Pastel Florals -  March with Lyn Diefenbach

Australia's best pastel artist returns to the Artable line-up of workshops in 2019 to show you her remarkable techniques around creating floral pastel studies. You will love world-renowned artist Lyn Diefenbach's down to earth nature and easy to follow process around creating florals in pastel. 

The Floral Portrait – Building the Illusion of Reality

Love Flowers? Enjoy painting? Combine the two passions and learn how to create pastels full of luminosity, dimensionality and light. Lyn will share her extensive knowledge of colour as well as provide you with the technical know-how to create the illusion of reality with pastel.

The building blocks of line, tone, colour and edge will be covered in depth to give you a rich understanding of these key areas. Lyn will provide information on pastels and pastel surfaces as well as application.

Enjoy clear, informative demonstrations and individual attention at your easel. You will use your own reference material so you can choose your own degree of difficulty or perhaps your favourite flower. Definitely creating the WOW FACTOR.

This workshop is best suited to those with pastel experience purely because the set-up for pastels is extensive and beginners may find the set-up costs for materials prohibitive. 

Materials List


NB for florals: Please come with your composition already drawn up in a PALE pastel or a colour pertinent to your bloom. Focus your composition more on one or two blooms so that it is more of a portrait of a flower. Please contact Artable if you would like to trace your composition and are not sure how to do this.

Paper : 1 sheet of Fisher 400 or white Ampersand Pastelbord (these are available from or white Art Spectrum Colorfix - a full sheet cut in half is sufficient. You may not finish it on the weekend, but you can keep going at home with what you learn.

Pastels : bring what you have. Include colours suitable to your subject. Contact Artable for direction if you do not have pastels.

Backing Board : Not required for Ampersand Pastelbord

For Fisher 400 Put another sheet of the Fisher 400 beneath the one you are working on, especially if your backing board is foam core.

For Colorfix make sure that this is a smooth surface padded with at least 2 or 3 sheets of pastel paper. Ensure your padding doesn’t create ripples on the surface

¼” Angle Shader Brush NEEF 999 - this is to brush away unwanted pastel.

Paper towels

Kneadable eraser

Drop Sheet

Reference Photos make sure these are large, clear images preferably with a good play of light and dark. If you are doing your own printing from a computer, make sure that you use photo quality paper NOT plain paper.

Notes for BEGINNERS:


Make sure that your photo is proportionally the same as your canvas. Crop it if it isn't as you want the same number of squares on your photo as on your canvas.

Put your photo in a plastic bag on which a one centimetre grid has been drawn. Ziplock bags are ideal for this - use a laundry marker to mark your grid on it.

Then, let's say that the cropped photo is 8x10cm and I want to make the painting 5 times larger, then my canvas will be 40x50cm marked with a 5cm grid. Of course the whole process could be done using inches instead of centimetres.

Do your drawing with a light pressure of hand using a pastel pencil of a colour that is within your subject. Don't use lead pencil or charcoal pencil as these will score the surface of your paper.


I use a variety of Pastels and since everyone will be doing different flowers there is no set palette of colours. The most important thing is to bring a good selection of values (dark to light) and brights which are the pure colours that have very little white in them.

In essence bring what you have but if you want to add to your supplies here are a few things that I find useful. Apart from the last item everything else is available from Soft which is based in Newcastle.

A set of 80 assorted 1/2 sticks of Sennelier (this has some great brights in it)

Sennelier No. 179 is a particularly good dark pathlo green. Get a couple if you can get them individually.

Art Spectrum soft tinted whites. These come in 2 sets of 6 - a cool set and a warm set

Full set of Holbein pastels. These are slightly harder soft pastels that have a good range of greyed off or neutral colours. They are square in shape and are particularly handy when coming to fine detail. Also have a good range of reds, pinks and greens which are very helpful for the floral painter.

Terry Ludwig set of Intensified Darks (available online from USA)


This workshop is being held at Hillcrest Christian College at Reedy Creek. There are several entrances to the school, you will be taking the entrance AFTER you see the large Blue, White & Red sign at the top of the hill. Do not take the entrance that says 'Buses only' and is the admin building where the principal parks - the entrance after this building is the one that you are after - Artable will have signs out, look for them, they show you where to turn in. There is plenty of parking.


If you require wheelchair access, then contact Artable, there is a wheel chair access road but it can be tricky to find.


Tea and coffee are provided and you can either BYO lunch or drive down the road at the lunch break.


Please read the refunds terms & conditions at the bottom of our site, change fees may apply to this workshop.

BOOK EARLY - LIMITED SPOTS. Please read the refunds terms & conditions at the bottom of our site for changes to your booking.



Book online

$395 per person

Meet the Teach

Lyn Diefenbach

I have been a professional artist for 25 years and a teacher of the craft of painting across Australia and the world for some 20 years. For quite some time I wasted a lot of energy worrying about whether being an artist was something worthwhile. It seemed to be a fairly useless occupation- not noble like a doctor or a teacher. But then I read Pope John Paul 2’s letter to all artists and this had a profound influence on me. In his letter John Paul exhorted : “Artists of the world, may our many different paths all lead to that infinite ocean of beauty where wonder becomes awe, exhilaration, unspeakable joy……… May your art help to affirm true beauty, which as a glimmer of the Spirit of God, will transfigured matter, opening the soul to the sense of the eternal.”

With this new insight I set off on an incredible journey of discovery both of myself and the craft of painting. I discovered that my chosen field, as with life, was one of continual learning. It’s like the “carrot and stick” routine – you never quite “arrive” but you have to keep on trying.

There is always more to learn both through experience and sheer determination. In amongst all of my travels I have met some of the worlds leading artists – ones whom I consider have “arrived” and guess what, they all say the same thing – “there’s more to learn, the next painting is going to be the masterpiece.”

Lyn demonstrating in Tuscany

Lyn demonstrating in Tuscany

Learning can happen by watching and listening to those who have trod the path and it can happen in solitude. Some of my greatest insights into understanding colour have come simply by experimentation and often by accident. From the very beginning of time we see this again and again – caveman, storm, lightning strike, fire.

I’m often asked for advice on how to progress with an art career and my answer would be to never stop learning. Even someone who is well and truly “up there” needs to move forward not stagnate in their processes. To leap into the unknown every so often is good for the soul, all be it sometimes terrifying and confronting.

A number of works in the Studio

Whenever you go into a new learning environment, go with your mind open and your receptors on high alert. Go with a sense of eager anticipation and expectation, not with fear and dread. Nervousness is okay, but harness it as a positive energy not a negative one. Rise to the challenge of stepping outside of your comfort zone and go on a voyage of discovery, even if the end result is the discovery that it is not the direction in which you want to go. You have allowed yourself to put in place one more stepping stone of your life’s journey. Always remember that a perceived failure is simply paving the way to success and a deeper understanding of yourself.


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