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Winter Pastel Tutorial, with Julie Ford

With your host John

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Broadcast 13 Feb '24

All donations made get free entry to Julie's next SKA art workshop.


An art tutorial using pastels. In this class, Julie will be painting a snow scene with the aim of creating the warmth of sun, setting behind the trees and the chilliness of the snow, using a combination of warm and cool colours.

She will be working from a monochromatic reference photo and has therefore chosen the colours to create the atmosphere that she is aiming for. See below.

Julie mostly uses Unison soft pastels and has opted for the 18 colour set she created for her Swan Radiance workshop. She has added 5 additional greens. See below the numbers of the colours for reference, but you can also match any pastels you have to the swatches in the reference photo. Or you can use your own combinations and see what you can create.

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Reference photo

Example painting and colour inspiration

Class painting


Julie  will be working on Pastelmat paper 24 x 18 cm in anthracite but any colour will do. If you want to work on a similar colour and don’t have it, a Paynes grey watercolour wash applied beforehand and dried will work but only on pastelmat.

You will need a hard pastel for drawing out an outline of the landscape. Soft pastels a selection of colours. She uses Unison mostly, but any soft pastels will work. 

She usually uses a blending tool of some sort. If you don’t have any pan pastel tools then sponge eyeshadow applicators work well. You can also use a piece of kitchen paper, insulating foam. Fingers also work!

The colours are just a guide. It is always good to choose your own colours as this builds your ability to create colour harmonies and learn how they work together.

The Unison Colours are:

A 21

O 2

Y 18

Y 5

Grey 26

BV 8

Light 16

Light 18


P 8

Red 11

Red 12

BV 12

A 18

P 8

P 5

P 2

Grey 22

Grey 33

DK 8

GN 13

GN 9

GN 10

GN 35


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