Course Details


Monday – Wednesday 03 – 05rd – th July 2023


10:00 am – 4:30 pm

Course Description

You are in for a treat! We are super fortunate to have visiting artist Gail Sibley who was Grand Prize winner of “Painting on the Edge” in 2014, coming down to join us for a three-day pastels workshop. Over from Canada, Gail will be introducing you to painting en plein air painting with soft pastels. You will explore the process of painting on location, from how to choose what to paint, to simplifying the scene, to working up a thumbnail. From there you will block in the big shapes, and move towards a completed painting. Gail will explain the importance of understanding values and how this knowledge can strengthen your work and liberate your colour choices. Along with plein air work, there will be some in-studio practice which will include looking at pastel application and layering, making colour studies, and reviewing linear perspective. There will be plenty of one-on-one attention throughout the workshop. Gail will demonstrate as needed so all abilities are supported. There will be an end-of-day group review. Gail will encourage you to be bold yet observant. It’s serious work with plenty of room for laughter and fun!


Please note this workshop will combine studio time with painting outside (weather depending – if in the unlikely event it is wet for the duration, it will be studio based). Please bring appropriate all-weather clothes and shoes . Please be prepared to walk a short distance from the studio. Easels and drawing boards cab be provided by Cornwall School of Art if required; please bring an appropriate bag for carrying art materials.


In 2002, Gail was awarded Signature Membership of the Pastel Society of America (PSA) and is a master signature member of Pastel Artists Canada. Gail is a primary contributor in the pastels section of DK’s Artist Drawing Techniques and has participated in national and international shows; her work is in private and corporate collections in several countries. Gail shares her knowledge and that of others in a highly-regarded blog at



Course Information

Ability level

Beginner with some knowledge of working with soft pastels



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A selection of quality soft pastels in a variety of colours ranging from dark to light.

1 sheet of Canson Mi-Teintes “felt grey” paper cut in quarters

6 x sanded paper about 9 x 12 in. Please bring the paper you are most familiar with

Small sketchbook (white paper)

2 markers – one 100% black, one 50% black (eg Prismacolour…)

HB  and 4B pencils

Viewfinder (eg Viewcatcher is excellent)

Vine charcoal and pastel pencil (for drawing up piece)

Portable Field easel with drawing board (Cornwall School of Art can supply if you don’t have your own)

Tape to attach paper to board

Board on which to tape completed work

Sheet of glassine or tracing paper to cover pastel work

Small tray/container/box to hold pastels in use

Roll of toilet paper

Apron (with pockets preferably)



Colour wheel

Provided by Cornwall School of Art if required

  • Easels
  • Drawing boards
  • Water jars
  • 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.


Gail Sibley

Gail completed a BFA (Honours) at the University of Manitoba, then went on to Graduate Studies in Art History at Queen’s University receiving her MA in 1989. She settled in BC on the west coast of Canada in 1994. In 2002, Gail was awarded Signature Membership in the Pastel Society of America (PSA) and is a master signature member of Pastel Artists Canada (M-PAC.

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.




Monday – Wednesday 03 – 05rd – th July 2023


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.