Pastel Landscapes - 3 Days JANUARY with Richard McKinley

When one of world's best pastel artists arrives in Australia, you do not want to miss out on 3 days of instruction. Richard will demonstrate the techniques and fundamentals necessary to produce a successful location field-sketch painting and how to utilize various mixed-media pastel underpainting techniques in the studio to add excitement. 

Learn how to transform the landscape from Prosaic to Poetic by capturing a piece of the spontaneous dance of light across the palette of nature. Richard’s workshops include daily demonstrations, personal advice at your easel, and an abundance of artistic discussion. As the current world president of the International Pastel Societies and having taught for over 45 years, Richard has a wealth of information to share, is tireless in this pursuit and his intensity, focus and energy are legendary. His Pastel Pointers book is a best seller and has provided inspiration, as well as instruction, to a generation of aspiring pastelists.

We are including lunch, morning & afternoon tea for all 3 days - please note any diet requirements in the notes section at your booking.

There are no refunds OR credits for this workshop under any circumstances. This is Richard's only workshop in Australia (aside from his 10 days in Tasmania with 12 lucky students). Places will be highly sought after and are expected sell out quickly. In the event that you need to forfeit your spot, then you are welcome to transfer it to another student.

McKinley Workshop Supply List


To be noted:Due to limitations of availability of certain products in foreign locations artists are encouraged to use this supply list as a reference to aid in finding substitute materials. Whenever possible alternatives are noted.


Pastel Pointers: Top 100 Secrets for Beautiful Pastel Paintings, North Light Books. Richard’s book will be frequently referenced throughout the workshop.


Photographic landscape material may be needed for reference when not working en plein air. Have an assortment to choose from. An iPad or similar digital tablet may be used.


A minimum (90 sticks) assortment of both softer and harder artist-grade pastels representing a full color spectrum and value range is required. Prepare any full-sized sticks for painting by removing labels and breaking them in half. Half-stick assortments are available from many popular manufactures. If possible, arrange them in a suitable travel palette by color family and value. Girault, Terry Ludwig, Great American Artworks, Schmincke, Sennelier, Unison, Blue Earth and Mount Vision are examples of softer brands. Rembrandt, Art Spectrum, Cretacolor, Nu-Pastel and Caran d’ache are examples of harder brands. For convenience, two selections of 50 Girault pastels each are available as: Neutrals & Friends and Plein Air Addition by Richard McKinley. A selection of 60 Terry Ludwig pastels is available as: McKinley Workshop assortment and a selection of Great American Artworks pastels is available as: 91 Half McKinley (half-stick pastels ready to use). A few miscellaneous pastels that will be very useful are: Nu-Pastel, 244-P (Blue-Violet) and 298-P (Bottle-Green); Cretacolor, 140 (Mars-Violet) and 239 (Payne’s-Grey); Rembrandt, 548.3 (Blue-Violet).

Pastel palette boxes from the USA: Dakota Art Pastels “Small Universal Deluxe Traveler”, phone: 888-345-0067, email: and Heilman Designs “Small Backpack”, phone: 530-778-3080, email:



Pastel Premier Fine (400) or Extra Fine (600) grit (white), UArt 400 or 320 grit, Fisher 400 paper are all suitable pastel surfaces. These papers must be mounted (glued) to a ridged support in advance of any water-based underpainting techniques. Here is a link to more information on mounting paper:

Ampersand Pastelbord (white), Multimedia Pastel Panels, or Homemade Grit Surfaces (information on preparing homemade surfaces is covered in the Pastel Pointers Book) are also suitable surfaces.

Sizes ranging from 9x12 to 12x16 are recommended for plein air painting (larger paintings are permissible). Alla prima “field-study paintings” will be demonstrated using Pastel Premier Italian Clay (this is a warm middle-value tone) paper in sizes ranging from 6x8 to 9x12.

Note: Comparative pastel surfaces may be found in the COLOURFIX line of products. Test them in advance of wet underpainting to see how they respond to water. White or very light toned surfaces are recommended for wet underpainting techniques.

