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Painting with pastels

Portraiture course

Learn how to create portraits using the medium of pastel on this three-week course
Date
FULLY BOOKED
  • Thursday, 22 February 2024
  • Thursday, 29 February 2024
  • Thursday, 7 March 2024
Time
3.30 - 5.30 pm, doors open at 3.15 pm

About

Inspired by our 'Discover Liotard and the Lavergne Family Breakfast' exhibition, learn how to create a portrait with personality using the medium of pastel. 

In this course you discover the joy of working with ‘precious dust’: soft pastels. Guided by the esteemed portraiture artist, Robin Lee Hall, you learn not only all the basics to creating a portrait, but also how to use this historic and expressive medium of pastels.  

The course is supplemented with visits throughout the course to the exhibition to get a close look at Liotard’s mastery of the pastel medium, in addition to weekly talks addressing the history and other examples of pastel.  

Participants of all levels are welcome and all materials are provided.

Week 1

Fully booked
Introduction to pastels and proportion
Date
Thursday, 22 February 2024 - FULLY BOOKED
Time
3.30 - 5.30 pm, doors open at 3.15 pm

In the first week, Robin introduces you to the basics of proportion of the face and fundamentals of using soft pastels - just like the 18th-century expert, Liotard. We will take special consideration of Liotard, learning about his life and work, as well as the history of pastels. You will also learn how to capture all the features of the face, with special attention to those features that make each face unique: eyes, lips, and noses.

Image: Detail from Jean-Etienne Liotard, 'Portrait of a Grand Vizir, or of a European dressed as one', about 1741

Week 2

Fully booked
Putting it together
Date
Thursday, 29 February 2024 - FULLY BOOKED
Time
3.30 - 5.30 pm, doors open at 3.15 pm

Building on the technical basics you learned in Week 1, in the second session, we work towards creating a more finished portrait based on a work by Liotard in the exhibition. We will pay special attention to handling of the pastel, as well as overall composition. We will consider how clothes, colour, and hair all come together to assist with bringing a person and their personality to life. 

Image: Detail from Jean-Etienne Liotard, 'The Lavergne Family Breakfast', 1754

Week 3

Fully booked
From life and beyond
Date
Thursday, 7 March 2024 - FULLY BOOKED
Time
3.30 - 5.30 pm, doors open at 3.15 pm

In Week 3, we move beyond the fundamentals and finesse you learned in the earlier sessions, by working from life. We will also explore other ways of handling pastel by looking at how artists, such as Berthe Morisot and Edgar Degas, crafted equally dynamic works with pastel, a century after Liotard. Creating directly from models, you will make a portrait from observation, working beyond Liotard’s, and the Impressionists' respective influences to paint a pastel portrait with your own unique vison, flair, and personality. 

Image: Detail from Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas, 'Russian Dancers', about 1899

Your tutor

Robin-Lee Hall is an award-winning portrait painter and past President of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters. She has exhibited at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, the BP Portrait Award at the National Portrait Gallery, and in the Royal Society of Portrait Painters annual exhibition. She delivers workshops, talks and iPad drawing sessions in and around London.  

Courses
Fully booked

Painting with pastels

Portraiture course

Learn how to create portraits using the medium of pastel on this three-week course
Date
FULLY BOOKED
  • Thursday, 22 February 2024
  • Thursday, 29 February 2024
  • Thursday, 7 March 2024
Time
3.30 - 5.30 pm, doors open at 3.15 pm

Fully booked

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