil pastel pad, actual painting size is about 8x10"


Thank you in advance for your comments.

01-03-2012, 09:04 AM
Well done Vlad. Wonderful textures.

01-03-2012, 11:06 AM
Vlad -I like what you have doen with this Vlad - especially the violet that works particulalrly well with the grapes. Nice detail considering ths size of work and softness of the Senns. Lovely light.

I chose the refs as they all have interesting light effects so i gues this month is very much about light and shadow. I always find it is good to have an area on which to focus when doing a challenge.

01-03-2012, 02:56 PM
I think I am going to try something different this year and stray from my usual portraits. I'm going to try drawing your very pretty rose. I have never attempted to draw a flower using OP - so I'm a little nervous. Wish me luck...

And Vlad and Doobi -- very nice! You guys are quick! LOL

01-03-2012, 03:06 PM
Go for it Tam. Wishing you great good luck.

01-03-2012, 03:12 PM
Oh! The rose is my favourite; will see what I can do. Just got some OP's to practice with. All the photos are great.

Pat Isaac
01-03-2012, 03:50 PM
Nice.y done, Vlad.....great cake.


01-09-2012, 12:32 PM
Since I had too much cake over the holidays, I decided on the landscape.


11 by 14 inches on 140 pound watercolor paper. (I managed a couple of hours free and the watercolor block was handy) Gray Pas Specialists.

Lin I wanted something to lead the eye into the painting rather than all the horizontal bands in the photo, that didn't encourage the eye to travel around the painting. I also added a water course for a little more visual interest.

The middle greens are a bit intense and probably need to be toned down a bit. This was the first time I saw the painting in daylight. Under house lighting the greens were a bit more subdued

The distant hill may be a bit warmer than they should be.

Anyway this is it for the time being. Suggestions for improvement welcome.


Pat Isaac
01-09-2012, 04:35 PM
Nice painting, Hal. The expanse of the landscape shows nicely. I like the warmth on the distant hills and I do agree with the middle greens. Nice additions...


01-10-2012, 06:41 AM
Wow Hal, that's pretty awesome-- I like the greens, there are just enough shades and tones to give it a nice feel, I also like the diagonal lead in's, as opposed to the horizontals of the reference--- I was sitting down to do this one, too, but the horizontals sort of stopped me, so I was trying out different crops to bring more diagonals into it-- this is cool, that it's not cropped, yet is interesting.

Too bad about all of the previous posts disappearing :(

01-10-2012, 09:30 AM
Thank you Pat and Paul.

01-10-2012, 03:50 PM
Oh! The rose is my favourite; will see what I can do. Just got some OP's to practice with. All the photos are great.

Hi and welcome to OP. This is a great opportunity for you to try out those new Ops.

I've done mine -

The size of the paper didnt' fit in wiht my composition so I extended the mug tree and cups upwards. Turned the right mug around to the bottom instead ofopen end. I extended the lines to set up the mug.

i almost entitled it the 'Grapes of Wrath' after the emotion I felt whilst trying to replicate the beautiful light patterns and luminosity from the window.

'Kitchen Lunch'
9" x 12" Colourfix Australian Grey


01-10-2012, 04:32 PM
OMG did we just lose more days of posting?

My landscape is gone and we have a gap from Pat's posting on 3 January and Lin's Posting today, jan 10.

I guess we still have problems.

Lin: Wonderful job on the cake

Pat Isaac
01-10-2012, 04:38 PM
Wonderful, Lin and the cake is perfect!

Good grief.....I'll have to tell them we are still losing posts...not sure why.


01-10-2012, 05:51 PM
Hal i haven't seen yoru landscape

It might be an idea to post agin if any of you have done work here. If they get them posted twice it is their own fault for messing us around. The very nature of Wet Canvas is for artists to display work for feedback - for that we need to be able to see them and not have them disappear!

Thanks Pat and Hal

Pat Isaac
01-10-2012, 05:54 PM
They say not to post again, but maybe you could and so what if there are duplicate posts. We can deal with it better.


01-10-2012, 05:59 PM
Just for Lin, I'll post my landscape again.

11 by 14 inches, 140 # watercolor paper and all Gray Pas Specialists.

I'll leave out my self critique this time.

