Art Workshops Online –

Soft pastel techniques to encourage beginners and challenge experienced artists

My regular Soft Pastel Workshop’s in Wimborne usually run on Thursday. They are held in a lovely Parish Hall, opposite The Old Inn. We hope to return in early 2021, ring or email or click here to be added to the mailing list.

Until we can gather together again, I’m excited to share my Online ‘Real time’ Pastel Workshops as a full length demonstration of my process. These online tutorials replace my regular group workshops. My newly developed videos are designed especially for you to paint along to at your own pace. You can replay the videos as many times as you like. It means you can stop and start to help you create your own version of my artworks. They are slow paced, allowing you to watch each detail as I create a painting from start to finish. I talk through a progressive series of tips and tricks to help you develop your techniques . 

There are 10 Workshops in the Seascape Series – you can take it as a progressive course or pick and choose the ones you would like to create. Start with Soft Pastel Workshop, Number 1, if you are a beginner or choose one or a series of the Soft Pastel Workshops that inspire you.

You can buy access to a workshop for £15.00 per session, it comes as a private video link from Youtube. Joining my Nina Squire The Pastel Artist, Facebook Group, Art Online gives you access to a taster of a real time demo and a chance to introduce yourself to my Online Community.

If you are new to pastels, I can advise on making the best investments. Buying the right materials makes your experience more enjoyable and means you’ll enjoy it for longer.

How to create Seascapes Soft Pastel Workshop – A great introduction for beginners – Number 1

Number one – Especially for the Soft Pastels beginner

I knew this gorgeous view would be perfect for a beginner to gain confidence. If it’s your first time or you are just returning to art after a break, this Soft Pastel Workshop a great place to start. A sunny view with a fluffy crashing wave is very forgiving for a beginner. It gets you using the media without having to worry too much about accuracy and drawing skills which will always come with time and practice. A seascape is very forgiving, every one is different, my progressive series builds confidence and also your skills.

Your first seascape and your wave will have its own character, it will be unique to you, just like the sea. Be kind to yourself when starting, it’s always daunting but it’s worth remembering that each workshop you do will help your skills improve. I’m using Sennelier Pastel Card and Unison Colour Pastels in my workshops, they’ve become my favourites but there are other brands that will be suitable. It’s easier to create my images if you use the same surfaces and materials as me, get in touch if you need advice ahead of choosing the pastel surface and which Soft Pastels to use. I will explain the reasons behind my material choices and processes during the workshop.

Seascapes Online Workshop – Number 2 

I wanted this to be perfect introduction to using a liquid with pastels to paint. You’ll learn some fantastic techniques to paint with pastels. Learning how to create a sparking wave is so satisfying and this is a great confidence builder. The skills learnt on this workshop will help with other subjects that need added sparkles like distant trees and sparkling rivers.

How to create a sparkling waves in soft pastels using liquid to paint with pastels

Seascapes Online Workshop – Number 3 

Composition is something that we intuitively understand, a successful painting often has a pathway into it. The foreground interest of footprints draws the eye into the painting. In this workshop we will explore mark making and building layers on the sanded papers. This soft pastel painting demonstrates how effective building layers in pastels can be for creating depth of colour. The workshop will help you gain an understanding of building up contrast in your sea and sand. Those skills are the same used for building depth in animal fur or a luscious landscape.

How to create a beach break in Unison Colour Pastels using liquid to create an underpainting

Seascape Online workshop – Number 4 

The distant views and tufted sand dunes are a great example of effective foreground interest. The low light creates a gorgeous shadow to emphasis the Marram Grasses against the sands. The skills you’ll learn in this workshop will become the techniques you master to create cats whiskers and animal fur as you develop accuracy. Looking for foreground interest in your own photos will help you improve your own reference photos.

Pastel painting of sand dunes overlooking Studland
Sand dunes and Studland created using Unison Colour and liquid to create a Pastel Painting

Seascape Online Workshop – Number 5 

Learning how to create fluffy clouds is important in all landscapes. The distant views of Bournemouth are sparkling lights in thebackground and those fluffy clouds create a sense of perspective, leading our eye into the view. This workshop shows you how to create clouds as 3D shapes. They must have form and weight created by the clever use of colour which is covered in the workshop.

