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PSA member workshops

The PSA School for Pastels at The National Arts Club  
In 1989 the Pastel Society of America opened its doors to students wishing to learn the versatile techniques of the pastel medium. The PSA School was later re-named after the founder of the Pastel Society of America, the late Flora B. Giffuni, who taught portrait and figure classes there for many years.

The PSA school was made possible by the donation of space by The National Arts Club.  An original concept at the time of its founding, it is still a unique place in which every genre is offered using pastels as the medium of expression and where students receive one-on-one instruction.

Classes have a maximum of 12 students. Working in the glorious Victorian building of The National Arts Club that was once the residence of Governor Tilden, Monday through Saturday, students have the opportunity of selecting classes year-round in all genres: portrait, figure, still life, florals, landscape, cityscape, and preliminary drawing for pastels. It is the only art school devoted exclusively to the medium of pastel.

Suggested Supplies List
Box of NuPastels (min. 48), or Hard pastels or
Richeson Semi–Hard Square Pastels. Sharpened to point using Exacto knife

Soft Pastels - An excellent beginner set is Sennelier 80 Half Sticks, Pastel Boxed Set (about $75)
or
Sennelier Soft Pastel - Set of 120 Half Sticks, - Paris Collection ($99+) The half sticks are more versatile and stronger than the full length ones.

Drawing board or two sheets of foam core large enough to hold your paper, Sketch pad 9 x12 inches or larger. Ring binder type is easier to use.

Paper; Sennelier La Carte Pastel Paper or card Pads, 12 x 16 inches
or
Sennelier La Carte Pastel Paper 19 x 25 inches and cut in half to get two 19 x 13 inches pieces
or
Art Spectrum paper in mid grey or similar medium value, any size
or
1 sheet of gray Canson Mi-Tientes paper; a few sticks of vine charcoal;

Kneadable eraser or STAEDTLER® Mars® plastic eraser; Knitting needle or 12 inch straight edge, for measuring; Artists drafting tape. Note; artist's drafting tape removes easier; Glassine Paper big enough to cover your work to prevent smudging, some charcoal pencils and or vine chracoal; Picture Perfect "Three in One Plus" View Finder.

Click here for 2017-18
Workshop and Classes brochure

Day Time Genre Instructor
Tuesday (click here for supply list) 5:30PM - 8:30PM Intro to Pastel Still Life & Landscape Janet A. Cook PSA
Wednesday 9AM - 12 Noon Portrait, Landscape, Still Life
Diana DeSantis PSA-MP
Thursday 1PM - 4PM Color & Composition Maceo Mitchell PSA-MP

Fees & Registration: 6 Classes $160; Single Class $40 (subject to change without notice).  Please call beforehand.  Class registration and information: Contact PSA office at 212-533-6931. Classes are ongoing and year-round.
Payable to Pastel Society of America, Inc. (credit card, check or cash).  

Class descriptions


Janet Cook, PSA
Tuesday, 6.30 pm to 9.30 pm
Introduction to Pastel Still life and Landscape

This class will introduce students to the essential information needed to draw and paint still life and landscape using the pastel medium. Demonstrations and individual instruction will given. Topics covered: fundamentals of pastel, drawing, underpainting, light and shadow, composition, color theory, and basic perspective. Janet Cook is an award-winning pastel and oil painter who regularly exhibits her paintings in New York City galleries and museums.

Website: Janet A. Cook
Click here for Janet's PSA page


Diana DeSantis, PSA Master
Landscape, Still Life & Portraiture
Wednesdays, 9am-12pm


Landscape, Still Life & Portraiture with Diana DeSantis, PSA Master
Wednesdays, 9AM-12PM Versatile, award-winning artist Diana DeSantis will lead students in classes -- six weeks each of landscape, followed by still-life and then by portrait. The classes will be repeated in that order. A student can join at any point.

Website: Diana DeSantis
Click here For Diana's PSA page



Maceo Mitchell, PSA Master
Color & Composition
Thursdays, 1pm-4pm

In this class, the award-winning instructor will cover the basics: how to use color to achieve harmonious effects and the use of the color wheel. There will be an emphasis on organizing the elements that make for a good composition. Along with improving their drawing skills, the students will be encouraged to use their imaginations and to develop their own style.

Website: Maceo Mitchell
Click here for Maceo's PSA page

Click here for 2017-18
Workshop and Classes brochure

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