top of page
pears in sunlight 004.jpg

Beginner Coloured Pencil Paintings for Seniors & Adults

You don't need to be an artist to create coloured pencil paintings that look like oil paintings. Learn basic art principles of composition and colour with a medium that is inexpensive, uncomplicated, clean to use, and easy to store.

art work 004.jpg

Advanced Coloured Pencil Painting for Seniors and Adults

Explore the dramatic effects of coloured pencil on black water colour paper while learning even more subtleties of pencil technique. Prerequisite 'Beginner Coloured Pencil Painting' or a comfortable knowledge of coloured pencil techniques.

​In these workshops you have the option of bringing your own project to work on in the class with the benefit of having an instructor present for consultation. Prerequisite is the completion of the Beginner Coloured Pencil Painting course or an advanced knowledge of coloured pencil techniques.

class projects 002.jpg

Step 1 - Hollyhocks
Explore more advanced applications of coloured pencil utilizing impressed line technique and 'liquid' colourless blending. Experiment with watercolour pencils using the wet on dry method.


Step 2 - Marbles
An approach to colour and value based on the time tested traditions of the old masters. By starting with an under-painting of complementary colours and gradually building layer upon layer, your final colours will be richer and more brilliant. The teaching technique used in this course is from Masterful Color by Arlene Steinberg.

student Bill .JPG

Step 3 - Fur and Feathers

Working on black paper learn the intricacies of layering coloured pencil to create lifelike fur and realistic eyes while working on a beautiful fawn. Learn the technique for developing feathers on a chickadee in your second project. As well you will be introduced to using soft pastels in the background of both paintings.


Step 4 - Portraits

​Learn how to layer multiple applications of creams, pinks and flesh tones to create believable skin. Create highlights in hair that make it seem touchable. Students are asked to bring in their own 8" by 10" portrait to work from. Should you need any help with this please contact me in advance of the course.

student Dorri (2).JPG

Step 5 - Crystal

​Create the look of sparkling glass by placing strong darks next to bright whites. Working with a photograph from the wet canvas site of a cut crystal bowl full of grapes, apples and a lemon you will finish with a beautiful, bright still life filled with amazing colours.


Step 6 - Metal - Brass

​Values in reflective metals range from very high to very low. Learn to create the contrast between light and dark shapes, and sharp clean edges to produce the look of metal. Strawberries at the base of a brass jug will result in another beautiful still life to add to your collection.

student Merrillx.JPG

Step 7 - Perspective

It is of great advantage for the artist to be able to draw objects as they appear to the casual observer. Through the years artists have used perspective in paintings and preliminary sketches. To the beginner, perspective may seem difficult, but after careful study of the principles, even the novice with comparatively little experience will be able to do surprisingly well.

student Elizabeth botanical.jpg

Step 8 - Botanical Art

Learn classical botanical pencil painting with a step by step method for capturing botanical details essential to this art. A calligraphy demonstration will be provided as well.

student broccoli cool and French

Step 9 - Minis

A series of mini workshops designed to fine tune your skill level with objects you encounter on a daily basis. Learn how to render the texture of denim, the luster of pearls and the highly reflective surface of silver. Day 4 will be a fuzzy peach and the grand finale will be creating a 3 dimensional drawing of a vegetable by employing a grisalle under painting before applying colour.

Camille's cat.jpg

Step 10 - Pets

Lifelike fur is created by starting with the undercoat and layering the hair with your pencils much the same way that it grows on your pet. Learn techniques to created that liquid look in the eye that makes a painting so realistic. Working from your favourite photo, you will bring your pet to life with coloured pencils.

inktense class.jpg

Step 11 - Derwent Inktense

Apply pure, vibrant dry pencil then wash the pigment with water to leave a translucent ink-like effect. Once dry, the colour is permanent and can be worked over with other media, making is a perfect partner for coloured pencil. At the conclusion of this class you will have completed a still life with apples and an earthen bowl that will look like and old master's painting.

student paintings Sue.JPG

Step 12 - Bird of Prey

All feathers share a basic structure, a stiffer central shaft from which the flight surface of the feather extends left and right. Some feathers, such as the primaries and tail feathers appear evenly spaced, but the rest of the contour feathers are not nearly as uniform looking.Once you understand their basic anatomy, painting wings and feathers with coloured pencil becomes a relatively straight forward process. This is a ten week course but registration will be for part one and part two, each consisting of five weeks.

student Shirley (2).JPG

Step 13 - Combining Mediums

This workshop begins with the under painting and subsequent building of values developed with the vibrant Derwent water soluble inktense pencils. The fine detail and picture construction will be completed with a wax based coloured pencil.

