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Pastels for Beginners video course

Do you want to learn how to use soft pastels, or enliven your current pastel work? If so, then A Beginner’s Guide to Pastels is for you.

The course is designed to complement my book, ‘Pastels for the Absolute Beginner’. You don’t need to have the video and the book, but they work really well together.

I have divided this course into 2 parts so that it is useful for more of you to use…

 If you are a complete beginner to pastels, I would definitely do parts 1 and 2.
This would also be useful to those of you who have dabbled a bit with soft pastels, but would like to understand them more.

Part 2 on its own is for those of you who feel that you are past that complete beginner stage, and want to develop your skills. See below for more details.

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I have divided this course into 2 parts so that it is useful for more of you to use…..

If you are a complete beginner to pastels, I would definitely advise you to do parts 1 and 2 
This would also be useful to those of you who have dabbled a little bit with soft pastels, but would like to understand them more.

Part 2 on its own is for those of you who feel that you are past that complete beginner stage, and want to develop your skills.

Part 1
In part 1 we will be looking at different types of pastels and surfaces, as well as different surface colours. There are exercises for different techniques, drawing on mid toned paper and how to vary the pressure of your marks. 
We will be finishing with a project about choosing and mixing colours from the box, with a landscape piece to put that into practice.
Part 1 should give you a really good foundation and the confidence to go onto part 2.

Part 1 duration 2.10.38 hrs

Part 2
Part 2 consists of 4 projects, starting with the last one from Part 1, how to choose and mix colours, and use them in a landscape. 
(Feel free to skip this, if you are coming straight from the first video. However, it is a great refresher and a warm up for the rest of the course.) The other projects are; a woodland scene, a lovely dog, and a child playing on the beach.
All include tips on mark making, textures and drawing.
So there is a range of subject matter with a range of techniques.

Part 2 duration 2.24.19 hrs

Parts 1 and 2 combined
If you do Parts 1 and 2 combined, you will need to skip the intro which appears on both courses, as well as the Rocky Landscape project, although this could be a great refresher if you have had a break.
I divided the course into two at the beginning of ‘lockdown’, when things were rather tricky, and a bit of repetition was unavoidable. I felt it was needed to create video courses that would be helpful for complete beginners and people with more experience.

Thankfully I have had the help, expertise and infinite patience of the team at Art Tutor and of Steve at The Cube Lab to finally get these videos on my website, and I am delighted with the result! I hope that you enjoy them.

Parts 1 and 2 combined duration 4.34.57 hrs

 

Pastels

There are many brands of pastel out there, and you can do the course with any good quality soft pastels. The Unison pastels I am using are mostly those in our New Pastel School small starter set, with a few extras for the projects. I use this box as I know that it contains a really good mix of bright and neutral colours, and lights, medium and darks. Nel Whatmore and I designed this colour range for our students to use on our courses and as a good base for any pastel collection.
You can get these here.

I also use a few other pastel colours that are not in that set, including, for the dog project a dark rich brown, a red brown and a raw sienna. For the child on the beach I used a turquoise blue. Remember if you do not have the exact colour that you need, just pick another that is the right tone.

Other drawing media

Willow charcoal
Conte crayons in burnt sienna, raw sienna type colours, dark brown and black
Pastel pencils in dark brown and white

Surface

Any pastel paper could be used, but I used sugar paper for sketching. Winsor paper by Winsor & Newton, and Canson paper.
For two of the projects, I also used Colourfix primer, which can be bought in pots or as sheets of Colourfix Paper. If you are in the UK the best place to get this is here.

Misc

Soft tissue, small plastic scraper, and a pencil eraser

Prices

Part 1; £18
Part 2; £18
Parts 1 & 2 if bought together; £30

The reference photographs that I used for the projects, and the final pieces can be downloaded here.