Soft Pastels and Pastel Pencils



Soft pastels and pastel pencils are a vibrant and inspiring medium. They are ideal for capturing the colours and texture of the landscape and the buildings at Flatford Mill. Pastels are a great medium for the subtle hues in a human portrait or the texture of an animal’s fur. Carole’s informative and enthusiastic demonstrations will guide you through a range of exercises to develop and extend your skills using this versatile and forgiving painting medium. Suitable for all abilities. On Saturday we will do a series of exercises practising blending and mark making techniques for using soft pastels and pastel pencils on paper and/or textured board in addition to looking at colour principle. These may include tree studies, colour mixing for shadows, and recreating the texture of an animal’s coat. Topics such as composition, tonal contrast and working from photographs will also be covered. After a series of exercises, you will be able to work on your own choice of subject – a landscape, or portrait of a well know face, family member or an animal or pet. On Saturday evening there will be a demonstration after supper in the studio On Sunday you will continue working on your own choice of subject whether it’s landscapes, portraits or animal studies. Those who want to concentrate on landscapes may wish to do some sketches or work outside, depending on the weather. Others may prefer to work in the studio from their own references. About the tutor: Carole Massey Carole Massey is a popular and supportive tutor who has been teaching at Flatford Mill for over 20 years. She managed her own successful design partnership before returning to her first love of painting, which currently involves tutoring, demonstrations, private commissions, and exhibitions. A recent portrait commission for the Bank of England of Sir Charles Bean, deputy governor now hangs in the bank in perpetuity. She is a regular contributor to The Leisure Painter magazine, has written many teaching Art books, published by Search Press, with international sales exceeding 250,000. Her latest books are “Drawing for the Absolute Beginner” and “The Beginners’ Guide to Drawing Portraits” which will be on sale on the course. She has exhibited and demonstrated at the Mall Galleries, London, and her work is in a number of private collections in the UK and abroad. She lives in Suffolk. About Flatford Mill We have four buildings that are used for visitor accommodation. Whilst most rooms are either en-suite or have a dedicated bathroom, there are some rooms in The Mill that share showers and toilets at the end of the hall. If this is un-suitable for you please make the office staff aware upon booking or as soon as possible. Please be aware that you are visiting a Field Centre that caters in the main for school parties; the accommodation is basic and dormitory style, but warm and comfortable. What to bring Pastels A good range of artists quality soft pastels (e.g.W&N, Daler Rowney, Schminke, Unison, Sennelier) to include dark browns, blues and greens for landscapes, creams, pinks, reds, lilacs etc. for portraits and browns, ochres and darks for animals, depending on your reference and subject. Pastel pencils If you wish to work solely with pastel pencils, then you will need and good range of colours, perhaps 24 or 36 minimum. If you are using mainly soft pastels then a black, white, brown etc. may be useful to add some fine details, depending on your subject. Paper Pastel paper: Ingres, Canson Mi-Teints or Fabriano can be bought in sheets or pads in and extensive range of colours; your choice of colour will depend on personal preference and subject, but earth colours, buff, browns, greens for landscapes and pinky grey (Moonstone) or bluish grey, cream or beige for portraits, buff, or greys for animals: Size approx.. 16 x 11, 420 x 297mm in loose sheets or a pad. OR Sand textured board e.g. Fisher 400, Sandfix, Heaton cooper, Youdells, Canson Touch etc, colours as above Other Materials A stump (or torchon), cotton buds or colour shapers for blending A kneadable eraser or blue tack An apron or shirt to protect your clothes. Masking tape or clips to secure the paper to a board For sketching - a sketchbook & 3B pencil Fixative (optional) or paper to cover you finished work Please also bring Suitable photographic reference. For portraits of people and animals please ensure they are good quality and large enough; for people - try to avoid a mouthful of teeth! For smaller animals, take photos on the same level, rather than looking down at your subject. You may have to work from several photos, to obtain sufficient information and the perfect pose.

What's included in the price?

Expert Tuition Free Wi-Fi Full Board Accommodation Hot and Cold Drinks Picnic Lunch Full board accommodation and picnic lunch is available for resident bookings only. Refreshments are included for all, but non-resident bookings are advised to bring lunch with you.


3 days

Cancellation policy

Easy - Cancellation and a full refund can be obtained up to 2 weeks before the course starts


Suitable for

  • Adults
  • Seniors
  • UK Holiday
  • Accommodation offered
  • Intermediate level
  • Residential
  • Advanced/pro level
  • Parking provided
  • Engagement, birthdays & anniversaries
  • Suitable for beginners
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Flatford Mill Field Centre, East Bergholt, , Suffolk, CO7 6UL

Booking options

Resident (Sole Occupancy)
19:00 - 16:00
£292.00 See dates
Resident (Shared Room)
19:00 - 16:00
£254.00 See dates
19:00 - 16:00
£205.00 See dates