Packets of pre-mounted Pastel Premier and UArt paper, as well as various other surfaces, are available in the USA from: Central Art Supply phone: 1-800-863-1444, Medford, OR.


GATOR-FOAMBOARD works well. Make sure the support is large enough to allow for a few inches of border all around the pastel surface. Gator-Foamboard is available in white or black (black is preferable for plein air).Sheets of tracing or glassine paper may be used to protect the pastel painting surfaces during transport.


An adequate field easel and pastel palette support will be needed. Richard uses a Camera Tripod as his Field Easel with a Heilman brand easel attachment mounted to the tripod’s camera quick-release bracket via an accessory plate (both items are available in the USA from Heilman Designs: phone: 530-778-3080, email: Richard’s pastel palette is attached to the tripod with an Easel Butler (email: from B.C. Canada. This is a good lightweight support arm that fits onto an A-frame easel or camera tripod. An umbrella for shading your palette and painting are optional.

If you do not have an easel then you are welcome to borrow one from Artable - please send us an email request for this.


A palette of assorted watercolors and oil/acrylic synthetic nylon bristle brushes will be used for underpainting techniques. Have a few colors from each of the basic color families.


Neutral colored Drafting or Artists Tape to attach paper to support, Black ph balanced Masking Tape, Sketchbook-Notebook, 3 Tombow ABT markers N15-N55-N75 (or other comparable brand), 2b or HB Pencils, Pencil Sharpener, Denatured or Rubbing Alcohol, Soft Paper Toweling, Digital Camera (smart phone is suitable). Students are encouraged to bring a few photos of their recent work for review. Bring a drop sheet for indoor work.


TBA - Gold Coast

Book online

$795 per person

Meet the Teach

Richard McKinley

Richard McKinley has been a professional working artist for 38 years and has over 35 years of teaching experience. In 2010 he participated in the American Masters Exhibition at the Salmagundi Club in NYC and was inducted into The Pastel Society of America’s Hall of Fame at the National Arts Club in NYC. His work is represented in several national galleries and is in the permanent collection of the Butler Institute of American Art Museum. He is a frequent contributing editor for the Pastel Journal Magazine. American Artist magazine profiled Richard in their January 2008 issue with an article titled: “The Dance Between Artists and their Paintings”, by M. Stephen Doherty. The July/August 2010 issue of Artist magazine features an interview by Christine McHugh titled: “Shimmering Water, Quiet Light”. The Fall 2010 issue of Workshop Magazine featured an article by Linda S. Price titled: “Tackling Three Key Challenges of Plein Air Painting with Oil and Pastel”. The August 2011 issue of Southwest Art Magazine featured an interview of Richard by Mark Mussari titled: “Misty Memories”. His work has been included in several books including: “A Painters guide to Design and composition”; “Painting with Pastels”; “Pure Color, the best of Pastel”; “Art Journey America Landscapes”; “Sketchbook Confidential”; and the French book “les maitres du pastel”. A book that compiles years of his published Pastel-Pointers columns and blogs for the Pastel Journal Magazine titled: “Pastel Pointers, Top Secrets for Beautiful Pastel Paintings”, was released by North Light publications in November 2010 and was an instant bestseller. Two instructional DVDs: “A Studio Session, Pastel”; and “A Studio Session, Oil” have been produced by Artist Productions and F+W Media, parent company of The Pastel Journal and Artist Magazines, released two videos on pastel painting in early 2010. An avid plein air painter, Richard divides his time between painting the locations he is passionate about, reinterpreting those paintings back in the studio, writing about art matters, and instructing workshops.


“I was born in the Rogue Valley of Oregon, and spent my youth growing up with the rivers and mountains that form this special place. It is from these subjects that I receive inspiration.”

Concerning induction into the

Pastel Society of America Hall of Fame, “I am humbled to be in such company, and grateful to my mentors for the opportunities that have come my way. Every blank surface provides the same intimidation and every day spent painting, a new challenge. My goal is to capture a piece of the spontaneous dance of light across the palette of nature. I hope my pieces are like a glance when we see something that makes us linger for a moment.” - Richard McKinley 


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