Personal Challenge – Rocks/Boulders Studies: #5 Riverbed Rocks

Thank you for checking in, as I continue on this torturous journey of painting rocks.  I’m forcing to do something that is so uncomfortable and a real challenge.  Hard to wrap my mind around the shapes and colors of rocks and boulders.

Here is #5 of my studies, Riverbed Rocks – this oil pastel (4×6) is a snippet of a reference river scene on purpose, making sure that my concentration was on rocks and not too much else.  Although the river bank reflections were fun to play with.  Used gray tinted mi-teintes pastel paper and mainly Sennelier oil pastels, for the thin lines and edging clay shapers were used to push the OPs into crevices and corners.

Someone asked me if I’m using anything to help draw the rocks in these studies – my answer is no, no tracing or grids on purpose.  I’m drawing what I see and shapes aren’t exact, but are rocks ever perfect without machines carving into them?  The aspect of drawing is a good exercise to get comfortable with the sizes and shapes.

This is a real challenge, can’t imagine I have 10 more studies to go ~

Riverbed Rocks

Riverbed Rocks



About Mary

Oil Pastelist
This entry was posted in Challenges: Subject Matter Studies, OPs New Paintings, Rocks/Boulders and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to Personal Challenge – Rocks/Boulders Studies: #5 Riverbed Rocks

  1. VEry, very good, Mary.

  2. I can’t believe you were challenged by the rocks. I guess everyone has challenges in their art. I certainly do. These turned out so well. The lights and darks make the shapes work really well. Love this.

  3. violetski says:

    Love whole painting dear Mary!❤️
    Love rocks color,sky reflection in water❤️❤️❤️

  4. aFrankAngle says:

    As a nonartist, we would something like painting a rock can’t be that hard … BUT …. when one examines the details, we learn … thus know better than to say something that ridiculous.

  5. sefeniak says:

    No two boulders or rocks are the same. Not that I have seen and I do a lot of rock hunting for my pond. You are capturing them well Mary! I feel like jumping from boulder to boulder in this one and having some fun. The water is reflective and welcoming too. Who would have thought that I would be Looking forward to seeing more rocks and boulders?? 🙂

    • Mary says:

      Susan you made my day! As I sit here scraping and painting our famous flat and slanted slabs of rocks in Maine! Thanks so much – have a beautiful day.

  6. Francesca says:

    Love this, Mary! I feel like I can jump on them and enjoy the view. The reflection is spectacular.

  7. Gallivanta says:

    These rocks show that you are up to the challenge, Mary. It doesn’t look as though you struggled at all.

  8. mrsmrs says:

    Your ancient fan is not disappointed.
    (I’m trying to recall if I ever have been …) 😀

  9. Mary – the colours on these rocks are amazing. Love it!

  10. This is probably my favorite for now! Each and every aspect of this study is wonderful, love, love the colors and how prominent the rocks are in this particular scene and especially how you used your tools and color combinations to give shape, form and beautiful edges to the rocks. Wonderfully executed indeed!

    • Mary says:

      Thank you Eva – this was a good learning experience. In the reference image the rocks were very much subdued in color and prominence, but I wanted to move beyond the drabness and create a little bit of punch w/color and dramatize their appearance. Really appreciate your feedback, #6 coming shortly.

  11. Ah ha ha… I can see the ‘torturous’ but I can also tell you it was worth it 100%! Those rocks can concur!!! 🙂 xx

  12. Painting for Joy says:

    Mary this study is wonderful! Art is not meant to be perfect, otherwise we would just take a photo, right? Love the reflections in the water and all the colors in the rocks!!

    • Mary says:

      Thanks Rhonda – glad you enjoyed this one. And you are right, an old master that I’ve been reading pretty much said the same thing. I’ll do introducing the book soon. Thanks again!

  13. Mary, these are good works – keep going!

  14. Healing Grief says:

    These rocks may be a challenge for you Mary but its beautiful art to us. You are very good, Thankyou for sharing.

  15. Challenge is one thing, but torture is another….does it belong in art? Who wouldn’t forgive you for postponing this particular discipline to a more auspicious time?

    • Mary says:

      Hi Cynthia, sorry – probably poor choice of words on my part. It’s more extreme focus and discipline in managing the oil pastels than anything else. The rock is saying look at me, don’t fret just paint and the OPs have another thing in mind all together. I have all 10 next studies all picked out – wouldn’t think of giving up on the goal of studying rocks, although your words tempt me! Just kidding, I keep on – keeping on. Have a wonderful evening.

  16. I think they are looking great Mary.

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