Pastel Portraits and Florals (5 Day Tyalgum Retreat) with Lyn Diefenbach

Join Australia's most successful pastel artist for 5 days of improving your pastel skills at our Tyalgum Group Art Retreat. In addition to daily demonstrations, Lyn will be showing you key technique to drawing an accurate likeness (portraits), blending techniques for high realism (florals) and colour harmonies for getting your values to shine and have depth. Limited to 10 people, so get in quick and enjoy the stunning Tyalgum scenery.

You can choose what genre you would like to spend your time working on, portraits, florals,'s up to you! This special workshop is for learning the art of using pastels, working from your own images and guided by Lyn. There will be daily demonstrations and lots of one to one guidance as Lyn shows you how to create a good likeness (portraits), blending techniques for high realism and how to create depth and create colour harmonies.

This workshop is part of our Tyalgum Group Art Retreat. This is our budget retreat with dorm-style rooms of up to 4 people and very basic amenities. If this is not for you and you need more comfort, then join our Tasmanian Luxury retreat with Lyn (click here for details on Tassie). If you prefer to work with a new artist each day AND have your own room, then join our Byron Creative Retreat (click here for details on Byron).

We anticipate that these workshops will sell out very quickly and encourage you to book early to avoid disappointment. *FULL WORKSHOP PRICE IS $1395 - YOU NEED TO BUY YOUR WORKSHOP PLACE USING THIS LISTING TO PAY YOUR DEPOSIT AND FINAL PAYMENT IS DUE 31 MARCH 2020.




Paper - 1 x sheet Canson MITIENTES. Colour examples: Flannel Grey, Oyster, Sand, Bisque, Eggshell. Orange or Tobacco for darker skin. Any greyed-off colour works. Or you may use Art Spectrum Colorfix, Art Spectrum Smooth, UART 600 or any of the other sanded papers if you prefer.

Pastels - Bring what you have. Girault and Rembrandt have got some particularly good portrait colours.

Backing Board - have at least 4 sheets of other pastel paper to pad the board

¼” Angle Shader Brush NEEF 995 - this is to brush away unwanted pastel.

Willow Charcoal

Bulldog Clips


Paper towels

Kneadable eraser

Subject 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 NOTplain paper.




NB for florals: Please come with your composition already drawn up in a PALE pastel pencil 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.

Paper : 1 sheet of UART 600 or white Ampersand Pastelbord (these are available from or white Canson Mi-Tex or white Arts Spectrum Colorfix Supertooth

Pastels : bring what you have. Include colours suitable to your subject.

Backing Board : Not required for Ampersand Pastelbord

For UART 600 put another sheet of the UART 600 beneath the one you are working on, especially if your backing board is foam core.

For Canson and AS make sure that these have a padded surface with at least 2 or 3 sheets of pastel paper behind. Ensure your padding doesn’t create ripples on the surface

¼” Angle Shader Brush NEEF 995 - this is to brush away unwanted pastel.

Bulldog Clips

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.


Please note that the Tyalgum Ridge retreat is located at 783 Tyalgum Creek Rd, Tyalgum Creek NSW. You will need to head to the end of Tyalgum Creek Road and continue onto a dirt road for about 100m before you reach the retreat. Please note that there is no internet reception so make note of your directions before you leave Tyalgum.

There is parking to your right as you arrive. The building is located over 2 floors so there are some steps involved.

Tyalgum can be reached from the coast via Murwillimbah or from the north through Chillingham and the Numinbah Valley - both are beautiful scenic drives.

From Tyalgum take Tyalgum Creek Road (runs between the Tyalgum Hotel and the service station) for 9kms. The last kilometre is a good quality gravel road. The retreat is the last property (no. 783) at the end of the road.

We are 30 kms or 25 minutes from Murwillumbah.

The drive from the Gold Coast Airport takes about an hour.


Students must be 16 and over for all adult classes unless arranged otherwise with Artable. The enrolment form for under 18s who are attending an adult class must be signed by a parent or guardian. Participants under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult if they are staying in the accommodation.



Bookings for workshops will be in the order of bookings received on our website and paid in full at the time of booking. Artable bookings via the website give you an automatic confirmation via email. You need to write in the notes section of the booking form if you wish to share a room with a specific person or persons.


Telephone bookings must be accompanied by full payment via credit card or direct debit and all booking conditions apply as per website descriptions.


Artable reserves the right to cancel a class if minimum enrolments are not reached by 1 June 2020 or for circumstances beyond our control. Students will be offered placements in an alternative workshop or a refund of all fees.

Artable relies heavily on group numbers for this retreat and we are contracted to our accommodation provider. Therefore Artable charges the following cancellation fees if you choose to cancel or do not attend:

On or before 15 March 2020: FULL REFUND

From 16 March – 16 May 2020: 25% of workshop fee

From 17 May – 1 June: 50% of workshop fee

From 2 June: NO REFUNDS

Please do not ask us to waive these conditions under any circumstances as we cannot provide refunds from 2 June. It is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED that you take out travel insurance with appropriate cancellation cover in the event of an emergency.


Registration is from 8-9.30am on the first day. We will gather together for orientation at 10am on the first day in the main hall. Classes commence at 9am and conclude at 4pm each day. Lunch is for 1 hour and held from 12.30-1.30pm. Dinner is held from 6.30-7.30pm in the Dining Hall.

Morning and afternoon teas will be permanently set up in the dining hall and tutors can work around their own times for these breaks.


Evenings will combine tutor discussions, art demonstrations, product demonstrations and more. You will be presented with a weekly timetable of events when you arrive and register.


Shared Dorm Room: Dorm accommodation is in basic shared room accommodations (male and females are kept separate) with basic shower facilities. All linen is provided, however you are encouraged to bring your own doona/blankets for extra warmth. If you are traveling interstate, we will arrange bedding on your behalf (advise at time of booking). Rooms are shared -up to 4 people.

Please note that we are unable to offer single rooms at the retreat due to the limited number of beds available. If you require a single room, we recommend:

Camping On Site (Campervan or Tent): You can choose to camp onsite. There are shower facilities available for your use ($150 discount).

External Accommodation $150 Discount Applies: Feel free to make use of local Bed & Breakfast Options if you would like either your own room, or more comfortable accommodations. Please understand that there is very little discount as fees are set by the Tyalgum Retreat and include 3 meals a day, morning/afternoon tea, linen hire and venue hire fees.

Please advise us in the notes section at the time of booking if you do not want to be allocated to a dorm room. You will be asked to fill in a registration from after booking and will be able to stipulate who you would like to share a room with.


All students must register at the front desk upon arrival and before heading to their room or workshop. Registration is between 8 and 9.30am on Wednesday 8 July.

All course, accommodation and events information will be provided at registration.

By purchasing this workshop, you agree that:

You have read and agree to the above conditions.

A class without meeting minimum numbers may be cancelled and you will be given a full refund.

If you choose to seek external accommodation, you will have $150 deducted from your workshop fee.

Cancellation fees apply from 16 March as outlined above.

Artable may take photographs & video throughout the 5 days to be used for marketing purposes.


Tyalgum Ridge Retreat

Book online

$300 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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