View of bournemouth beach in pastel
Bournemouth Beach created using Unison Colour and liquid to create a Pastel Painting

Seascape Online workshop – number 6

Not all seascapes have crashing waves, we need to look at wet sand and the reflections it creates. The colours and contrasts that are used to build up the foreground are satisfying areas of interest which lead your eye into the composition. It is important to look for areas of interest in your artwork and to keep adding them, even when you think you’re finished. We often take a break, to come back to it with fresh eyes. It’s not always practical, but turning the artwork upside down can help you notice new details or areas that need adjustment.

Creating calm seas from an evening beach walk at Sandbanks

Seascape online workshop – number 7

This has been one of my most popular workshops, the headland is a dramatic silhouette against the beautiful blue sea. The shadow across the headland uses an underpainting to emphasis those contrasts. You’ll learn the skills to create those beautiful cliff top flowers which add the important foreground interest. The skills that you have built up in the series will give you confidence to give your flowers, your own signature. Your artwork is about the cliff top flowers you want to find on your ideal evening walk.

Old Harry Rocks in Unison Pastels, using liquid to create a painted base layer


Every cloud has a silver lining

The challenge of creating a dramatic sunset with limited colours. The inky darks of the foreground create interest, you’ll gain confidence in creating them and learn how to work back into them with liquid. It’s a great way to learn to loosen up marks and work with pastels as a mixed media.

Seascape online workshop – Number 9

St Michael’s Mount, Cornwall – Soft Pastel Workshop

The sparkling rock pool and the silhouette of St Michael’s Mount make this a fantastic image, the Mount is instantly recognisable. I’m challenging you to work on a smaller format. The smaller format is a challenge, you need to concentrate on making your marks effective, emphasising contrast. This workshop will enable you to work on your drawing skills, along with the challenge of working on those sparkling highlights into the foreground.

Personalised feedback

If you would prefer, I can give you detailed email feedback on your paintings via email from £45.00.

Here’s some of the recent feedback on Summer Term Online

“I wasn’t sure if it would work but I have really enjoyed the workshops. Nice to see everyone, get help with problems , no one is critical and we have a laugh.”

“We share our work and can ask for help and constructive criticism from Nina to keep our work progressing. This is such a great way of teaching, learning and staying in touch.”

“I have found the online sessions fun, very engaging, productive and social. Demonstrations have provided a good insight on how to attempt and develop a range of subjects and techniques.”

“Group online sessions have created a productive, relaxed and engaging atmosphere. It means we interact with other artist’s on aspects of painting. It’s a friendly and helpful group of people.” 

More information about a Soft Pastel workshop in Dorset

We work with pastels, acrylic and mixed media in our friendly and small art groups in Poole and Dorset. My Art Sessions are suitable for beginners and experienced artists. My 10 week Courses will cover basic techniques and extend your mixed media skills and approaches. We use mainly soft pastel pastel but occasionally its effective to combine it with acrylic painting. I encourage you to collect you own images that inspire you which I can help you create. You can bring in a selection of items to work from if you prefer to work from a still life. A selection of pastels can be provided for beginners and experimentation.

Click on Weekly workshops in Wimborne for our weekly Thursday class opposite The Old Inn, ring or email for dates. 

Comments from Soft Pastel Workshop’s.

‘I have been attending Nina’s classes for nearly 5 years now and everyone I have met during that time has been friendly and have all, not only enjoyed the days, but learnt to produce amazing art work in a short time.’

‘Nina’s style of teaching seems to suit everybody, from beginners to more advanced and we are all encouraged to develop our own style and work on our own projects. It’s my favourite day of the week!’ 

‘My husband bought me a ten week pastel course as a Christmas present five years ago and I haven’t missed a course since.  It has been fantastic to learn a new skill among a group of such welcoming and supportive people many of whom have become good friends.  Nina is a teacher who encourages us to develop our own style and guides us with a light touch enabling us to produce some amazing works of art.’

Booking is in advance and cannot be refunded unless you can find someone to replace you.