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The Portrait in Pastel with Brandon Brownlee

November 5, 2021 @ 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 10:00 am on Friday, repeating until November 19, 2021

Workshop Information

Instructor: Brandon Brownlee

Dates: Fridays, from October 22 – November 19

Time: 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Location: Five Points Arts Center Painting Lab

Ages: 18+

Cost: $250

Class Cap: 12


Event Link



Workshop Description

In this workshop you will learn how to develop a finished pastel portrait. Starting with a charcoal under drawing, we will be layering hard and soft pastels to create depth and nuanced flesh tones. We will also be touching on the structural anatomy of the skull and facial features in order to build a life-like portrait. This class is for both beginner and advanced students. We will be working from photo references; please bring a variety of photos to work from.


Required Materials

Please click here for the materials list.


  • Charcoal pencils (soft – hard)
  • (optional) Pastel pencils
  • (optional) Colored pencils

Paper (bring a few smaller 9×12 sheets, and 1-2 larger sheets if you would like to work life-sized or larger). Suggested papers:

  • Sketchpad (9×12 or larger)
  • Canson Mi-Teintes (don’t get anything too light) (midtone and darker – blue/green/grey/purple are good for fleshtones)
  • Cold-press watercolor paper (can be toned with acrylic or watercolor, or a painted with a pastel ground)
  • Sennelier La Carte Pastel Paper
  • Art Spectrum Colourfix Sanded Paper (get anything 9×12 or larger)

Chalk Pastels. If buying pastels individually, make sure to not only get bright saturated colors but warm and cool neutrals. Suggested chalk pastels:

  • Hard Pastels: Nupastels (get largest box you can afford)
  • Soft Pastels: Faber Castell (box set, comes in half or full); Sennelier Soft Pastel (half sticks or full sticks); Rembrandt

Drawing Board (has to be larger than the paper that you are working with). A full sheet of Art Spectrum Colorfix is 19.5”x27.5” – make sure to give yourself a few inches to work on either side for adhering the paper to the board. You can buy a drawing board from the art store, or you can also get a hardboard or MDF (smooth) from a hardware store and have them cut it to size.

Additional supplies:

  • Tools for sharpening pastel pencils/hard pastels/etc (optional but very helpful)
  • Pastel pencil sharpener (carbothello makes a really cheap one that works great)
  • Exacto knife/Olfa (my preference)
  • Sandpaper (120 grit) for pencils)
  • Artist tape
  • Rag or chamois (I use a square of old shirt – cheap and you can bring several)


Instructor Bio

Brandon Brownlee is an artist living and working in Hartford, Connecticut. He completed an MFA in painting at New York Academy of Art, where he studied figure drawing under Michael Grimaldi and advanced artistic anatomy at Drexel University College of Medicine. He also holds a BFA in Illustration from the Hartford Art School and an AFA in Visual Fine Art from Manchester Community College. Brownlee’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and is held in private collections in the United States.

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November 5, 2021
10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Event Category: