Bring on the sun Betsy Payne Cook

Pastels for Beginners & Beyond with Betsy Payne Cook, March 2020

Join this class to expand your repertoire of pastel techniques and surfaces!

This is an ideal class for beginners but lessons can be differentiated for artists who paint with pastels but would like to expand their use of this versatile medium. There are so many possibilities with pastel’s pure pigment , using it dry, altering it to a wet medium, combining it with other mediums; and the selection of pastel sticks and surfaces just keeps growing!

Each class will begin with an introductory lesson on the techniques for painting and drawing with pastel, giving you a strong foundation to develop your skills. You can work from photos, still life set-ups and enjoy some time outdoors if the weather permits! Class allows for plenty of easel time with individual feedback. Instruction will include pastel techniques with hard and soft pastels, underpainting techniques and the principles of composition & color.

We will use a different sanded surfaces for painting such as Sennelier LaCarte, Art Spectrum, UArt, Pastel Premier and Pastelmat, which can be bought from the instructor or you may purchase your own.

Materials List:

  • Sketch pad, pencils & charcoal.
  • Hard pastels -such as Nu-Pastels, Rembrandts
  • Soft pastels – such as Great American, Unison, Terry Ludwig
  • Foamcore board for mounting papers
  • Artist Tape
  • Ruler
  • Inexpensive 1” flat watercolor brush
  • Apron

Paper & sanded boards will be available for purchase from the instructor. You will learn about the various brands of pastels in the first class. Please bring what you have so I can offer suggestions so you don’t purchase unnecessary supplies.

Locally, you can purchase pastel supplies from Woodruffs Art Store in Mashpee Commons (they will give a 10% discount to class members). Additional soft pastels such as Unison, Great American, and Terry Ludwig pastels can be purchased on-line from various art supply companies such as ASW, Jerry’s Artarama, Dick Blick, and Dakota Art Supplies. Foam core board is sold at Staples & you can cut it to size. I use black but it is also sold in white (do not buy colored boards).

About the Instructor

Betsy Payne Cook paints exclusively with pastels, and is honored to be a juried artist member of the Pastel Society of America and to have achieved signature membership of the Pastel Painters Society of Cape Cod (PPSCC) and the Connecticut Pastel Society (CPS). Betsy is acknowledged as a juried Master Artist at the Cape Cod Art Center. She is represented by True Grit Gallery in Middleboro, MA and is a frequent guest exhibitor at Woodruffs Art Center, Mashpee, MA. Betsy paints in her home studio and en plein air wherever her travels take her.


Our classes and workshops are open to students of all abilities and needs. We are currently unable to provide one-on-one instruction, though we will make every attempt to address accommodations for full and successful engagement whenever possible.
If a student requires individual supports, parent/guardian/PCA/teacher/ABA Therapists/etc are welcome to attend.
Please contact Christine Ernst, Director of Education, for more information at christine@cotuitcenterforthearts.org.