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In-person course

Create beautiful animal portraits in workshops on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales

Scruffy Highland!

About the Course

Portrait Workshops run every 3rd Friday of the month from 12.30-3.30pm at Embsay Village Hall.

Subjects vary each month depending on the medium (pencil/graphite; pastel; watercolour) with each subject being chosen to develop or build on drawing skills such as seeing/creating tone and texture or laying down base coat and layering in pastel or working wet-in-wet or detailed styles for watercolour.

Workshops are limited to a maximum of 6 artists of all abilities to ensure there is plenty of time for personal attention yet still creating a relaxed and friendly atmosphere so you can create your portrait.

Subjects vary each month, please see the website for a full schedule of which class runs on which date.
Choose from:
Create fur and expressive eyes on pastel paper using a mix of soft/hard pastels, various tools such as silicon/paper blenders, leather, brushes and pastel & charcoal pencils

Develop layering and blending skills and using various tools and pencils to create depth, skin tones and fur effects in a variety of animals and new for 2020 female/male portraits

Develop working in the different styles (loose, wet-in-wet or detailed, glazing) to create vibrant or hazy watercolour portraits

Kate will happily provide an outline ready for you to work from or you can draw the image yourself using 'Tracedown' paper. Either method will remove any anxieties and keep the focus on using the tools and enjoying the process so that the end drawing looks amazing! More confident artists will either sketch an outline or free paint.

Full details are on Kate's website (link above) or contact her directly if you are interested in bringing your own image to work on.

If you will be redeeming a CraftCourses gift voucher on this course, the voucher code must be provided at the point of booking.

What's included in the price?

All materials are provided allowing you to simply turn up and focus on creating your portrait
If you have some art materials that you really love or would like to learn how to use that's fine too though - just let Kate know. Please bring an old shirt or apron to protect your clothing.


Kate West at Kate West
Embsay with Eastby Village Hall
Main Street
Embsay, Skipton
North Yorkshire
BD23 6RE
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This craft course provider has been awarded Gold status for receiving 10 or more 5 star ratings from previous students.

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They also allow tutors to gain valuable feedback on their courses and for new students to find the course that's right for them.

Suitable for

  • Adults
  • Limited mobility
  • Public transport
  • Seniors
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Wheelchair users

Available as a gift

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2 hours (1:00pm to 3:00pm)

Available dates:


In-person course
- - #26935

A super workshop and as there were only two of us, 1:1 support from Kate!
I hadn't previously considered portraits, but thoroughly enjoyed the session and have been completely inspired by pastels!

Thank you, Kate for your encouragement and enthusiasm.

PS I showed my sister the pastel picture of the Highland cow and she has asked me to complete one of her horse! I may need some help, Kate!!

Response from Kate West:

Hi Christine,
Really chuffed you’ve fallen in love with pastels!
My concerns over running such a small workshop successfully were quickly laid to rest, working with Pip and you was an absolute joy, so thank you.
It doesn’t surprise that you have been asked to do your first commission, your Highland was a little cutie! Really pleased for you 🙂
Help always at hand although I don’t think you will need too much!

In-person course
- - #26887

I really enjoyed this workshop. Katy is very good at combining tuition, but also encouraging personal style discovery and also plenty of time to put techniques into practice. There was plenty of choice of materials, with lots of ideas of what to buy to continue practicing at home. All in all a very enjoyable and informative afternoon.

Response from Kate West:

Hi Pip, where do I start!
Thank you for taking the time to leave a review that is such a thoughtful one that may be so helpful to others.
Also thank thank you for sending a photo of the finished painting which is very accomplished, especially for someone who hasn’t used pastels before, it was amazing.

In-person course
- - #24491

I had another very interesting and friendly afternoon with Katie and a really lovely painting gang. I had never used pastels before and struggled a bit at first but with encouragement from Katie I ended up with a picture of a fox that was quite cute. I have already booked on another course with her.

Response from Kate West:

Hi Gilly thank you for this lovely review, it was great to work with you again. You were all a joy to work with and full of enthusiasm... Your Fox was definitely cute too!
Looking forward to working and hopefully inspiring you on the next one, Kate

In-person course
- - #24483

I am quite experienced with pastels, but learned something straight away! I came away knowing more than when I arrived and having had a very enjoyable time. Teaching was good .... a very mixed ability group!
My only criticism - too short!

Response from Kate West:

Hi Paula, thanks for taking the time to leave a review, it’s really appreciated. Great to know you learned something in spite of being accomplished in pastels...
When you told me you could transfer the skills used to draw the Fox to any pet I knew I was speaking to a teacher... I used to teach mixed ability groups in FE and think the group as a whole can often benefit from this mix of skills.
Following the group feedback I’m thinking of making a 5 hour workshop for next year 🙂

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