Course Summary

Pastel is pure colour at your fingertips! Once you have mastered the techniques of using pastel it is an exciting, immediate art material.  Pastel can be used easily and quickly to capture and render a variety of subjects and enable you to create and express yourself in a variety of styles.

Artist Janet Hayes will help you master this medium by providing you with many tips on how to use pastel. Start with a quick overview on pastel materials and a step by step demonstration. Students will then be able to follow these steps to produce their own rendition of a pastel still life, or other subject from their own reference material. Janet will interact with students to answer individual questions.

The emphasis for these classes will be on composition, drawing, tone (light and dark) and colour. For beginners and those who want to brush up on their pastel skills.


**Important notice for learners who enrol on the course start date** Please check your confirmation email and ensure you contact Short Courses at to receive a link to attend online sessions.

Currently, we have no dates scheduled for this course. Please contact us via email to register your interest.

Artist Janet Hayes has had eleven solo exhibitions in Australia and has also been involved in many group exhibitions in the Yarra Valley, Melbourne, Sydney, and Darwin. She has exhibited in overseas exhibitions in the USA, London and touring exhibitions in China, Canada and Europe.

Janet studied art at the Melbourne College of Decoration, life drawing with Con Pappas at Era School, Donvale, and portraiture with artist Daniel Greene in New York.

Among several awards she has received is the Allied Artists of America Award at the Pastel Society of America annual exhibition, New York City in 1993. More recently, in 2019 Janet won the Inaugural John Dudley Portrait Prize for her Self Portrait with hands.

As an artist who shares her skills Janet is a sought after teacher for art classes, workshops, demonstrations and as a judge of art shows and competitions.

Janet will go over materials in the first class. It is fine to start with whatever you can get together. Here are some suggestions:

You can work flat, or on an angled board*, on a kitchen table with:

  • Some A3 pieces of drawing paper preferably in a mid grey but if you just have white that’s ok, or an A3 pad of pastel papers such as Canson Mi-teinte neutrals- either warm or cool ( preference – cool), or some A3 Art Spectrum colourfix card in grey or another neutral colour (mid tone; not light, not dark- in between), or similar
  • A piece of medium sized, vine, or willow, charcoal or a black charcoal pencil or pastel pencil, for drawing (you can also draw with the pastel sticks if you don’t have charcoal or the pencils)
  • A set of soft pastels, Mungyo in a 24 or 48 pack are ideal for beginners, (inexpensive and fairly good colour range) but you can use whatever you have. You can also use oil pastel, you just can’t mix soft pastel and oil pastel together.

Please have ready some reference items such as: a still life of fruit or vegetables; apples, pears, oranges, tamarillos, persimmons, quinces, pumpkin, leeks, onions, garlic, gourds, etc. (choose one or two different things). An interesting ceramic or glass piece; bottle, cup, jug, bowl etc. A piece of white or coloured fabric or scarf. (keep it simple to start with). Or a photo of something you would like to draw. Some resources will be provided. (In Google Claassroom)

*To raise the back of the pad a little to give a good angle for drawing, you can use a backing board (thick, strong cardboard, foam core or coreflute or plywood), a little larger is size than the pad or paper, and a pile of books to rest it on.

Janet’s set up:

See if you have any of this equipment, great if you do but it isn’t essential for getting started with pastel.

  • Backing board: foam core (or core flute) cut a little larger than paper size with a Stanley knife or art cutter (Plywood or Masonite can also be used but you will need to find the right sized board or cut it with a saw)
  • An easel: freestanding studio easel, portable easel or table easel
  • (you may also like to use an old sheet as a drop sheet to catch pastel dust that falls to the floor, Janet will also show you how to create a dust catcher)
  • Paper or Pastel Card: Canson Mi-teintes pastel paper or pastel card, A3 or 60×50 cm (which can be cut in half if preferred) Colours: Gris fumes (smoke grey), Flannel, Steel Grey, Cachou or Sand, Colourfix by Art Spectrum in neutral colours such as grey
  • Paper which can be put under the pastel paper for padding ( this will be explained in class), butchers paper or bulky news, other sheets of pastel paper, cartridge or newspaper
  • 4 fold back or bulldog clips to secure paper to backing board
  • 3 sticks of vine or willow charcoal, medium size
  • A large set of Rembrandt soft pastels
  • A can of spray workable fixative

Art stores: The Art Shop, Seniors Art Supplies, Ekersleys, Deans, Officeworks


Notification of a class cancellation will be advised 48 hours prior to the course commencement date. We advise to purchase your materials once you have received email confirmation that your class is proceeding as scheduled. All efforts are made to ensure that our classes proceed to avoid disappointment.

Last updated: September 22, 2021 04:46pm