Expressive pastel painting – mixed media with Sarah Bee

Mixed and other media

Ref: S4D12567

Book now

Places available

About this course

Create lively and expressive soft pastel paintings from sketches and notes taken in the surrounding landscape. Work in the studio with acrylic paint, gesso and pastel in an exciting mark-making combination.

Course Description

Explore an exciting and different approach to pastel painting focusing on colour and mark-making.

You will begin by sketching in the grounds of West Dean Gardens before returning to the studio to work on mount board using gesso, acrylic paint and (chalk) pastel. If the weather is awful, you 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 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 until 9pm, 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


  • Some magnolia emulsion paint, clear gesso, ink, set of 12 bright coloured hard Conté pastels and a piece of white mountboard to get you started.

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, rags, overalls or apron
  • Tape and newspaper to cover finished work for transportation
  • Selection of decorators’ paintbrushes to include 1 inch and the more tired or wrecked the better!
  • Sketchbook, pencils and charcoal and spray fixative
  • A selection of acrylic paints to include Paynes Grey
  • Waterproof black Indian ink (some provided)
  • Pastels (not oil) to include a selection of soft pastels and also harder type such as Conté à Paris pastels or Caran D’Ache (a set of 12 bright coloured hard Conté pastels provided)
  • Paint palette with several large wells
  • Selection of paint brushes, a large decorator brush 1 – 1.5 inches

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • General art materials including white smooth mountboard, sketchbooks, pencils and charcoal, good selection of acrylic paints including Paynes Grey, waterproof black Indian ink, soft pastels and Conté à Paris hard pastels, paint palette with several large wells, paint brushes, decorators brushes 1 to 1.5 inches wide, spray fixative
Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio. This includes stout covered footwear, i.e. no open-toes or sandals, and safety boots, if specified.


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.

Courses of interest

Further study options

Take the next step in your creative practice, with foundation level to Masters in Fine Art study. 

Depending on your experience, start with an Online Foundation Certificate in Art and Design (one year, part-time), a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design made up of 10 short courses taken over two years (part-time) or a Diploma in Art and Contemporary Crafts (10 three-day study blocks, over two years). All will help you develop core skills, find direction in your practice and build an impressive portfolio in preparation for artist opportunities or higher-level study. See all degree and diploma courses.

Sign-up to be the first to know

Sign up to our Short Course enews to hear about new courses, late availability and get creative inspiration delivered straight to your inbox.