Pastel Landscapes for Beginners

Coastal Path from Module 3


Hello! I am an art teacher with many years experience and would like to help you learn to paint pastel landscapes through distance learning.
Pastels are an ideal medium for the beginner, as there is no complicated mixing of colours.

I am a professional landscape artist with 30 years experience and I have my own methods of working. I enjoy imparting this knowledge to others and encouraging interest in the medium of pastels. Having taught for many years, I realise how important it is to monitor progress and deal with any difficulties as they arise, as every student is different.

Ideally, it is best for students to do the set exercises and to keep in contact with me during the course, by returning the exercises on e-mail, taking note of any guidance and suggestions I can offer.
For those people who find this frightening or technically daunting, it is not essential to return the exercises. You can work on the course on your own and only contact me if you need help, or you could explain a difficulty in an e-mail.

1. How does it work?
I will be your personal online tutor as you work through the course. Some of the modules have exercises, with step by step pictures for you to follow. As you get into the course, you may like to photograph your work and send it to me for assessment. The exercises are designed to be fun, gradually helping you to develop your pastel skills. My assessments are not frightening but aim to give you practical pointers on how to improve your work.

2. How long does it take to complete the course?
This is entirely up to you. I have some students who finish in a few weeks and some who take more than a year. You can advance at your own pace, receiving the modules as and when you are ready. You have two years to complete the course.

3. How much does it cost?
The full beginner's course, of 6 modules costs £180.

4. How will I get my materials?
You will receive a materials list in the first module. This can be taken to your nearest art shop or you can order online from Jacksons Art, using the order form provided. If you are already busy pastelling, you will probably have the majority of the necessary pastels.

What's included in the price?

Please see the outline of the Beginners’ Course below. There are Six Modules.

MODULE ONE - The Basics
Before we start, I like to be in touch with every student by e-mail to understand your previous experience, if any, and to find out what materials you have been using.

(Following our initial contact, this module consists of 3 sections:)
1. List of Materials
2. Brief history of pastels
3. Detailed introduction to Pastels.
Recognising and understanding different makes of pastels.
Methods of application and uses of different makes.
Making notes for personal reference.
Understanding how to use pastel papers and boards.
Learning how and when to use fixative.

There will be a number of very simple exercises given to make sure that you have understood these very important first stages. I will ask you to send these to me via e-mail, if you would like to, it is not essential that you do so. I will then contact you with an assessment of your exercises. If necessary, I may suggest you practise a little more before you move on to the next module.

MODULE TWO – Understanding Composition
Those students, who have already worked in other media, may not feel that it is necessary to study this module but I would urge beginners to take the time to learn the basics of composition.

This is a very important part of the course. If you can create a good composition, you are well on the way to producing a pleasing landscape.
a) The importance of composition.
b) The way in to a picture.
c) The focal point.
d) Moving around within the picture. (Guiding the eye.)
e) Balance and harmony.
f) Compositional doodles.

At the end of this module, I will ask you to look at examples of various artists’ work and try to think about which paintings attract you and why. It is really important that you start to observe landscapes with an artist’s eye.

How to tackle a landscape in pastel.
In this module you will be taken step-by-step through two pastel landscapes, employing different techniques in both.

You will be given images to copy, with detailed instructions at every stage to build up the image.

It is essential that you have understood Module One and covered the exercises so that you can understand the instructions given.

Colour and Light.

a) Understanding the colour wheel.
b) Uses of colour and light in the landscape.
c) Realism
d) Harmony
e) Emotion – Choosing Colours – Light

Working with photographs.
Many students find the thought of sketching outside very frightening and depend on photographs to work from. This very small module is to give you a few tips on how to succeed with photos.

Setting out on your own.
The idea of this module is to get you ready to set out on your own, to help you to produce a landscape you will be pleased with.

I would suggest that at this stage, you look for a landscape by a pastel artist, you would like to copy. The advantage of this is that the compositional and colour decisions are taken for you, leaving you to work on your technique.

