Dusty Trails: Pastel Landscape Impressions

C.Debrosky Precious Gold
C.Debrosky Oak Creek Sparkle
C.Debrsoky Slide Rock
C.Debrosky Sedona Lace
C.Debrosky Sky Pierced (2)


Dusty Trails: Pastel Landscape Impressions with Christine Debrosky

Studio to Plein Air Workshop

May 4 – 6, 2023 | Thursday – Saturday

Thurs: 10 am – 5 pm; Fri – Sat: 9 am – 4 pm

Medium – Pastels

Experience Level – All Levels, but students should have a firm grasp of drawing, and basic knowledge of painting techniques. Pastel beginners are fine, if drawing skills are in place.

The rich jewel tones of pastel are perfect for the drama of red rock glow as well as the nuanced facets of the high desert. Under the tutelage of a master pastellist, you will learn how to best capture the essence of our surroundings.

We will go out one or two days, (weather dependent) gathering reference and being immersed in  Sedona inspiration.

In studio, we will take a more contemplative approach to the landscape, as well as work on design and technique.

Some of the points covered will be :

  • Making the most of your sticks…make every stroke count.
  • How to identify and render light and shadow patterns.
  • Color and light -the magic tools of the pastel landscape painter.
  • Design your painting to entice the viewer…

And so much more!

In-Person Classes

COVID Health and Safety Protocols

The health and safety of our Patrons, Students, Volunteers, and Staff are a top priority. Since COVID-19 first surfaced, our staff continues to monitor the situation closely, taking every precaution to keep our Patrons, Students, Volunteers, Staff, and our community safe.

  • Face masks are optional at this time.

23 0504 CD

Christine Debrosky

Christine Debrosky

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 Christine 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 Northern 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.


Basic Pastel Supplies and Plein Air Supplies:                          

Good set of soft pastels; at least 80-90 colors:  Girault, Unison, Great American, Terry Ludwig, Mt. Vision, Sennelier, Diane Townsend, Blue Earth, and Richeson hand rolled… are all good brands. Be aware that pastels have varying degrees of hardness from make – to make, so it’s an individual choice. Small sets may be supplemented with open stock colors. Half stick sets are a great way to get a lot of colors reasonably, and Sennelier and Unison make nice sets. Please AVOID student grade pastels….the major brands are all listed here.

Plein air easel – many options available, and it is an individual preference. I use an ALL-IN-ONE, www.allinoneeasel.com  with sienna tripod legs.  Just make sure everything is packable and easy to carry!

Soft vine (willow) charcoal, in medium grade.

Paper- sheets of a good quality sanded surfaces, such as U-Art, Pastel Mat, etc. Please choose MID-TONE, neutral colored papers, and avoid white, black or brilliant hues. Sizes are outlined below.  Pastel Premiere is excellent, in “Italian Clay”.It also comes in white, which will need to be toned ( I use pastel and alcohol to tone.)  U-Art is a light buff, which I also recommend toning. A few sheets of Canson Mi-Teintes are good to have, also.

For our work, I recommend working about 11 x 14, up to 14 x 18 – many pads, or packs come in this size. If you use full sheets, have them trimmed ahead of time, with a board about 1’’ larger all around than your paper. Foam board, or gator foam is excellent.

Important: Small sketchbook and pencils for value studies.

Miscellaneous materials: Glassine for wrapping, protecting pastel work. Masking tape. Handi – wipes (or type of baby wipe.) A stiff brush, or small foam brush for removing unwanted pastel. I just found a GREAT eraser… MOO, Nayuna Co. available on Amazon.

Some online sources:

Dakota Pastels 1-888-345-0067 www.dakotapastels.com  This site compares brands of pastels side-by side. Dick Blick, www.dickblick.com 877-943-9269 good prices on sets.

Important: a good selection of landscape photos for our studio work.  These can be prints or from your iPad, tablet or laptop. Please avoid trying to work from your phone. It does not work very well.

Questions about supplies? Email Christine at chrsky@centurylink.net.

Cancellation Policy


  • Each student must enroll individually
  • Students may register online or by calling the Sedona Arts Center’s Administrative Offices in the Art Barn, toll-free at 888-954-4442 or locally at 928-282-3809
  • Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express are accepted or student may pay with cash or check by registering in person during office hours at the Art Barn

In-Person and Online Workshops

  • Payment in full is due upon registration, or a payment plan can be put in place by the student upon check-out through Sezzle.
  • There is a $125 Cancellation Fee for any cancellations made before April 4, 2023. Remaining balance will be refunded.
  • There are no refunds after April 4, 2023.
  • If Sedona Arts Center cancels the workshop for any reason, all payments made will be refunded in full.

Important Message

The Sedona Arts Center is not responsible for providing make-up sessions or issuing refunds, credits, or transfers for courses missed as a result of illness, emergencies, or other events beyond our control. There are absolutely no refunds after the cut-off date for any reason, unless the Sedona Arts Center has to cancel the workshop, then all fees paid will be refunded in full.

Covid-19 Update for In-Person Classes and Workshops: 

As long as SAC is able to provide an environment that adheres to the CDC guidelines for social gatherings, and assuming all other normal criteria are met and the workshop or class goes forward, the above cancellation policies are in effect.