"Dusty Trails"
Pastel Immersion

Christine Debrosky

April 30–May 4, 2018


All Levels - Pastel

"Pastel is the dust on butterfly's wings"
-Wolf Kahn.


Join this 5-day pastel immersion workshop with Christine Debrosky, PSA ,AIS, IAPS Master exploring the pure pigment of pastel, with rich, jewel like color unattainable with any other media. This workshop is an in-depth exploration of the mesmerizing medium. Learn the ins and outs under the tutelage of an experienced painter and teacher, in an engaging, insightful, and fun workshop. Prepare to get your hands dirty!

In addition to materials, students will be expected to bring their own references to work from, preferably landscape, as this is Christine’s area of expertise, particularly in rendering light effects. All levels of student are welcome, from beginners to advanced. Participants will be expected to have a working knowledge of drawing. Students will be met at their own level, and more advanced pastel painters will be encouraged to develop and grow in their style of painting, as there will be much individual-at-easel critique.

Day One: Brief introduction, and history of pastel, followed by a demonstration. The importance of a value sketch will be discussed. Handouts for “How to get the most out of your reference materials”. After lunch, students will dive right in to their own projects, with individual discussion for each participant, including an assessment of reference.

Day Two: Discussion and “deconstruction”. This will be an explanation of materials, and how choices may affect the outcome. Pastel is a hands on medium. I will have samples, and information on sources to give out to each student. There will be a demo on strokes used, and the importance of touch in pastel painting. Very important, and often overlooked. At the end of the day, a mini-critique.

Days Three and Four: How to simplify the subject- a point that students often struggle with. Design emphasized …or how to compose work for best impact. Demonstrated and discussed with exercises designed to stretch abilities. Students continue with their own projects.

Day Five: will start with a “finish demo”, or how I may take a painting that I’ve started and bring it to a successful conclusion. Often students will ask “What do I do next…I’m stuck? This will show just that. To wrap up the workshop, we will have a critique session of all of the week’s work, or, as I like to call it, a “gentle group discussion.” These sessions are known to be an encouraging session, and students are left with areas to work on in their pastel painting journey.

April 30–May 4, 2018

Payment Options: Students may pay in full or choose the payment-plan option during registration. The payment plan requires a non-refundable $125 deposit with the balance due 30 days before the first day of the workshop.

Workshop Materials List

GOOD QUALTY SET OF SOFT PASTELS; at least 80-90colors. There are many decent brands, such as Girault, Schminke, Great American, Unison, Terry Ludwig, Sennelier, Mt. Vision, Rembrandt, Art Spectrum, Holbein- all good. They all have varying degrees of hardness, as well as differences in size of stick so it is an individual choice. Please AVOID student grade sets. Half stick sets are an excellent way to get a lot of colors reasonably; Great American and Sennelier make nice ones. Small sets may be supplemented with open stock colors.


PAPER- Sheets of good quality sanded surfaces such as Pastel Premiere, ( Italian clay), Pastel Mat, Art Spectrum. I also use U- Art, 400 grit, which comes in a light buff, which I tone with watered down acrylic in a mid-tone neutral....which should be done ahead. You may also want to try a few sheets of Canson Mi-Teintes papers...which are inexpensive ( great for learning) and come in a wide assortment of colors. Please choose MID-TONE, neutral colors...and AVOID black, white or brilliant colored papers. Sizes are outlined below.

BASIC EASELS are provided you will need to bring your own paper support or drawing board if you intend to work larger than 18 x 24.You will also need a BOARD about 1" all around larger than your paper. Foam board, or gator board is excellent.

SKETCHBOOK and PENCILS- for value/compositional sketches... IMPORTANT.

MISCELLANEOUS- Glassine for wrapping, protecting pastel work. Masking tape. Handi , or baby wipes . Mounting putty such as UHU holdit, or DAP Fun Tak...for removing unwanted pastel OR a stiff brush works great.

SOURCES for materials- Dakota Art Pastels - www.dakotapastels.com -888-345-0067 ...an excellent resource for pastel description and comparison. Jerry's Artarama- www.jerrysartarama.com , Dick Blick- www.dickblick.com

About Christine Debrosky

American Impressionist

"If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden." F. H. Burnett, The Secret Garden 

Encouraged by her parents at a young age with oil painting lessons and a professional water color set while growing up in NY's Hudson Valley, Christine Debrosky always knew that she would be involved in art. Besides the access to world class museums and galleries for study and inspiration, living in the Northeast meant that she learned much about color. The blank canvas of snow over the winter landscape was a way to learn about the hues of light as it changes during the course of the day.  In deep summer, surrounded by every shade of green imaginable, she learned how to work with this "difficult " hue.

In her early painting years, with limited means and a small child at home, and concerns about toxicity, she turned to watercolor as a primary medium, and the outdoors as her studio. The transparency meant that she could render the dazzling effects of sunlight, and started to enter juried national and gallery shows. Working en plein air , with nature as a motif was an invaluable  learning experience.

It was by taking a workshop with Albert Handell that she was introduced to the rich jewel tones of pastel. Her work in this medium has garnered rainbows of ribbons in shows from coast to coast in the US, and in Italy, France, and Russia. Coming full circle, and today also working in oil, her career has steadily progressed, showing with such prestigious groups as Oil Painters of America, the Pastel Society of America, and the American Impressionist Society. She has earned signature status with AWA, the Pastel Society of America, the Pastel Society of the West Coast, "Distinguished Pastellist", the American Impressionist Society, and has been named to Who's Who in American Art, and Who's Who of American Women.

Her work has been featured in several magazine articles,such as American Artist, the Pastel Journal, Plein Air Magazine, and Pratique des Artes,  a French publication, as well as on a television and a movie set. Her work is published by Winn Devon, and is available world-wide. Wanting to share her accumulated experience, she has taught extensively in the US, as well as workshops in Tuscany, Venice, and Burgundy, France.

Currently she lives in North Arizona, with her husband Wayne, in a completely renovated home , complete with a custom designed dream studio. There, overlooking the red rock glow of Sedona, the abundance of sunlight , richly hued shadows, and nuanced greys of the high desert allows for continued learning and inspiration.

You can observe a lot by watching. - Yogi Berra 

Christine Debrosky Website








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