You will then e-mail me with your ideas of how you are going to tackle the piece and I will help you.

During your work on the painting, I will be available to help you if you e-mail your work in progress, or I can help at the end with an assessment of your work.

Finally – Thank you for taking the time to read these notes. I hope you feel encouraged to take the course and start to learn how to produce your own pastel landscapes.
I am sure you will enjoy the course and I look forward to working with you.

What you will need

Soft pastels of various makes from the materials list provided and pastel board.


Annabel Greenhalgh at Pastel Tuition by Annabel Greenhalgh

This course is taught online

Suitable for

  • Adults
  • Hearing impaired
  • Intermediate level
  • Limited mobility
  • Seniors
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Teenagers
  • Wheelchair users


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Online on-demand course
Jennifer - - #32266

I've completed the beginners and improvers courses with Annabel and have thoroughly enjoyed them both. It suited me so well to be able to learn at my own pace and to be able to go back over things as many times as I needed to. It was always very exciting waiting for Annabel's response once work had been submitted. All her instructions, advice and hints & tips were very welcome and I have a much greater understanding of how to design and construct a painting. Annabel always gave a very positive response unlike others I have done courses with. She was so encouraging and suggested how to improve rather than where I'd gone wrong.

Response from Pastel Tuition by Annabel Greenhalgh:

Thank you so much Jennifer for this truly lovely review. I do my best to help students to succeed and to encourage rather than criticise and I am so glad to hear that I achieved that result. I realise that when a student sends work to me for assessment, they probably feel vulnerable and that is why I try to reply as soon as possible with useful and positive comments. Thank you so much, your words are very much appreciated. Xx

Online on-demand course
Hilary - - #31961

I worked on the beginners course with Annabel prior to attending her studio in Wales for a workshop. This meant that I was able to cover all the basics before going. The course gave me a very good understanding and grounding of the medium as well as introducing me to makes of pastels which helped me to succeed. I found the instructions detailed and easy to follow with step by step pictures. The assessments were prompt and very useful. It is a brilliant course for the beginner and later on I did the Improvers course as well!

Online on-demand course
Anne - - #31954

I completed the beginners course a while ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. Annabel's assessments picked up on my tendency to work too quickly and by giving me explicit instructions to improve my technique, helped me to overcome any problems I had. Annabel responds very quickly to queries and her assessments are fair, honest and encouraging.

Response from Pastel Tuition by Annabel Greenhalgh:

Thank you so much for your kind words Anne. I'm so glad you enjoyed the course as much as I enjoyed teaching you. Its always difficult to do assessments and I'm really pleased they were so useful. best wishes, Annabel xx

Online on-demand course
Susie - - #31942

Having never worked with pastels before, I found this course easy to follow. Annabel is an excellent tutor and responds to your questions very promptly. The course has been designed for distance learning in an understandable way.

Response from Pastel Tuition by Annabel Greenhalgh:

Thank you so much for leaving such lovely feedback Susie. I am so glad you found the course easy to follow, I really enjoyed working with you. All the best, Annabel xx

Online on-demand course
Jane - - #31935

Thank you so much Annabel for a wonderful course which I found extremely informative and helpful. I learnt so much. I wish you all the best with your courses in the future.

Response from Pastel Tuition by Annabel Greenhalgh:

Hello Jane, thank you for reviewing the course, it really helps others to see how much students have enjoyed it. Best wishes, Annabel xx

Online on-demand course
Anne Couchman - - #31933

Having had some experience with pastels Annabel thoughtfully tailored her course to meet my specific requirements.
Her course outline and notes are very detailed and give good structure to her lessons. There is no pressure to finish each module very quickly.
Annabel gives thoughtful and measured feedback with constructive and detailed critique where needed.
A good course for beginners.

