Chalk Pastel Techniques of the Masters - Beginners to Intermediate | WEA Sydney

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Print this page Chalk Pastel Techniques of the Masters - Beginners to Intermediate

Available Classes

From the time of Leonardo da Vinci onwards, artists experimented with developing pastels as a means of combining the benefits of the naturally occurring drawing medium of the chalk pencil with the rich variety of pigments used in paints. Over eight weeks and in combination with some fundamental skills in drawing, learn how to build up layers of pastel colours to convey a sense of form, tonal relationships and relative warm and cool values in colour. The approach to teaching in this class is always to offer the student one on one tuition. Thus, the class fully caters for both the very beginner and those with some previous experience.


  • Face-to-Face


  • Natural black and white chalks on blue - grey paper: This class will look at the limited range of natural chalks available to artists prior to the invention of pastel. The class will also introduce students to the use of a coloured ground as a mid-tone.
  • Dead colour pastel drawing: We will examine the initial layers of a pastel drawing.
  • Dead colour and full colour pastel drawing: We will examine how to build up successive layers of colour over an initial dead colour pastel drawing as a means of conveying relative warm and cool values.


By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Critically select a “palette” of colours that coincide with any image or object to be depicted.
  2. Have gained and developed fundamental skills in seeing and recording correct proportion, tone and relative warm and cool values.
  3. Make use of a variety of coloured papers, employing the paper as a mid-tone and building up successive pastel colours in both thin and more opaque layering.
  4. Build up a pastel in layers from dead colour to full colour.
  5. Gain an understanding of the difference, similarities and the integrated use of natural chalk pigments and artificially bound pastel colours.


  • Faber Castel box 38 soft chalk pastels (this and all materials are essential)
  • A variety of A3 coloured papers – buff and blue-grey
  • Oil-based black chalk pencil
  • White chalk pencil
  • Stanley knife for sharpening
  • Kneadable eraser
  • Two paper stumps

IMPORTANT: Please arrive to the first class with all the relevant materials. A lack of materials is not just a handicap to you but to the ability to teach. Materials cost is not included in a course fee. In the event of a course being cancelled WEA cannot be held responsible for the purchase of any course materials. We therefore suggest you purchase your materials closer to the time of the course commencing.


  • The Art Scene, UNSW Art & Design Campus, Greens Rd Paddington NSW. Ph: 8815 1569
  • Eckersley’s Art and Craft Store 223-225 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst, Ph: 02 9331 2166.
  • Bondi Road Art Supplies 179 Bondi Road Bondi. Ph: 9387 3746. (Closed Fridays and Sundays)
  • Eckersley’s Art and Craft Store 93 York Street Sydney, Ph: 02 9299 4151. Also at North Sydney, St Leonards, Chatswood, Caringbah, Parramatta & more.

Enquire at your art shop for a Student’s Discount with your WEA course receipt.

Interested in this course? JOIN OUR WAITLIST to be notified when vacancies or future classes are available.