Lin I wanted something to lead the eye into the painting and I added a water course for some added interest. I felt all the horizontal bands in the reference photo were eye blockers.

Suggestions for improvement welcome...... well accepted.:D

01-10-2012, 06:41 PM
Hal - I like the way you 'zoomed' in to avoid the road. If it had been wetter there may well have been a water course. The path leads in and improves the composition. Nice aerial perspective.

01-11-2012, 02:43 AM
Maybe the Thai floods had something to do with the disappearing posts. :D

Pat Isaac
01-11-2012, 07:59 AM
Thanks, Hal. Let's hope it stays there now.


01-11-2012, 01:53 PM
I haven't posted in here for a very long time but while in the process of lurking I was inspired to drag out the old OP's and give it a try. OP's have never been one of my best mediums but here it is anyway. From my 5x7 sketchbook using Senneliars, Expressionist, and Caran d' Ache neopastels.


Pat Isaac
01-11-2012, 04:14 PM
Well, I'd say you haven't lost your touch. Nice work on the petals.


01-11-2012, 06:18 PM
Sherry, that is a beautiful piece. Glad to have you looking in and participating.

01-12-2012, 12:44 PM
Sherry - that is gorgeous! Well done

It is so refreshing to see so many new members having a go at the challenges.

01-14-2012, 12:10 PM
Hal your landscape reappeared but my subscription to the thread vanished off the my WC

This is getting very annoying now.

01-14-2012, 05:14 PM
Lin my first painting reappeared however, the reference photos have disappeared.

Anyway here is my version of the wild woods.

Erengi oil pastels on 8 by 10 inch canvas panel.

Suggestions for improvement welcome.

Shirl Parker
01-15-2012, 11:29 AM
I can see all the reference photos????

01-15-2012, 12:07 PM
Ok - who stole Page 3?

01-15-2012, 12:08 PM
Wow, some great still lifes and landscape. Normally I would go straight for a still life but I attempted to do the rose, something I've not done before but am not very happy with it so have abandoned it:( . Am attaching anyway to show I am having a go! Might do another one on less textured paper or with an underpainting..... current effort on ligh pink Murano paper with neopastels. Ann

01-15-2012, 12:11 PM
Have tried to upload a pic but it doesn't seem to have appeared. Will leave it a while in case it pops up. Great pics so far!

01-15-2012, 01:13 PM
I can see all the reference photos????

For some reason, I'm unable to access any post prior to post #12.

01-15-2012, 03:16 PM
Thank you Hal, Lin, Tam and Pat.

Hal, beautiful landscape, nice feel of distance
Lin, great lunch, especially I like the cake textures

01-15-2012, 04:04 PM
My WC highlighted this thread saying VLadK was last person to post. I came here and can't see his post?

01-15-2012, 04:05 PM
now I have posted his post (and page 3 ) appeared - this is just freaky - now it's here, now it's gone , now it's back. :confused: :eek: :confused:

01-15-2012, 04:10 PM
Hal - I'm lovign what you have doen with the wild winter forest.

Ann - It looks liek a good start and a brave attempt. Not easy one to do. If you have a bad surface and are stuck for room for nore layers life isn't easy. If it's becoming a struggle maybe restart. whichever makes you happier.

I too did the rose but haven't scanned it yet. i used Neopastels and because I didn't have a light pink had to use vilets and purples which were SO wrong,. I bought what was supposed to be a pink, ultramarine pink, but that too was violet. I had to blend with water, which I hate doing as they always seem to go dull and grey. Was a pain - not sure if I'll post it yet. If I'd had a proper pink I wouldn't have had to mess around trying to mix colours on the actual painting.

01-15-2012, 07:44 PM
Lin, I think we're in a "Twilight Zone" episode. The references are back for me now.:eek:

01-16-2012, 03:53 AM
so do you think we should just re-post our works on this that were deleted or wait?

01-16-2012, 05:52 AM
they say to wait but they also have a thread asking you to report if your post is missing.

It's a pain in the buttsky.

01-16-2012, 09:19 AM
Ann, I'm sorry I missed you. Your rose is lovely.

01-17-2012, 03:04 PM
Thanks Hal. I will have another go at the rose on some different paper. I really like your landscape.
So far all my landscapes have ended up in the bin but I won't give up trying to do those either! Have just started a new job so been a bit busy with that.