Response from Pastel Tuition by Annabel Greenhalgh:

Hello Anne, thank you so much for taking the time to leave your feedback and I am so glad the course worked well for you. I certainly try to give honest and constructive criticism and so glad that I succeeded. All the best, Annabel xx

Online on-demand course
Samantha Duffy - - #31932

I had tried several online courses/tutorials before I came across Annabel. They were ok but nothing compared to the one on one I received with Her.It was exactly what I needed. So handy to be able to get the feedback I had wanted and needed. And beautiful paintings. This course gave me so much confidence. I would most definitely recommend this course for anyone using pastels. I loved my time with Annabel, she’s a lovely person as well as a wonderful teacher.

Response from Pastel Tuition by Annabel Greenhalgh:

Thank you so much Samantha, what kind and thoughtful words which are so very much appreciated. I am so glad the course helped you to gain confidence in your work.
Best wishes, Annabel xx

Online on-demand course
JENNY BROWN - - #31931

Thoroughly enjoyed the beginners course I did with Annabel. She has a well structured way of teaching giving detailed explanation of the various techniques used. She certainly taught me to be more patient with my art and look for the detail and to have confidence in what I have achieved. I initially picked Annabels course because she worked in the style I was keen to improve on and, having spoken to her on the telephone, I could tell she was very approachable.

Response from Pastel Tuition by Annabel Greenhalgh:

Thank you so much for this lovely review Jenny, I like to be friendly and approachable and find that this helps students for feel confident in expressing their concerns about their work. I enjoyed working with you and seeing your beautiful pictures. All the best, Annabel xx

Online on-demand course
J Hey - - #31930

Annabel is a wonderful teacher. Her teaching is thorough and she is warm and generous with her advice. Her instructions are easy to follow and it is good to have an illustration to work with.
I have done various courses and workshops with Annabel and can highly recommend her and her methods. You will learn a lot and enjoy the process.

Response from Pastel Tuition by Annabel Greenhalgh:

Thank you so much Jacqui. I really enjoyed working with you and am so glad to hear that the instructions were clear and easy to follow. I very much appreciate your kind words. Thank you.

Online on-demand course
Elizabeth Bosworth - - #31929

As a real beginner with pastels, some while ago, I did the beginners course with Annabel and it more than exceeded my expectations. The time with Annabel gave me confidence to carry on and be a bit braver with what I tackle, and to really appreciate the blending of pastel colour. I’ve tried watercolour and oils, but nothing comes close to the joy of pastels and their versatility, which Annabel conveys to her students so well.

Response from Pastel Tuition by Annabel Greenhalgh:

Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a review Elizabeth. You did really well with your pastel work and I am delighted to hear how much you are still enjoying it.
Best Wishes, Annabel xx

Online on-demand course
Gail Buss - - #31924

I thoroughly enjoyed the course on Pastels by Annabel. The modules are easy to follow and Annabel gives you very useful and helpful feedback. It was a pleasure and joy to have discovered this course.

Response from Pastel Tuition by Annabel Greenhalgh:

Thank you so much for leaving this lovely review Gail. I am so glad you found the instructions easy to follow and delighted that you are now enjoying the intermediate course also. I am really enjoying working with you and seeing your work develop. Thank you, Annabel xx

Online on-demand course
Sue - - #31923

I spent years looking for a course like this. All the exercises are easy to follow and so enjoyable, plus, you can send each finished piece for a personal assessment by Annabel. She will help you with anything you are finding difficult.
By the time I finished the six modules my artwork had improved immensely and I was selling at local exhibitions.
It is ok to have every book ever published on pastel painting but it's certainly no substitute for a personal tutor!

Response from Pastel Tuition by Annabel Greenhalgh:

Thank you so much for leaving this lovely review Sue and well done on your sales, I'm delighted for you and really enjoyed working with you. It is so very rewarding to see student's work and confidence develop, you have done so very well. Any time you want some work assessing, please let me know. All the very best, Annabel xx

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