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CANCELED: Workshop: Animal Pastel Painting with Dinah Swan

March 17, 2020 9:00 am
March 17, 2020 4:00 pm
1740 Calle De Mercado Suites B & D, Las Cruces NM 88005   View map


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Tuesday, March 17, 2020 9am-4pm and Wednesday March 18, 2:00-4:00pm


This one-day workshop begins with a short lecture/demo by Dinah Swan followed by exercises on painting animal eyes and fur. In preparation for the next part, participants will review value, shape and contrast to create dynamism.

All participants will then paint a coyote head/shoulders (image provided), and will finish the workshop by painting another animal:  bear, dog, rabbit, wolf or a second coyote. (images provided)

There will be a break for lunch; bring one or money for Paisano Café located right next door.  Included in this workshop fee is a two hour class on Wednesday, from 2-4:00pm, “ Framing Your Art using Recycled Frames”.


Sanded Uart PAPER.  2 sheets (9 x 12) per student required. The artist will sell the Uart pastel paper at cost: $2.50 each.  You may use your own sanded paper if you have it but try to have 400 or 500 grit.

PASTELS Participants will need an assortment of SOFT, dry pastels. Not Oil Pastels.  If you have pastels, bring everything including pastel pencils, hard pastels, tools and so on.

If you have no pastels, there are options.

  1. Borrow some.
  2. Share with another student who has a lot. Not ideal but if there are many, many sticks and cooperative artists, sharing could work
  3. Purchase a set. The more colors the better but a general set of 30—40 sticks will be sufficient. Buying half sticks is a good deal.

If you are buying a set of pastels, first consider how much you can pay for them and then how likely are you to use them again.  Only you can figure this out.

If budget is paramount, I recommend a set from either a crafts store such as Michaels or Hobby Lobby. I see that Hobby Lobby has a set of 24 Master’s Touch brand for $19.95 and a set of 36 for $29.99.  (Use the 40% off one item Hobby Lobby coupon available online if you go there).

Online you can look at and find lots of soft pastels.  I like the look of the Blick Brand half-stick set of 40 now on sale for $38.09 or 60 for $53.49.  (Full sticks must be broken into halves or even thirds for use, so half sticks are ready to go).  Blick has free shipping on orders over $39 and they usually have coupon codes. They are very helpful if you call them. I have not used Blick pastels; I use Great American, Sennelier and Ludwig.  My first set was the Sennelier 120 half sticks Paris Collection at about $200. I still have most of them and use them.

If you want a higher quality product, shop at the online source for all things pastel painting.  They have a very helpful staff if you call them for advice.

Of the 20 or more brands of soft pastels Rembrandt is on the harder end of the scale, Great American in the middle and Sennelier and Ludwig very soft. These loved and trusted brands, however, are not cheap, and you may want to look at store brands.

If you buy a new set, carefully peel off the paper wrappings if present. Some paper wraps are difficult to peel and the pastels are fragile.

Consider a box or container for your new pastels if they don’t come in packing that can be used for storage.  They’re fragile and should be padded and contained.

The instructor will provide all sorts of tools and stuff for students to try including tortillons, alcohol, blending tools, erasers, stencils, pencils, hard pastels and so on.

Overwhelmed about purchasing? Email a request for help to She will help you choose a set based on your budget and likely future use. If you are considering buying a new, more expensive set, perhaps check with Dinah first.

In addition to pastels and the above-mentioned paper, participants should have an apron or protective clothing, a few soft paper towels, a soft artist’s paint brush for removing pastel and masking tape to tape paper to a backing.  DAAC will provide foam core sheets onto which you will tape your pastel paper. Bring your portable easel if you have one.   970-247-1995