Portrait in Pastel

Ellen Eagle’s work is represented by Forum Gallery, NY. She has had four solo shows, and continues to exhibit widely in group exhibitions in venues such as the Frye Art Museum; National Academy Museum of Fine Arts, NY; Butler Institute of American Art, OH; Long Beach Museum of Art, CA; Albright Knox Gallery, NY; Araknsas Art Center, AK, and many others. She exhibited twenty pastel paintings in China 2011-12. Ellen teaches the only class devoted to pastel at The Art Students League of NY. Her book, Pastel Painting Atelier, was published by Watson-Guptill, NY, in 2013.
9:30 A.M.-4:30 P.M.
Live Model
All Level Welcome
Gage Capitol Hill
Because we never know what colors we will see in our subjects, it is important to have  available for our use as many colors as possible.  A large set of pastels can be financially daunting, but a set is a one-time purchase: each stick has a very long life, and the replacement of even frequently used individual sticks is necessary only on occasion.

I recommend the largest set of REMBRANDT soft pastels that you can afford. (The largest set contains 225 sticks; the 150-stick set is also excellent.) If you choose to begin with a smaller set, it is advisable to supplement it with some individual Rembrandt sticks, so that your total selection includes at least a few shades of the widest range of colors possible. 

NUPASTELS: It is important to have Nupastels, the largest set you can afford (the largest set contains 96 sticks.)

PAPER AND BOARDS: Of the pastel papers, I like Canson for the weight and texture, and wide availability. Canson makes a Steel Grey and a Felt Grey, which are both good neutrals. Bring about 5 sheets (some of these papers are for cushioning between your working paper and backboard). The paper measures slightly larger than 19″ x 25″.  Art Spectrum Gray paper is also good.  Some of my students love the Wallis paper (it’s a bit expensive).  Two pieces of white foam core board, same size or slightly larger than your paper. One will be your back board, one will be an overnight cover.  If you prefer to work on pastel boards, that’s fine.


    • X-acto knife or mat cutter, ruler and straight-edge to cut your paper and backboard down to size, if you wish to work smaller than the paper and board are manufactured.
    • Four clips, such as bulldog (approximately 3″ size), or the long, slide-on type
    • Charcoal, hard and soft
    • Charcoal sandpaper block
    • Razor blades, single edge
    • Paper towels
    • Drawing pad – I like Strathmore 400 Series,  8 x 10, in.  or smaller
    • Any pencils you like to use. I like Faber Castell. Bring a few, from B to 8B
    • Kneaded eraser
    • Hand -held mirror
In this natural light studio workshop, our goal is to observe the model’s form, color, and value relationships with a clear eye and to distill this complex information into a simply expressed, harmonious construction. Engage in the intense color analysis and develop the skill of comparing shapes, color, and values to weave layers in the brilliant medium of pastel. Eagle will begin the workshop with a portrait demonstration. Following initial brief sketching sessions, there will be one model in one pose for the five mornings, and a second model in a single pose for the five afternoons.