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SOLD OUT : Pastels That Glow

SOLD OUT - please contact us t go the wait list for this workshop. In this workshop, USA master pastelist Rita Kirkman will be showing you her unique process to creating a sense of light when using pastels.

Rita will be taking you through step by step showing you how she primes her boars, uses an underpainting and all of her other secrets to creating award winning artworks.

There will be a distinct focus on how to use colour to create strong value contrast as well as helpful information around creating strong compositions.

Students can expect to complete 2-4 paintings during the workshop and to create artwork from their own photos or of Ritas.

It is best to have some pastel experience for this workshop, however contact Artable direct if you are worried about your level of experience of if you are a complete beginner.



Bring whatever you have that you are used to using.

If you are starting with none, I recommend the Dakota Pastel Samplers, or the Tastiest Pastel Samplers from These are several sticks from different professional brands. They come in different color

groupings. This is the best way to try different brands to see which you like best, as they all have their own

‘feel’. Some other good options are half-stick sets. Many brands have these now for the budget-conscious. If

your budget is larger, some hard pastels (Rembrandt, Nupastel or Cretacolor) can also be very useful.

My favorite brands are Art Spectrum Extra Soft Square, Terry Ludwig, Girault, Unison and Diane Townsend. I

have a few staple colors in my palette including Girault #376 burnt madder (my dark brown), Terry Ludwig

Eggplant (V100) (my rich black), and a Diane Townsend Terrages very light cad yellow (#69)

2 or 3 warm (brown or sepia or orange) pastel pencils in some mid-values and a dark value, for your drawing.


We will use warm-toned pastel primers brushed onto Gatorboard to create an underpainting. I will have some

small extra pieces of Gatorboard primed with the first layer of the gold primer, reasonably priced, various sizes

4x6 up to 8x10. If you want to bring your own, you can get Gatorboard online (sometimes called Gatorfoam

Board. Be sure it has “gator” in the name, and get the 3/16” thickness, in white.)

Primers: I will be using the Golden brand “Pumice Gel – Fine” with Golden brand “Quinacridone nickel azo

gold” fluid acrylic color added, followed with Art Spectrum pastel & multimedia primer in the “Terra Cotta”

color. (These can be found at

NOTE: alternatives to the Golden Fine Pumice Gel include “Golden Pastel Ground” or Art Spectrum Clear

multimedia pastel primer.

I will also be sharing my primers, but if you want to bring your own, bring a short, squat jam or babyfood jar

and I will show you how to mix the gold color.

(OPTIONAL: If you prefer to use paper rather than Gatorboard, my underpainting method also works well on

smooth [hot-pressed] watercolor paper or medium to heavy weight smooth bristol. You would stretch these

like watercolor paper before using the primers. If you want to skip the taping and stretching hassle, try Yupo!)

Old bristle brushes or squares of foam sponge for applying the primers.

Photos of your preferred subjects. NOTE: Photos that have a definite light source (sunlight, etc) with visible

light and shadow patterns will help you achieve a sense of warm light with the underpainting. I will bring

plenty of extra photos as well. With luck you might complete 1-2 paintings each day of the workshop!

Portable easel

Drop cloth for under workspace

Backing board for clipping/taping paper or surface to

Piece of tin foil or stiff paper for ‘dust-catcher’ under board (same width as board)

Old rag, paper towels, clips, masking tape, scissors

Wet wipes for cleaning hands, a ‘barrier’ type lotion or latex gloves if preferred.

2 “L” shaped pieces of an old matt board no smaller than your photos. For cropping your pics.

Optional: Pencil and ruler for gridding your photo if you need assistance with your drawing.

Optional: and/or some sheets of white copy paper for sketching your composition to size

Optional: Electronic tablet for viewing your digital photos

Optional: Paper plate(s) for borrowing my primers.

Optional: denatured alcohol, or 91-99% isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol for a variation of underpainting that I

sometimes do with landscapes (if you are flying, don't try to bring this!)

Glassine pieces for covering your pastel paintings

Apron/smock to protect clothes (or just wear old painting clothes)

A spirit of adventure!

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