Each year, PPSCC offers two master-level workshops. One coincides with our summer “For Pastels Only” exhibit. The other is in the fall. These two or three-day workshops are wonderful opportunities to elevate our creative selves to a new level, led by nationally recognized pastel painters/instructors.


“Pastel Innovation Workshop” With Dawn Emerson, PSA

Two 2-day workshops offered on

July, 20-21, 2021 or
July, 22-23, 2021

from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod, South Yarmouth, Mass

Tuition is $375 for PPSCC Members

$425 for non-members

(Classes are limited to 16 students. 2021 membership dues must be paid to secure a spot at the member rate.)

This fast-paced workshop will introduce you to various ways opaque pastel sticks can be layered together with transparent PanPastels and water-mixable oils to achieve new kinds of imagery. You’ll discover how the line between drawing, painting, and printmaking becomes happily blurred when applying these approaches. Techniques from Dawn’s book, “Pastel Innovations,” will be presented in the class, as well as new methods developed since. Whatever your pastel experience, painting subjects, or style, you’ll be inspired with intriguing new ways of expressing your image-making and storytelling.

Materials List/Schedule

COVID Safety Requirements

With the isolation so many of us have experienced due to COVID, we are thrilled to offer an in-person workshop. Safety of our members is our priority, and we request that all participants either have the vaccine or a negative covid test result within 48 hours of attending. Thank you for your understanding.

Register Now!

For more information about this offering, contact the Master Workshop Coordinator Karen Audouin at:
If you experience problems registering or paying for the workshop, please contact Laura Lincoln for assistance.

July 20-21 Workshop is full.
Join the waitlist
July 20-21 Waitlist
July 22-23 Workshop is full.
Join the waitlist
July 22-23 Waitlist
View the Workshop Cancellation Policy

About the Instructor

Dawn Emerson

Dawn is an award-winning pastelist, pastel enthusiast, instructor, author of “Pastel Innovations,”and producer of seven instructional videos. She brings an attitude of playfulness and experimentation to the pastel stage as she merges drawing, painting and printmaking processes to inspire storytelling, freedom, and creativity. In her own work, she strives for the “Haiku” version of image making — where less is more, and the individual’s marks and empty spaces tell the story. For more information about Dawn, and to see images of her work, please go to her website.


Information for the fall 2021 workshop will be posted as soon as it is available.


The 2021 “Winter Blahs Workshops” got us through the dreary days of winter by teaching students new painting techniques and renewing their creative spirit. Stay tuned for information about next year’s sessions.

Zoom Workshops Chased Away the Winter Blahs

This year’s four “Winter Blahs Workshops” were held online instead of in person, but a little social distancing didn’t stop our instructors from delivering informative sessions full of techniques, tips, and mentoring. Here’s a wrap-up of the four lively workshops.

“The Portrait Sketch” with Corey Pitkin

Corey guided his students through his technique of quickly capturing a portrait in pastel by starting with perceived abstract shapes, then addressing form, value, color, anatomy, and emotion.

“Corey has mastered the art of the Zoom workshop. He used the tool effectively to demonstrate his almost sculptural approach to painting pastel portraits while working with each participant individually and providing actionable critique. In just a few hours, I learned many new techniques that have enhanced my mark-making and changed the way I sketch and build my portraits to capture the likeness and the essence of the model.

It was a great way to spend a wintery day.”

Paula David, participant artist

Corey Pitkin begins by sketching the angles and center line of the face.

Corey squints to get the abstract shapes and lays down lights and darks.

Corey builds the portrait focusing on values and temperature, refining as he paints.

Corey brings the portrait to life.

The class proudly shows off their efforts from the workshop.

“The Wow Factor: Dynamic Design” with Karen Israel

Karen took the class through a series of exercises to better understand design and apply abstract thinking to their artwork.

“Karen is a fabulous painter and teacher. Her workshop was both very professional and tons of fun. She gave a very well-conceived PowerPoint presentation with plenty of handouts. We did some quick skill building exercises to get us thinking. Her demo was then executed with humor and the insight of a vastly experienced artist. The 6 hours felt like 2 and I was sad that it was over. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.”

Jory Mason, participant artist

Karen Israel works out the composition and values with thumbnail sketches before starting her painting.

Karen creates an underpainting using pastel and alcohol to create her value plan, mapping out the darks, midtones, and lights.

Temperature is important, especially in painting water. Ask yourself: Does it have more yellow (warm) or blue (cool)?

Karen’s use of bold color, mark-making, and positive and negative spaces between the lily pads, created interest and drama in her final painting.

“A One-Day Still Life Pastel Workshop:
Painting Glass, Metals, Refections, and Shadows” with Jeri Greenberg

Jeri’s class learned how to paint objects—both hard-edged glass and soft-edged fruit and fabric—to create exciting still lifes.

“This was a very enjoyable workshop with a well-narrated demo. I particularly appreciated the excellent reference photo and multiple opportunities for evaluation of work-in-progress and the demonstration and advice for adding finishing touches to our paintings. Jeri took the time afterward to put together a Padlet of class work so we could see everything together.”

Jane Robbins, participant artist

Jeri sketches the still life on dark UArt paper and begins to block out the three main values, using the paper as the darkest dark.

Jeri works on the edges. Soft edges give the eye a place to rest, while hard edges take the attention.

The sparkling glass and two strawberries inside are the stars of this painting by Jeri Greenberg.

Jeri mentors each student, offering advice on how to take each painting to a new level.

“Is Your Sky Blue?” with Jory Mason

Jory took her students through a series of fun exercises, showing them how to maintain values while developing interesting color palettes, all with an extra emphasis on a strong composition.

Jory presented with enthusiasm and excitement how to make an ordinary scene extraordinary. She presented many memorable examples showing her work and other fabulous artists’ use of color that took ordinary scenes into something with a message. She pushed us to work fast, loosening us up.”

Colleen Jensen, participant artist

Spend time planning your painting. Jory preselects her pastels to ensure a limited palette with a full range of values for her painting. Tip: Place pastels on white paper towel and mark swatches to see how the colors and values work together.

Jory Mason creates an underpainting with pastels and alcohol to map out color, value, and link key shapes, laying the groundwork for an exciting and expressive work of art. Watch the video here.

After working out her composition and values on a small sketch, Jory draws the sloth on UArt 400 pastel paper and goes over the lines with a black Sharpie so she doesn’t lose the drawing. She then lightly lays down the pastels.

The goal is to create exciting art, not to just copy the photo. In reality, the sloth is grey, but Jory’s choice of bold colors makes for a more interesting and expressive painting.

Jory uses 70% alcohol over the pastels to create the underpainting to stain the paper and set the fibers so the color stays cleaner and closer to desired values.

Jory’s final painting, “Beanie,” demonstrates how pre-planning, expressive mark-making, and bold use of color work together to create a vibrant and engaging painting.