Painting course, landscape in pastel


Two day painting course, landscape in pastel

July 2016

The weather wasn’t good on the first day, but I was familiar with the spot where I intended us to work in the afternoon. I had already taken photos and this gave us the opportunity in the studio to look at the structure of the scene before heading out.

An interpretation of colour in the landscape seems to often make a more successful painting. I’ve recently found to my surprise that working on dark green pastelmat paper can give some very interesting results. it obliges us to push the colours in other directions, away from the green. However I never know how to answer the students question of ‘what colour should I work on’ The ground colour has a vital influence on the finished colour harmonies, but I believe it should be an individual choice.

There are so many beautiful places around Catus, but it isn’t so easy to find a spot where we can park to unload the easels and tables and pastel boxes and boards, which is shady and where we can paint undisturbed! I thought I had found the ideal place where we had a choice of views but unfortunately the last criteria wasn’t fulfilled this time. The local farmer arrived just as we’d set up and we we had to scatter into the bushes taking our equipment with us. Sure enough he was back along the lane precariously balancing hay bails half an hour later.

It’s so interesting to see different interpretations of the same scene. I think these examples show some of the versatility of pastel technique, particularly in it’s mark-making possibilities.


P1040034 P1040048 gyuio gyuo hgli hgo



The next day, the weather still being iffy, we elected to work in the garden, to allow us to dive inside if necessary. My garden isn’t looking too marvellous at the moment, but everyone boldly spread-out looking through view-finders.

P1040052 P1040043 P1040037


Here is a nice comentary sent by Cayla, a beginner in pastel, (but my no means a novice to art) which she has allowed me to publish:

‘Thank you for your most interesting and instructive pastel course- the two days were totally engrossing and I am now captivated by the medium. Your encouragement and clearly structured teaching methods were great. The demonstration was a excellent introduction- many thanks. I look forward to next year.




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