Soft pastel and mixed media painting – colour in the landscape with Sarah Bee

Ref: S4D33415

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About this course

This course will encourage you to move away from represen tational colour in landscape paiting towards exciting interpretational work using soft pastel as the primary medium in a mixed media process.

Course Description

Explore an exciting and different approach to pastel painting with mixed media.

This course will focus on methods to achieve vibrant and expressive mark-making in landscape painting whilst using soft pastel as the primary medium in a mixed media process. Your tutor will guide you to discover the limitless opportunities of interpretational use of colour in the methods she uses.

You will begin by sketching in the beautiful grounds of West Dean gardens before returning to the studio to make energetic and mark lead work from the sketches, words and information gathered.

You will work on mount board using acrylic paint, gesso and soft pastel.

If the weather is bad you will work from sketches or photographs, so please bring what you have just in case.

There will be regular demonstrations, with emphasis on individual guidance to help you to improve your personal experience and understanding of layered painting and colour.

By the end of the course you will have gained an understanding of this mixed media process, and how to incorporate it into your own painting methods.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • Some magnolia emulsion paint, clear gesso, ink and a piece of white mountboard to get you started

What students need to bring

  • Bring any reference material you might like to work from in case of poor weather (sketchbook studies, printed photographs).
  • Overalls or apron
  • Newspaper and tape to cover finished work for transportation
  • Selection of brushes – importantly, to include some decorator’s brushes, 1 inch and 1.5 inch,
  • the more wrecked and tired, the better!
  • Sketchbook and pencils
  • Willow charcoal
  • Spray fixative
  • A selection of acrylic paints – to include Paynes Grey
  • Waterproof Indian Ink (some provided)
  • Pastels (not oil) - to include a selection of soft pastels, such as Unison or Jacksons Art own make, and also the harder type of Conté à Paris Pastel crayons (available in sets of 12 bright colours)
  • Paint palette with several deep wells

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • General art materials, including white smooth mountboard, sketchbooks, pencils and charcoal, good selection of acrylic paints, including Paynes Grey, waterproof black Indian ink, soft pastels and Conté à Paris hard pastels, paint palette with several large wells, paint brushes, decorator’s brushes 1 to 1.5 inches wide, spray fixative

Additional information

Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio. This includes stout covered footwear, i.e. no open-toes or sandals.


Sarah Bee

Sarah Bee has been a member of The Pastel Society, and part of The Federation of British Artists for almost 20 years. During this time she has worked to lift pastel painting from the doldrums of a long held dull and traditional reputation into the deserved spotlight of inspiring contemporary art. Sarah's expressive painting conveys light, atmosphere and texture by using a layered combination of different media culminating in soft pastel. 

She was honoured to receive The Mamut Pastel Award in 2023.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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Further study options

Take the next step in your creative practice, with foundation level to Masters in Fine Art study. 

Depending on your experience, start with an Online Foundation Certificate in Art and Design (one year, part-time), a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design made up of 10 short courses taken over two years (part-time) or advance your learning with our BA (Hons) Art and Contemporary Craft: Materials, Making, and Place (six years part-time). All will help you develop core skills, find direction in your practice and build an impressive portfolio in preparation for artist opportunities or higher-level study. See all degree and diploma courses.