Coastal View from Cliff Path in Soft Pastels with Richard Suckling

Course Details


Thursday 08th February 2024


10:00 am – 4:30 pm

Course Description

In this one day workshop we will be using soft pastels to create a bold seascape with this versatile and exciting medium. Mark-making, composition, tone and colour will all be explored as part of the process as we create a typical Cornish seascape. Students will be encouraged to experiment and try a looser approach to pastel painting, working, in this case from photographic reference but looking at how we can use this as a starting point without becoming a slave to the photograph.

Combining both the drawing and painting elements of the medium, we will explore taking it further to include elements of abstraction whilst fully exploiting the qualities that soft pastels can offer the artist.

We will be look at composition, including thumbnail sketches to break the subject down to create a dynamic initial design. We will then look at blocking in of our picture with a pastel underpainting as a first stage to find our  big shapes. Students will be shown the importance of making strong colour choices in their painting process.

This will be an opportunity for students to try a different approach to pastel painting but one that will help them to loosen up their style whilst still staying in control of the painting process.






Course Information

Ability level

All abilities welcome



Useful Links

Course FAQs
Couse Terms & Conditions

  • Artist soft pastels – a thirty half stick set would be fine or more if you already have a collection. Try to bring a good tonal range with some nice darks included and it is better to buy a smaller set of good quality pastels than a cheap large set where the pastels will be harder and colours less saturated . Sennelier and Rembrandt do sets of half sticks which offer good value for money if this is your first time with pastels.


  • Paper needs to be a sanded surface. I use Sennelier La Carte Pastel Card, but Pastelmat, Uart and Colourfix Paper are all suitable alternatives. Size preferably not smaller than 24 x 32 cm, the bigger you can go the better and a minimum of six sheets or more if you are prolific at workshops. (Truro Arts Company sell these by the singular sheet)


  • Bulldog clips x 2
  • Masking tape 25mm
  • Glassine paper to protect finished paintings (Truro Arts sell this)
  • Fixative
  • Small sketchbook
  • Soft pencil or black marker pen.
  • Stiff paint brush a filbert or a
  • Wet wipes or kitchen towel.



  • Provided by Cornwall School of Art if required
  • Easels
  • Drawing boards
  • Pencils
  • Erasers
  • Rulers
  • Scissors
  • Clips

All art materials are available to purchase in the Truro Arts shop, 26 River Street Truro TR1 2SJ, and you will receive a 10% discount on all supplies for the course.


Richard suckling

-Richard knew he wanted to be an artist by the age of 5. Years later, he studied Illustration at Cambridge School of Art, then worked in London as an illustrator before heading West to pursue a career as a landscape and seascape painter. This is where the love for pastels started, what Richard calls a medium that ‘succeeded in coalescing the best of both drawing and painting’. Richard now works exclusively in soft pastels, enjoying the ability to work swiftly which is a necessity on location. His style is loose and in parts abstract, but remains at its core true to the motif whilst still being a personal interpretation of the subject. He endeavours to paint plein air whenever the weather allows. ‘Soft pastels continue to challenge and excite me on a daily basis, allowing me to continue to stretch myself creatively’. Editorials The Artist Magazine – “Pastel a beautiful medium” January 2017 “Pastels en plein air” March 2018 Painters online editors choice March 2020 “The Thrill of painting outdoors” May 2020 “Alternative inspiration” January 2022 “Flower compositions in pastel” February 2022 Plein Air Magazine [US]- front cover, Richard Suckling beyond the motif, May 2018 Practique Des Arts Magazine-Richard Suckling Impressions Colorees July 2021 Workshops Chapel Cottage Studio, Wales, next workshop July 2023 Norfolk Creative Arts, Norfolk, next workshop November 2023 Clevedon Art Club, Somerset Mid Texas Pastel Society [ Zoom ] Appalachian Pastel Society, USA [ Zoom] Tustin Art League, USA [ Zoom ] Pastel Live 2022 Faculty member [ Broadcast worldwide from USA ] Interview and Live Demo on Art School Live with Eric Rhoads Streamline Publishing Simplify a scene in Pastel [ available to view on YouTube ] July 2022

Find Out More

Our courses usually begin at 10am and end at 4:30pm, with a half an hour lunch break at around 1pm. There will also be brief morning and afternoon breaks, with free tea and coffee available in the kitchen area. At Lunch time you can make things nice and easy by pre-ordering a freshly prepared Coach House Lunch. Alternatively, you’re very welcome to bring along a packed lunch and any other refreshments you like.

On sunny days students and tutors are invited to enjoy breaktimes outside in the leafy courtyard or gardens surrounded by birdsong.




Thursday 08th February 2024


10:00 am – 4:30 pm



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Cancellations must be made in writing/email more than 4 weeks prior to the course start date to guarantee a refund. Read our full policy on the Course Terms & Conditions page.