Re: Something new...and I need help...
Hi Tamara, that is a beautiful scene.
A watercolor underpainting is a good way to go. With an underpainting you won't get the annoying white sparkles if you don't get a solid covering with your oil pastels.
Next (at least in my opinion) you can have a colorful reference photo that you try to copy religiously and it just doesn't seem to wow anyone. It's usually because there is so much color that nothing really stands out.
I would create my image with a dominate bright area around one of the normal focal points and make it pop and rest of the painting could be colorful but subdued and darker around the bottom corners.
I would lay in my darks and paint my lights over the darks.
William Alexander the old PBS painter, before Bob Ross, used to say: "You have to have your darks to show the lights." In other words, if the whole painting is light and bright, nothing really stands out. Add a few deep darks and the lights pop.
Also I paint top down, back to front as a painting strategy. (See my sequence of work, I just added to this month's oil pastel challenge)
These are just my ways and each artist finds his or her own way.
I look forward to seeing what you do with that beautiful reference.
As to shadows, if you have a very large set of oil pastels you will find darker versions of the same hue. I often use my deepest darkest blue, and indigo, or an almost blackish green for my darkest shadows and then blend in other colors to adjust the values. Black can be a dead color and if I use it, I will often try to mix in some other hue in with it to liven it.
Getting the values correct are more important than matching hues. The values have to be right to get the painting to read well.
Last edited by halthepainter : 06-13-2012 at 10:01 AM.