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Old 11-30-2019, 02:22 PM
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Mira88 Mira88 is offline
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December Oil Pastel Challenge and Chat

Hi there, friends oil pastelists, and welcome to the December challenge!

There are two kinds of challenge, hope something appeals to you:

#1: Find a reference and paint it using colors that are very different from the reference. For example, if it is a portrait, you can paint a green face (with more or less correct values) and violet hair. I see it as a way to have fun, to play with uncommon for a subject colors, to DARE use bold colors and make a painting with a character. Please, add a personal touch to it

If you find that too extreme, you can change the colors slightly: say, painting a green forest with turquoise and neon green colors... or turning a scene with cool colors into a scene with warm colors thus changing the mood.

#2: December is a cold and dark winter month for most of us and one is yearning for some warmth, sun and feeling of comfort. At least we in St. Petersburg do: in December we only get 7 daily hours of sunlight - if the sun shows up!

So let's paint something that brings us the feeling of warmth and comfort. Something that we find cosy... Are you familiar with the Scandinavian concept of "hygge"? It is all things that are supposed to help Scandinavians get over the long, dark and cold winter: mostly candles, comfy clothes and hot drinks.

I've gathered some photos which carry this "hygge" feeling for me, but you might wanna paint something that gives YOU this feeling. Maybe it's an apple pie that your Mum baked for you? Or your favorite pet looking you in the eyes? Looking forward to hearing what warms you guys during the cold season!















Seems like a bullfinch sitting on a branch with bright red berries of a rowan-tree (wild ash?) with snowflakes in the air is a typical Soviet/Russian thing - because I failed to find any references expect for some old Soviet postcards. It's a pity because it's a beautiful image. For Russians the red-breasted bullfinch is a symbol of winter season. Especially if it's sitting on a rowan-tree

All the previous references are from unsplash and pixabay, and this one is from WC Library and the author is actually sundiver

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Get inspired with various artists' beautiful OP paintings in my blog's gallery: https://oilpastelist.wordpress.com/gallery/ the blog is in Russian, but you can still enjoy the art done in our favorite medium! <3
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Old 11-30-2019, 02:23 PM
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Re: December Oil Pastel Challenge and Chat

And these were all taken by me and almost all - in St. Petersburg:





Sorry, couldn't choose between these two don't mind the copyright sign, it's my website. I took this photo several years ago for a Christmas article on my website, but now I only have these pics with the website's name on them





My parents' Maine Coon called Mason:



Mason looking out of the window. Could be more fun to replace the summer to the winter!





You might wonder what's cosy about this picture? It's the cafe's name It says "Happiness" in Russian. I was walking the downtown on a chilly rainy day and saw this cafe. The name was like a warm ray across this nasty weather.

Let's paint December bright with our oil pastels! looking forward to your works, always nice to see WIP photos =)
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C & C welcome, I intend to get better with OPs
Get inspired with various artists' beautiful OP paintings in my blog's gallery: https://oilpastelist.wordpress.com/gallery/ the blog is in Russian, but you can still enjoy the art done in our favorite medium! <3

Last edited by Mira88 : 11-30-2019 at 02:27 PM.
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Old 11-30-2019, 10:24 PM
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Re: December Oil Pastel Challenge and Chat

Thanks for hosting with a great selection of references!
As for the cold, we're having a heat wave now with the warmest temperature measured at 47*C in the southern part of the country
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Old 12-01-2019, 09:42 AM
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Re: December Oil Pastel Challenge and Chat

Thanks for hosting the challenge this month, Mira! Lots of fun stuff to think about. I am trying to finish my last entry for November, and am really hoping to find more painting time this month.

Christel, we sometimes forget about your part of the world. A heat wave sounds so opposite of what's in the Northern hemisphere!
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Old 12-01-2019, 05:24 PM
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Re: December Oil Pastel Challenge and Chat

Mira, very nice photos and lots of interesting effects & things to paint. Love all the Christmas things you have selected to paint. It's so lovely to see your parent's Maine Coon with Santa's hat! I dressed my cat with a red hat this week. I wish I wasn't so busy this month but I hope to find some moments to paint.


Christel, oooh 47*C!!!!
We're covered by snow.
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Old 12-03-2019, 07:36 AM
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Re: December Oil Pastel Challenge and Chat

A cool challenge, Mira, made easy by combining 2 references. 8.5x11.5
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Old 12-08-2019, 08:54 AM
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Re: December Oil Pastel Challenge and Chat

Christel, love it! Combining two turned out excellent. Lots of talent here in this painting and love the way cat is posing. Well done!
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Old 12-08-2019, 10:22 AM
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Re: December Oil Pastel Challenge and Chat

Thanks Moscatel! Appreciate it!
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Old 12-09-2019, 11:51 PM
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Re: December Oil Pastel Challenge and Chat

My version of the cat under the blanket
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Old 12-10-2019, 06:59 PM
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Re: December Oil Pastel Challenge and Chat

I am also in the middle of summer, thought it was really chilly morning just the other day. Min temperature was 20 degrees C. Creating something chilly is a perfect antidote. Love the selections Mira. Its going to take me a while to choose.
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Old 12-10-2019, 07:02 PM
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Re: December Oil Pastel Challenge and Chat

You have inspired me Christel. Even though i avoid painting animals, i am a cat lover. This one is calling to me.
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Old 12-10-2019, 08:05 PM
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Re: December Oil Pastel Challenge and Chat

I love your two cats, Christel! Just love the purple blanket. So cute! I like your idea of combining the references in the first one.

I'm getting one going myself, finally. Fun challenges here!
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Old 12-10-2019, 09:58 PM
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Re: December Oil Pastel Challenge and Chat

Thanks Jennie and Terri! Looking forward to seeing your cat versions!
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Old 12-11-2019, 05:23 PM
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Re: December Oil Pastel Challenge and Chat

Oh, Christel, I didn't mean to imply I was working on a cat painting, but I see it does sound that way.

No, I've been working more on people lately, I'm very weak in that area. I don't even want to try for realism, as I actually prefer fantasy or Picasso-like portraits.

I took advantage of Mira's challenge: paint something "using colors that are very different from the reference. For example, if it is a portrait, you can paint a green face (with more or less correct values) and violet hair. I see it as a way to have fun, to play with uncommon for a subject colors, to DARE use bold colors and make a painting with a character."

I found a portrait ref I liked in the RIL, by WC member Andeera. Looked at some different types of backgrounds online, and came up with this:









Here's my buildup. The sketch in soft pastel pencils, and a couple wips:



















...and a couple of closeups:













Paper is 9x12" Arches oil paper. Base layer of Mungyos, with lots of Neopastels, Senns, and a few Cray-Pas Specialists in there.

This one came together very quickly. It was really freeing not to have to be careful. Loved the challenge!
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Old 12-11-2019, 10:26 PM
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Re: December Oil Pastel Challenge and Chat

Wow, love it!
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