Bird Portraits on Copper in Pastel
w/ Amanda Houston

Date/Time: Saturday-Sunday / March 7-8 / 10:30-4:30

Cost: $275 + supply fee*

Registration: Call in, come in, or register online. 425.697.2787

Location:  Cole Art Studio, in the downstairs of Cole Gallery at107 5th Ave. S., Edmonds.

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Amanda’s birds-on-copper paintings are beloved and in high demand all over the West Coast. Even Audubon conferences request the presence of these delightful paintings!  By popular request, Amanda will be back to share her insights on how to capture the subtle personalities of her wonderful birds. In this 2-day workshop, she will teach you how to prepare copper plates to draw on, and how to create captivating little bird portraits concentrating on composition, facial expressions and color.  Plan to leave with a small flock of bird paintings over the weekend. 

 For the optional supply fee, Amanda will provide various types of supplies for students who want to prepare their own surfaces. It’s “pay as you use them.” See the supply list for details.

 Sign up soon – this one is sure to fill quickly!

Supply List:

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You can purchase your quality art supplies at ARTspot! Registered students receive a 10% discount on all their art supplies from the time of paid registration until the last day of class. Most items on this list are available at ARTspot. Please let their staff advise you about appropriate art materials to fulfill  requirements for your class.

 Questions about these supplies? ARTspot staff are happy to help you. Call 425-640-6408 or email at  Artspot's Web Site

PASTELS:  As many as you can bring, with a mixture of soft and hard pastels, with a range of brights, darks and grey tones. NO oil pastels.

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  • SOFT PASTELS: Amanda has her own signature color box of Richeson Pastels through ARTSpot. (80 pc. Landscape essentials set and a 40 pc. Neutral essentials set.) 
    Amanda also uses Terry Ludwig for darks (v100x, B3560, G540,R160), Diane Townsend Terrage sticks in light creams and blues. Amanda also loves the Diane Townsend Pearlized sticks for sparkle in water and birds (501, 505, 503, 616), and these pearlized sticks last for many years. All of these are totally optional for you, and not available locally. Visit, or order directly from the supplier for these specialty pastels.

  • HARD PASTELS: (10-30): Girault or NUPastel - a variety of darks and lights. You can pick up NUPastels by the stick (from Dakota). These are Amanda’s favorite colors for skies and water and scumbling techniques.
    NUPastel: 207, 212, 257, 256, 276, 245, 235, 285, 244, 277, 376, 314, 235, 288, 305, 298
    Girault: 199, 178, 463, 375

DRAWING BOARD: Gator-board (preferably black but white will work), foam core or Masonite board for taping your papers and inspiration references on.

PAPERS: If you have a favorite, please bring it. Amanda will be demoing on LaCarte paper (Sienna color), Art Spectrum Colorfix, and Pastel Premiere.  You can buy a large sheet and cut them down into smaller workable sizes for the class:   9x12, 11x14 or 12x16. We will focus on lots of small work. Bring at least enough for 4 paintings. Amanda encourages students to try surfaces they haven’t tried.

 EASEL of YOUR CHOICE:  Any field easel will work, like a French easel. Cole Gallery has some easels to use; please call 425.697.2787 to reserve one. (Amanda uses a Heilman pastel box on a tripod.)


  • Sketchbook (REQUIRED)- Small personal sketchbook in any size. Amanda likes “Strathmore Toned sketchbooks” in either gray or tan for doing thumbnail value studies.

  • Photo references of landscapes to bring for inspiration of what you want to paint. KEEP IT SIMPLE. Think 3-5 big shapes. No pets or intricate detailed photos please. Instructor will have inspirational photos as well.

  • Selection of pencils in a variety of hardness: HB, 2B, 4B, 6B

  • Stabillo pencils (white, gray and black) for value studies
    OR   Tombow or Faber-Castell grey set of 4 pens, for value sketches (optional)

  • Kneaded eraser

  • Vine charcoal for sketching on your surface (soft or very soft)

  • Black Artist tape 3/4"-1" or Blue painter’s tape and/or Clips (to quickly clip paper to boards)

  • View Catcher or composition finder (by Guerrilla Painter)

  • MH Value Finder or Red Composite Grid or Picture Perfect 3 in 1 View Finder

  • Exacto Knife or straight edge to cut (by Olfa)

  • Brush assortment:

    o   1” small inexpensive hardware brush

    o   1-2 different sized synthetic brushes from “Snap!” by Princeton or Simply Simon:  ¾” flat or stroke (optional, but Amanda likes them because they are a good value)

  • Paper towels (I like Viva, or Home Depot Shop Towels)

  • Wet wipes

  • Small container of denatured Alcohol or mineral spirits for doing underpainting techniques (optional - water works in a pinch too) and a small container to put it in (old tuna can works fine)

  • 2 medium sized Tupperware containers, one filled with cheap cornmeal (to clean your pastels)

  • Pad of Newsprint paper 18x24 (optional)

  • Spray Fixative: Lascaux for finish work or any workable fixative for working (optional)

  • Glassine Paper: to put over your finished work to protect it in transport. Or sandwich between two pieces of gatorboard. (optional)

*For the optional supply fee (please bring cash or a check to the instructor), Amanda will provide copper, gator board, sanded gesso medium, roller and sandpaper, as well as lecture, demo and hands-on guidance for students who want to try preparing your own surface boards.  If possible, she will have extra paper if students want to purchase more.  Instead of a flat fee, these items will be available to students as separate purchases, so that you can pay as you use them, and aren’t paying for things you don’t use.

Check this out!  ARTspot Concierge Service. ARTspot will personally do your shopping for you! They can set aside the materials you need, ready for pickup - they can even deliver your supplies to Cole Art Studio the day of class. Call ARTspot at 425.640.6408 for this great service. To ensure your order is filled, please order as early as possible.