Painting in Pastel

Painting in Pastel

Instructor: Steve Hill
Date: January 16–18, 2016
Time: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Workshop Fee: $300
Beginner and Intermediate Level


Join international, award winning artist and instructor, Steven R. Hill, from Lopez Island, Washington, in a comprehensive, hands-on and technique-driven workshop, learning to use the soft pastel medium to “paint” successfully and with confidence.

Beginner and experienced participants will quickly learn and practice all basic “pastel stroke exercises” during the first day, using special grids (supplied) and applying the most important elements of pastel applications on a variety of different paper surfaces with different stroke pressures, directions and combinations. 

Throughout the remainder of the workshop, participants will launch directly into painting real-life objects by rendering shadows, light and colors and then painting landscape paintings from reference photos.

Steve will give live demos each day, showing the many techniques you will need for simplifying and successfully painting the details that seem so confusing when they are first encountered, yet so simple to do by using time-tested methods of “seeing” in a new way. Water, rocks, trees, clouds, buildings, other objects and people in the landscape will be covered in his demos, with emphasis on establishing and maintaining the light, as you paint.

Immediately after Steve’s demos, participants will work from their own reference photos or still life—your choice—while Steve works the room, offering helpful suggestions.

Steve has taught more than 50 workshops in the islands, around the U.S. and in Europe during the past 10 years, using the basic exercises as a basis for quickly learning techniques that can take years to develop on your own. His workshop reviews consistently and unanimously point to these as the single most important element taught (and learned), as everyone is able to immediately use them to start rendering form, shape and color . . . the same day!



“I have been an artist since the day I picked-up his first pencils and crayons, making marks on most surfaces. I won my first big award in the 4th grade with “First Place” in a city-wide art contest sponsored by the Red Cross in my hometown of Boise, Idaho. It was a drawing made from memory of the masked surgeons who had removed my tonsils years earlier — an experience which obviously made a lasting impression.

Making art was the beacon that allowed me to survive high school, college and the U.S. Army, where I became an illustrator, after the Vietnam era draft had sealed my immediate future. In 1972, I returned to university and earned an MFA in painting from Washington State University, studying with notable artists like Robert Helm, Gaylen Hansen and Robert Sterling, before moving to Lopez Island in the San Juan Islands of Washington State, to help set up a private art school.

The art school was before its time, but I sure took to island life, teaching art at Lopez High School, before starting my own successful graphic design business. Selling the businesses in the late 90’s to paint full-time has proven to be totally rewarding. I have won many art awards and some prestigious honors over the past decade. My passion is to find special places, both home and abroad, and explore those with every element of my psyche dialed into the joyous, expressive and interpretive language of painting on-site.”


MATERIALS LIST: A detailed list will be included in our Response Delivery Package (RDP).  Estimated cost $0 – $200, depending on what you need to purchase.

Hard Pastel Sticks
Soft pastel Sticks
Gator Board
Pastel Paper
1 Pad of Sennelier La carte 9 x 12 assorted colors
Small Sketch Book
Soft Pencils
Vine Charcoal
Artist Tape
Barrier Cream
Landscape Reference Photos
Camera (optional)
3-in-1 view finder (optional)
Pan Pastels (optional)

Suggest for supplies.



Students should bring a sack lunch. SJIMA will provide water, tea, and coffee.



Steven Hill - plein air


Wayside Ways by Steven Hill

Wayside Ways (Jensen Boatyard, Friday Harbor) by Steven Hill


Tending the Nets by Steven Hill


Resting Under Evening Skies by Steven Hill


Morning Light (Santiam River) by Steven Hill


Eastsound by Steven Hill

Steven Hill in his studio

Steven Hill in his studio


Above the Beck, Staithes, England by Steven R. Hill