Pastel Portraits - January with Lyn Diefenbach

Learn to create portraits that are full of character and life. All aspects of portraiture will be covered, in particular how to achieve a good likeness. This workshop will assist you to a greater understanding of the relationships of line, tone, colour and edge to enable you to infuse your work with dimensionality and impact. 

This is a thorough 2 days in how to create portraits in pastels that look like the subject. Lyn is a very thorough teacher who will take you through the common mistakes that many beginners make when trying to create good portraits. This workshop is best for those of you who have done either portraits OR used pastels before. 

If you are brand new to art we recommend that you take our February workshop with Maneula Pilz in how to draw portraits instead.

Lyn will discuss pastels and pastel surfaces as well as application appropriate to the subject. Enjoy clear, informative demonstrations and individual attention at your easel with one of Australia's most popular tutors.

Materials List 

Pastels 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 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 999 - 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 NOT plain paper.


All Saints Anglican School Highfield Dr, Merrimac QLD 4226

Book online

$375 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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