Beginning Pastels Zoom Workshop

July 11 - August 1, 2020

Instructor: Susan Whiteman

July 11: Welcome to the World of Pastels! The first class will be a materials overview, and live demonstration. The demo will be made using a white Pastelbord panel, which is noted on your supply list for the class. The demo will include different methods of underpainting as well as showing direct application of pastels without an underpainting.

July 18: Working with Reference Photos and a Review of the Technical Aspects of Creating a Successful Painting: Students will have their reference photos on hand. Topics will include composition, value (light and dark), atmospheric perspective and bringing your audience into your painting. Instruction will include how to use a homemade grid or a phone app grid to transfer sketches to the surface you’re using for your painting. Homework: Getting your sketch done and transferring it to your painting surface.

July 25: Putting Pastel to Paper: Take a deep breath! We’re going to start painting today! Have all your materials at hand. Class will include a quick review of how to get started.

August 1: Finishing up and Critique of Paintings: This class will include pointers for each student to enable them to work out problem areas and finish their paintings. Students are welcome show their work and have it critiqued by the instructor.

Facebook Group for the Class: If students are amenable to joining a private Facebook group for
the class, they will be invited to show progress photos of their sketches and paintings.


  • Pencils
  • Eraser
  • Drawing paper of any sort
  • Assorted paint brushes---flats and rounds—just a couple. One 1” flat or watercolor brush, 1
  • Round Brush—Size 4 or smaller. These do not have to be expensive and can be anything you have on hand.
  • A small container to hold water
  • Vinyl or latex gloves
  • Paper Towels
  • Masking tape 1.5” wide
  • A painting shirt or apron to protect your clothes
  • Any soft pastels that you have. (Not oil pastels). If you don’t have any, NU-Pastels are great starters and not expensive. A set of 24 will give enough of an assortment to start with.
  • A desktop easel. If you don’t have one, here’s a quick YouTube video to show you how to make one out of a cardboard box: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihtPlQN6Iko
  • Have a few reference photos to choose from to use for your subject matter. Landscapes, florals, still life, pets---it’s up to you. My demo will be a landscape painting.

About Susan:

Susan is a juried member of the Pastel Society of America and has been teaching her popular “Beginning Pastels” classes for many years. She is a board member of the Adirondack Pastel Society, a member of the New Hampshire Pastel Society. Her pastel painting “Our Little Town” won 1 st Place in the Adirondack Artists Guild’s 2019 Regional Juried Show.

She is an exhibiting member of NorthWind Fine Arts Gallery in Saranac Lake, New York, and has had work shown in Gallery 46 in Lake Placid, View’s Pastel Exhibition, and has shown work in various group and solo shows. She works in pastels, oils, and watercolor, and participates in plein air events and juried shows across the northeast.

Her studio and studio gallery in Saranac Lake is open to visitors by appointment. (State Covid-19 rules for masks and social distancing are followed.) Please visit her website for more information: http://www.susanwhitemanpastels.com


[NOTE: A link to the Zoom call will be emailed to you the day before each session. This will allow you to access the video workshop at the time scheduled.]

Registration Deadline: July 2, 2020

$130 / $115 Members (This includes all four of the one-hour sessions)

Class Canceled

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