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Pastel Techniques: Light, Reflections and Composition
w/ Amanda Houston

Date/Time: November 3-5 / Saturday - Monday
Saturday: 10:30-6 pm
Sunday & Monday: 10:30-5 pm

Cost: $395 + $20 supply fee

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

Location: ArtWorks in Edmonds - a lovely, large space with plenty of parking places! 200 Dayton St, Edmonds, WA 98020

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Dive deeper into pastels with this award-winning artist and beloved instructor! Packed full of good design and composition tips, you’ll be able to take these principles and make any painting successful. All this while learning Amanda’s techniques for creating water reflections and how to capture light in this vibrant medium.

This workshop will be at ArtWorks - just 3 blocks away from Cole Gallery, with an airy, large space and their own parking lot. Notice also the extended time (until 6pm on Saturday, 5pm on Sunday and Monday); come rested and prepared to absorb as much info as you can – Amanda is a very generous instructor.


A great mix of theory, technique and experimentation, Amanda will also demo how to use different techniques on different surfaces to achieve great results. You will have the option to learn to create your own surface by painting a sanded gesso to a board or metal – supplies for this option will be provided by the instructor for the $20 supply fee – please bring cash or check payable to Amanda if you are interested in this option.

Some experience in pastels is necessary.

Supply List:

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.  Artspot's Web Site

Questions about these supplies? ARTspot staff are happy to help you. Call 425-640-6408 or email at ARTspotEdmonds@gmail.com.

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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 will be debuting her own signature color box of Richeson Pastels through ARTSpot (both an 80 pc. Landscape Essentials set and a 40 pc. Atmospheric Neutrals set). Or visit www.Dakotapastels.com for other pastel needs.

  • HARD PASTELS: (10-30): Girault or NUPastel - a variety of darks and lights. You can pick up NUPastels by the stick at ARTSpot. 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

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 for the class. We will focus on lots of small work. Bring at least enough for 4 paintings. She encourage students to try surfaces they haven’t tried.

EASEL of YOUR CHOICE: Any field easel will work, like a French easel. Amanda uses a Heilman pastel box on a tripod for my light weight set up. Cole has a few of the standing and the tabletop easels; call to reserve one.


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  • Sketchbook: Small personal sketchbook in any size. MUST HAVE! 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 intricate detailed photos please. Instructor will have inspirational photos as well.

  • Selection of pencils: 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)

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

  • · 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)

  • 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)

Brush assortment:

  • 1” small inexpensive hardware brush

  • 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)


** For $20 supply fee – Students will have the option to learn to create their own surface by painting a sanded gesso to a board or metal – supplies for this option will be provided by the instructor for the $20 supply fee.

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 before your class. Call ARTspot at 425.640.6408 for this great service. Note: To ensure your order can be filled, please order as early as possible.