Liminal light – pastel drawing at night with Mark Cazalet

Mixed and other media

Ref: S3D11266

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About this course

Working in liminal light conditions allows you to interpret what is barely visible. Thus freeing your mark-making sensibility, producing extraordinary colour and tonal combinations. A course for adventurous artists to respond to dawn, dusk and candlelight conditions.

Course Description

For many artists the real subject of painting is light and colour. These two interlinked elements create the mood, space and form within a pictorial world. Mostly this has been seen as a daytime practice, with the direct or ambient sunlight modelling highlights and shadows. However, there is an alternative nocturnal approach, which has fascinated artists such as Domenichino, Salvator Rosa, J M WTurner, Atkinson Grimshaw, Pierre Bonnard, Paul Nash and Paul Klee. For example, the lunar light of a full moon utterly transforms the usual perception of chromatics, and produces strange, unexpected relationships between tone and hues. Nocturnal light is obviously slight when compared to daytime lux levels but, as the pupils adjust, the imagination steps-in to generate new sensations and interpretations which radically liberate mark-making and colour sensibility.

You will explore working with the margins of daylight at dawn and dusk, as well as what it means to work in full darkness or by candlelight. There will be sessions reworking nightscapes from memory the following day. This is in every way an adventurous and experimental course that aims to produce extraordinary works of power and subtlety, ideal for people who want to find a new and unexpected side to their creativity.

You will be looking at specific aspects of colour theory, tonality, and mark making. The timetable for the course will be highly unusual so it is unlikely that you will eat breakfast or dinner at routine times. There will be a rest period during each day, to compensate for our extended sessions in the evenings and early mornings.

Please bring warm wet weather clothes and boots/waterproof shoes, hat and fingerless gloves as it is cold at this time of year.

Additional timetable information (subject to change by the tutor):

Arrival day:

5.30pm Workshops available for dropping off equipment and materials

8.00pm – 9.00pm Practical sessions drawing outside with oil pastels, oil markers, pencils on black paper.

Other days:

5.30 – 7.30am Drawing

8.00am Breakfast

7.30 – 9.30pm Dusk drawing

10.00 – 11.30pm Night drawing

Departure day:

5.30 – 7.30am Drawing

8.00am Breakfast

2.00pm Final review of course work and individual directions – very important session.

We appreciate that you will need to have periods of rest in the mornings and afternoons before the night time sessions, but you will be free between to continue working on previous projects.

Non-residential students requiring breakfast and/or dinners can either book these in advance with the Bookings Office or online at the same time as booking the course online.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • Black paper, oil pastels (gold, silver, bronze, copper and black), a set of metallic pencils, gold and silver marker pens.

What students need to bring

  • Very warm clothing including waterproof trousers, hat and fingerless gloves
  • We would suggest wellingtons and a torch may be useful

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Ten sheets of various A2 dark coloured papers i.e. Black, Maroon, Navy, Sap Green, Dark Brown – do choose papers that have a good surface ie Canson Mi-Tients papers, Fabriano or Hahnemuhle.
  • Black and white Conté sticks
  • A range of Gold, Silver, Bronze, Copper, Brass drawing media to include:
  • Neopastels, pencils, oil marker pens – the greater the range the better and more varied the results!
  • A range of colours in oil pastel, soft pastel, or pencils
  • Bull dog clips (to attach paper to boards)
  • Waterproof (cheap) plastic portfolio to store paper in or finished drawings
  • Glassine paper to put between finished drawings to protect them


Mark Cazalet

Mark had an eclectic training which has influenced his broad range of media and working processes. He is particularly interested in colour and markmaking which he has explored in glass, textile, printed books, murals and traditional materials.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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