Robert Dutton Fine Art

Member of The Society of Graphic Fine Art

UK and international award-winning artist

FEBRUARY 2024 - Expressive pastels at Higham Hall

Higham Hall, Cumbria
Just 2 places left!

Another short course back by popular demand, this exciting 4 day pastel course Higham Hall is ideal for artists who want to take the next step along their creative journey and discover the true versatility of soft pastels and use them in a really expressive way.

The landscape around Higham Hall is always inspirational. During the course we will be taking direct reference from the landscape by working out doors (weather permitting) for further creative explorations in the studio with exciting new directions. 

What a great short art week I have in store for you! I adore pastels - they are an incredibly versatile media and create all sorts of wonderful expressive effects in very exciting ways.

I have been using them for years and I’m delighted to say, I have won some distinctive awards with them - I have even had several pastels accepted with ’The Pastel Society’ (Federation of British Artists at Mall Galleries London) for annual exhibitions over a number of years…and so on.

Working with both soft and hard pastels on a supports of your choice (to bring with you), this exciting course will teach you how to become more responsive to landscape in new and rewarding ways.

Although the short art break is aimed at artists with some previous painting experience (not the humble beginner), being a ’newbie’ to pastels is OK - in fact, it’s a very good thing as I don’t have to unravel all the bad habits you may have picked up with all those ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts’ along the way!

This is a really exciting course and I’m really enthusiastic (as always) about leading this very special short art break at Higham Hall with my number one media - soft pastels! 

Complete with an on-site well equipped studio, Higham Hall offers the perfect get away from it all painting retreat in a stunning setting in the heart of The Lake District within its own natural garden landscape and great views. 

Please note: Pastel paper is not included in this course nor pastels. Students are advised to bring their own. Specialist papers available to buy from me should you wish to do so. This paper will be Canson Mi-Tientes 'Touch' 350gsm size 50 x 65cm £7 per sheet (limited supply).
If you have a specialist and prefered colour - buy it before hand and bring it with you.

Equipment highly recommended for you to bring

Soft pastels (artists quality) and Rembrandt and Inscribe highly recommended. Unison Colour pastels and Rembrandt pastels are a firm favourite.  Invest in some dark pastels (essential)  such as Unison colour Dark 24 as a starter to bring with you. Unison colour ‘Midnight Set’ and ‘Moorland Colours Set’ highly recommended. Buy a few artist quality ones than a big box of cheap dusty ones! The pigmentation in the pro brands never disappoint.  

Fixative is essential (not Hairspray).

Papers suggested to bring Clairefontaine Pastelmat or Sandfix  ‘Sait’ P500, Fisher 500, Cason Mi-Tientes – Touch 350gms.

Blending sponges (‘Sofft’ Pan Pastel blending Tools) and other tortillons of your choice.

Your own favourite landscape views for studio painting. 
PLAN AHEAD! think about what you want to paint but don’t be over ambitious. I will be using an iPad mounted on a ‘gooseneck’ attached to the desk to visually display my reference photographs I shall be painting from or alternatively print outs on gloss A4 paper may be used. These I stick to a rigid piece of card and clamp next to me on my easel board to work from.
Two options for you to think about and plan ahead for - downloading images of choice to the iPad (or similar) and printing out on gloss photo paper before you attend the course. Print outs on ordinary photocopier paper dull the colours.

Masking tape.
Bulldog clips or similar.
Scrap A4 photo copier paper or similar for masking techniques


For further information and to book please contact the administration team on

Tel: 017687 76276

Office hours 09:00 to 17:00

Higham Hall, Bassenthwaite Lake, Cockermouth, Cumbria, CA13 9SH


  • Residential : £376.00
  • Non residential : £274.00

Location: Higham Hall, Bassenthwaite Lake, Cockermouth, Cumbria, CA13 9SH

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