There were seven students enrolled in the pastel workshop, though two had to drop out at the last minute. I began with an introduction to the materials used by pastel artists and the different approaches to working in soft pastels. Soft pastels build up on paper, so I demonstrated two techniques for creating a finished painting: the use of an alcohol sketch for your base layer or taking advantage of the different hardness values of the pastel sticks. Because pastel artworks are basically chalk on paper, they are fragile and must be framed. The workshop included samples of framing materials and pointers for framing a lasting work of art.
All materials were provided including pastels, paper, tape, and backing boards. Students were encouraged to bring their own photographs to work from, but I also brought several to share.
I was very happy to see the students dig right in and experiment with the materials provided. Everyone created at least two artworks to take home, and one followed up with questions about buying pastels, so they can continue using this beautiful medium.