Pastels are a lovely medium to work in - they span both drawing and painting. In this six-week course you will be introduced to the different sorts of pastels available on the market and the variety of papers or grounds to choose from. There will be demonstrations on the techniques needed for both oil pastels and soft pastels, how to successfully build a pastel painting, loads of tips and tricks that will help you in other areas of your artwork and help with how to protect and frame your work at the end. Suitable for those just taking up art and also experienced artists wishing to try a different medium. Bring along any pictures that inspire you and Kate will help you create your own masterpieces. Includes colour handouts for future reference, paper swatches, tea, coffee and cake every week!

NEXT COURSE: Please contact Kate if you are interested in this course and would like to book a place on the next one.

COST: £216 for 6 classes of 3 hours


Brief Course Outline

Week 1 - Introduction to pastels, supports and papers, tools for the job

Week 2 - Initial drawings, pouncing, establishing tonal areas, blending the first layer, the colour wheel, colour mixing and how to remove mistakes

Week 3 - Building up, creating depth and texture using different marks - fur and foliage

Week 4 - Oil pastel techniques including sgraffito and wax resist

Week 5 - Mixed media, underpainting and reviving old paintings

Week 6 - Finishing off, fixing and framing.


Materials List

A board or table easel to rest on; graphite drawing pencils; eraser; any hard or soft pastels, pastel pencils or oil pastels you may have plus any pastel paper. In the first week we will cover all you might need on the course, small paper samples will be provided and pastels for you to try before you buy. Bring pictures for inspiration.

You may also need masking tape, cotton buds, paperstumps, craft knife or pencil sharpener, razor blade, putty rubber or electric rubber and stencil, sandpaper, stiff paintbrush, tracing paper, pins, cotton wool pads.


Very interesting course, probably the best of the ones I’ve done. Pastels made me love painting.
— Roneta C, 2019
Kate’s courses are always brilliant and this was no exception - packed full of information with demos that make it look so easy.
— Lesley S, 2019
A great course giving you a good foundation to build on in your own style ... and great cakes!
— Christine D, 2019
Kate nurtures you so that those with little ability produce fabulous works of art.
— Lynne M, 2019
Kate makes this course a lot of fun and you leave having learned!
— Paul N, 2019
Great fun - you will surprise yourself with what you can achieve with Kate’s week by week tuition and demonstrations.
— Sarah C, 2019
Another brilliant course. Kate is so inspiring and encouraging. I always learn so much on her courses. I have learned so much about pastels and about myself.
— Morag G, 2019
On day one I struggled to understand this medium but by lesson two I started grasping the possibilities and by lesson three I was in love. I’ve grown in leaps and bounds under Kate’s expert eye.
— Brooke E, 2019
Kate is a fantastic teacher, this is the second course I have attended and I’ve surprised myself with what I’ve achieved with Kate’s guidance and encouragement.
— Libby S, 2018
What a flexible medium pastel turned out to be - much easier to use than I feared and success seemed achievable quite quickly!
— Gillian H, 2016
Kate is always very patient and supportive and has a knack of seeing what needs to be done to improve the drawing.
— Lesley S, 2016

Student Galleries & Comments

Click on image or title to see a variety of students' work from each course.
Please note that everybody’s work is included and most were complete beginners when they started this course, so look to see how much can be achieved…


I have thoroughly enjoyed the class and thought they were an entertaining fun group of people, all so different. Please can they all come back again! Although it is the second time I have done this course it has been a useful reminder of techniques. I have also picked up hints on composition, colour mixing and focal points that I did not take in the first time round.
— Marian W, 2016
From a pastel novice I now have a basic understanding of tools and the medium. Would have liked longer!
— Iain J, 2016
Kate is very encouraging and positive.
— Ray F, 2016
I did this course as a beginner in pastels and I have learned a great deal - and enjoyed it all. What I learned in particular: to choose paper with care, mixed media and sgraffito. I wanted to create a pet portrait for my daughter and explore painting with pastels which I have achieved.
— Juliette L
The Pastel Course is an excellent starting point for learning the techniques required. I enjoyed learning to apply the pastels in layers to see what I could achieve. The presentations are great - informative and well organised. With Kate anything and everything is possible.
— Julie O
Very friendly - great course - anyone starting pastels will gain and learn a lot. At the start of the course I just wanted to use soft pastels, the presentations were excellent and I thoroughly enjoyed each week. I liked the part using warm colour or ink to enhance the paintings.
— Ann W
I wanted to loosen up my paintings with the use of soft pastels. The demos were very good and the handouts were very informative for future reference
— Tina N
Excellent!
— Francis P
I really enjoyed the course and have made some stunning improvements with my trees by using an oil pastel with a chalk one on top and it provides an amazing leafy look! Thank you so much.
— Laurie H-L
Kate makes the class very enjoyable, I always learn new skills - and the cakes are a plus!!
— Jenny B
It is a well thought out and well presented course. Excellent as usual.
— David W

Art Class Gift Voucher

Treat someone you love. Available in any amount as whole or part payment towards any chosen course, class or workshop.

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