student Sandi.JPG

Step 14 - Sunflowers and Daisies

A still life with a bit of zip. In this project the composition is all about textures. The softness of the large field sunflowers contrasted against the hardness of the handmade pottery vase with a crudely carved design. To make it even more interesting, the subject matter is sitting on a luscious brown ochre crushed velvet drape.

pakenham bridge 013.jpg

Step 15 - Pakenham Stone Bridge

The best of the Ottawa Valley. Another mixed media project using wax based coloured pencils for the texture and detail in the stone bridge and the vibrant colours of Derwent inktense water soluble pencils for the fall leaves. Large red maple leaves in the front branches will give this project that very Canadian Tom Thompson appeal.

Step 16 - Exotic Cat

The elusive leopard will not be changing its spots once you've captured the majesty of this large carnivore. Back to pencil basics using impressed line technique to preserve whiskers and fine hairs. Create realistic fur by layering colours starting with the lighter values of the under coat and building up to the darker spots. This is another ten week course due to the detail and size of the project.

student Jana 2.JPG

Step 17 - Still Life Fruit

This is a challenging project on black paper for the advanced student. As coloured pencils are to some extent translucent the paper colour changes the pencils colour, unlike oil or acrylic paint. Some colours become darker but yellows and oranges actually become a different hue. In this class you will make a colour swatch with your black paper and pencils to determine how to correct for the black papers influence. In some cases you can use a brighter pencil, in others you will have to apply white first to block the black.

botanical to print.jpg

Step 18 - Value Study Botanical Art

Traditional botanical art is a combination of scientific information combined with artistic interpretation. In this botanical study of wild roses, the stages of plant development will be illustrated beginning with a grey under painting ( grisaille ) for the value study which will the be augmented with a coloured pencil. You will be amazed at the depth this grey value study produces when you add your colours. You will be given the elements and will build your own composition to represent the aspects of the plants evolution over its growing period.


Step 19 - Plains Zebra / Equus Guagga

Working on black paper with coloured pencils can be challenging as the black changes the hue of the pencil. So you might think that working with whites on black to be a simple exercise. Don’t be fooled. Using a photograph of zebras, you will learn the intricacies of cool greys and warm greys to give your whites depth. Discover the subtle browns that enhance a zebra’s stripes and make your animals come alive with the liquid glow in the rich brown zebra’s eyes.

student Camille .JPG

Step 20 - Coloured Papers - Blue Jay

Over many years Canson has developed some of the finest papers available. One of these products, which lends itself well to coloured pencil, is Colorline. It comes in a heavy weight of 300 g.s.m. ( grams per square meter ) and is available in 25 colours. In this class you will learn how to change your pencil choice to correct for the strong influence of the red paper we will be using. This is a perfect support for a Blue Jay as the red accentuates the amazing violets in the Blue Jay's feathers. A short demonstration on different paper products will be provided as well as an explanation of terms used and a brief history of paper making.

student Deborah.JPG

Step 21 - Combining Mediums – Part 2

This sister project to workshop 13 is another mixed media class. Deep red lilies surrounded with dark green foliage will begin with an under painting of Derwent Inktense water soluble pencils for the required intensity. The finishing touches and intricate detail will be achieved with Prismacolor pencils worked on top of the under painting.

student Sharon .JPG

Step 22 - Advanced Portraiture

The dramatic lighting in a wedding photo of a young Hindu groom with a red turban and garland of orange flowers make this portrait exercise a compelling project. The gradation of values will challenge the most advanced of coloured pencil artists.

student Suzanne 2.jpg

Step 23 - Metal – Part 2

Using contrast in a composition avoids sameness and creates visual interest. In this project with the reflective copper pot sitting on rough, ancient paving stones the contrast also creates a sense of depth. The challenge here is representing reflections of the sky and stone with the strong influence of the orange copper metal colour.

student Susanxz.JPG

Step 24 - Bobcat

In a Shawnee tale a rabbit outwits it's bobcat captor by persuading the cat to build a fire. The embers from the fire fall on the bobcat's fur leaving it singed with dark brown spots. This fur study concentrates more on the finer detail with an enlargement of a bobcat's face. The cat's eyes, direction of the hair growth and the combination of different hair colours are of primary importance.

student Sharon p 001.JPG

Step 25 - Advanced Portraiture Part 2

This haunting image of a Hindu bride veiled in a scarf woven with gold thread will complete your advanced portraiture series. The challenge here is to apply all these rich, bold colours to black paper without losing the reflective metallic characteristics in the veil and wedding jewellery.​

bottom of page