Pat Isaac
01-17-2012, 03:40 PM
Wow, I actually have page 3 now!!!!!! and 4.
I love that landscape, Hal. Great feeling.
Beautiful rose, Ann and a larger image would be nice.
Do not repost images just yet, PJ. There is a thread at the top of the forum where you can post your missing posts.


01-18-2012, 08:16 AM
pat sorry the image was so small.i was playing with image resizing but it didn't display it correctly until after it was pasted. I will know for the next time. :)

01-18-2012, 01:27 PM
Here we go, a larger one - can't seem to get it smaller now! grr

01-18-2012, 01:29 PM
Ann well done.

It has a lovely spontaneous quality about it.

01-18-2012, 01:33 PM
Thank you Hal. I like 'spontaneous' very much.:))

Pat Isaac
01-18-2012, 03:59 PM
I agree with Hal and it is nice to see a larger pic.


01-18-2012, 09:55 PM
Ann, your rose is lovely. The form is exquisite, beautiful depth and color. Well done!

Hal, I like both of your landscapes. Gorgeous. They're so cheery and sunny!

LOTS of beautiful versions of Cake and Grapes, a very healthy lunch since it's got fruit in it. Right? Lin, yours is superb, really like your translucent grapes and crumbly cake texture. All of them came out nice. Sorry about names, I went through four pages of this challenge without taking notes and my memory's a bit foggy. I just remember Lin did one of the good cake and grapes ones.

01-19-2012, 02:05 PM
Thanks Robert - I ave a rose to upload too although I'm not too happy with it.;

01-19-2012, 02:36 PM
Managed to scan -

It is a square

'Garden Rose'
7" x 7"
Winsor & Newton Cotman 300gsm
Neocolour II Aqua Oil Pastels

was hard to blend too. Used water but the blues and mauves were too strong.

I'm not too happy with it. I didn't have the right pinks. I had a mauve pink and an orangey pink.

01-19-2012, 03:27 PM
Awsome Rose Lin. wonderful feel of light. Love the highlights.

01-24-2012, 02:50 PM
I really enjoyed your paintings in this challenge. Great work! I also had a go with the wonderful rose.


01-24-2012, 03:05 PM
Evalisa, what a delightful piece of work.

It's great to have you join us.

I look forward to seeing more of your work.

Pat Isaac
01-24-2012, 03:37 PM
Nicely done, Evalissa and great work on the petals.


01-27-2012, 09:12 AM
After all the wonderful rose paintings I'm reluctant to show my effort in comparison to the roses of Lin, Evalisa, Ann and Sherry. Mine, in comparison, is a bet heavy handed.

It's not quite as focused as it should be and it photographed a couple of values lighter than IRL.
8 by 10 inches, on Canson, black art panel, Erengi's oil pastels.

Suggestions for improvement welcome.

Pat Isaac
01-27-2012, 09:16 AM
I really like the bold strokes you have on the petals, Hal. Looks great on the dark ground. I tend to want to crop a little of the left side.


01-27-2012, 09:26 AM
Agreed on the cropping Pat. :o I was in a bit of a rush and I just started drawing without a plan and wound up with too space on the left side. Since I don't do non standard frames, my 8 by 10 painting suffers from a lack of cropping.

I rushed my rose into the thread, just to get it in. I'll reevaluate the piece a bit later. Perhaps a square format???:rolleyes:

01-27-2012, 10:37 AM
Pat, this image is cropped down to about 6 by 6 inches.

01-27-2012, 02:35 PM
Eval - hi and welcom to OP - dont' forget to go to OP talk and introduce yoruself to our family in theOil Gusher - we love to see new people. I realy like the rose - it stands out well on the background

halthepainter - what DO you mean>? That rose is delightful and I love the reflections which adds great depth.

Sorry I've been a bit late posting I've been away on a museum/exhibition break in Liverpool.

01-27-2012, 09:27 PM
Wow, really gorgeous paintings this month!!!:clap: :clap: Mine is not quite that good, still learning this medium, hopefully I can get some pointers?
I did the landscape various Op's on mi tentes paper..:o http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Jan-2012/71359-OP_challenge-Jan.0127.12-landscape.jpg

01-28-2012, 01:10 PM
hi Tammy - good to see you joining in. Nice shaping and forming.