Pastel Portraits

8 classes: $495 (includes model fees)


Joe Molloy


Must have life drawing experience.

Class Description:

This course is an introduction to drawing the portrait using pastels. Students work with a variety of models to learn how to represent the unique characteristics of each person. Classes will focus on rules of proportion as they relate to portraiture, the investigation of individual features (eyes, nose, etc.) and the question of likeness.

Supply List:

If you already have these, or some of these things, or have experience with this medium, by all means don't purchase new gear, just bring what you have, or fill out the list where you see gaps.

  • Paper, sanded is the best, some great brands are UArt, and Sennelier. UArt has different weights, which should allow for holding more pigment, but Sennelier had a few toned options like Van Dyke Brown and Dark Green, which were nice. Less expensive pastel paper, like Murano and Canson are available, but they are not sanded and may require fixing, and won't hold as many layers of pastel.Size I'd say at least 9x12, if you have experience and want to tackle more of the figure, you may find 12x18, 19x25, and 21x27, depending on brand, which, being paper can be cut down to multiple sheets or your desired size.

  • Scissors

  • Artist Tape

  • Glassine (to protect your work after class)

  • Vine or Willow Charcoal - probably 6 sticks or so, medium or soft

  • Sketch book/journal

  • Pencils

  • Sharpener

  • Kneaded eraser

  • A chunking bristle brush (Essentially a cheaper paint brush for removing unwanted pastel from your paper)

  • Pastels - there are soooo many brands, and Jerry's has a number of options. I use Rembrandts as a work horse, and Sennelier, for their higher quality in finishing strokes and personal taste. There are others like Terry Ludwigs, that can be found online (, at some later date that will step up your quality as well. Mungyo Gallery and Prismacolor Nupastels, are also workhorse options. The first two I mentioned have the greatest range of hue and value, represented well at Jerry's, locally. If you haven't any experience with soft pastel, understand that a particular hue, say, a mars violet, will come in as many as 8 different values, so the Rembrandt and Sennelier allow the greatest subtlety, as personally I don't blend so much as I allow layers of differing strokes to be blended by the eye, as well as examined for their individualism. Your palette needs to offer you options. My giving you names of colors may be confusing, because the Sennelier is number coded but no name exists on the individual sleeve (however here's a link to translate). The Rembrandts do have names, and I'll list a bunch I use here - mars violet, indian red, white, black, carmine, permanent red, light oxide red, madder lake deep red, raw umber, caput mortuum red, raw siena, gold ochre, violet, olive green, yellow ochre, deep yellow. Blues, greens purples, variations of browns, consider subtlety, the darkest value can be too strong, often, but we'll talk about this later.