Pastel Portrait Painting Workshop

Pastel Portrait Painting Workshop


Sunday Aug 18
Lee Becker Instructor

In this one-day workshop we will take advantage of pastel’s potential to be a fast medium to create a portrait in one sitting. We will start with a brief lecture on the proportions of the head and a demonstration of how to block them in quickly and accurately. Next, we will block in the large areas of color and value using wide strokes and a damp brush to cover the surface quickly and create a foundation for subsequent layers of pastel. As the drawings progress, students will be shown how to double-check proportions in order to capture a likeness, reducing the time spent in trial-and-error.

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We recommend that students bring a set of NuPastels with at least 48 colors, as these can be sharpened to a point for detail work if desired, and they are versatile in general. Students are welcome to supplement this with pastels they already own. For those looking for additional recommendations, Rembrandt makes a fine set of 30 portrait colors, and Pan Pastel will be suited for some of our purposes (though the selection of skin tones is rather limited).

Important: Students must bring a white 9”x12” Ampersand Pastelbord and a set of plastic proportional calipers (see below) in order to take this workshop. . To best learn the method, the workshop may not be taken without them.  If students do not bring these, the instructor will be selling them at the workshop

 The Accurasee Artist Proportional Divider can be purchased from Amazon by clicking here:

The instructor will also bring a variety of materials that students may experiment with, such as Pan Pastels and gum tragacanth (pastel binder) for a variety of effects.

About the Instructor

Lee Becker’s work is focused primarliy on portraiture and landscape. She received her BFA in Illustration from Parsons School of Design. She has studied with Robert Zeller at The Teaching Studios of Art, Ellen Eagle and Mary Beth McKenzie at the Art Students League, Sam Adoquei and Gabriella Gonzalez Dellosso at the National Academy Of Design School of Art, Robert Silverman at the National Art League, and Robin Smith at Chelsea Classical Studios. She lives in New York. 

More of the Instructor’s work