Painting - Subject Led

Pastel painting with Sarah Bee

Ref: S4D09041


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About this course

Examine different approaches to pastel painting with a focus on colour and mark-making. Using gesso, acrylic paint and chalk pastels, work from sketches made outside in West Dean Gardens, returning to the studio to develop compositions.

Course Description

We begin by sketching in the grounds of West Dean before returning to the studio to work on mount board using gesso, acrylic paint and (chalk) pastel. If the weather is awful we will work from sketches or photographs so please bring what you have just in case.

There will be demonstrations of simple mixed media processes; the emphasis will be on individual guidance helping you to improve your personal experience and understanding of painting.

By the end of the course you will have gained an understanding of this mixed media process and how to incorporate it into your own painting methods.


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

What students need to bring

  • Bring any reference material you might like to work from in case of poor weather (sketchbook studies, printed photographs).
  • Large water vessel
  • Indian ink
  • Rags
  • Overalls or apron
  • Tape and newspaper to cover finished work for transportation
  • Hair dryer (also available from the College technicians)
  • Reference material

Available to buy

  • Sketchbook and pencils
  • White smooth mountboard (2-3 sheets)
  • Acrylic paints
  • Paint palette with several large wells
  • Selection of paint brushes
  • A large decorator brush 1 - 1.5 inches
  • Gesso, transparent (the shop doesn't stock this but stocks white which is OK as an alternative.)
  • Pastels (not oil) to include a selection of soft pastels and also harder Conte a Paris pastels
  • Charcoal
  • Spray fixative


Sarah Bee

Sarah Bee is a member of the Pastel Society. She won the Unison Colour Award in 2018, and before that, the Caran d'Ache Award, in 2014. The colour, texture and light experienced in the landscape are conveyed by Sarah by layering different media.


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

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