Skip to content

Module 3: Soft Pastel/Live Model(s) Nightly
Creatively Catching the Feeling of the Model Quickly

All artists can join in at Module 3! No prerequisite required.
Learn creativity in Portraiture using soft pastels. How to use artistic elements (line, colour, edges, etc.) to express  Practice from live models in every class.


Time: 1:00PM to 4:00PM or 6:30PM to 9:00PM (Flexible)

Materials Required: Pastel paper (not white) plus a number of pastels. (A decent set is around $20-$35 and if you order through me, I will get a professional discount if it is better than the current sales). Paper will be available for purchase If needed. Plus, I will also have on hand extra pastels to supplement your own.

Location: 7 Labatt Ave., Studio 104B, Toronto, M5A 1Z1 near Shuter St. and River St. 
NOTE: Doors are locked after 5:00PM. To be let in, please call Gary at 416-910-5535

Parking: Students use the free ROVER Parking app to find available parking (usually right next door in the Salvation Army parking lot. There is easy TTC access. The closest TTC stops are River st. on the Dundas Bus or River St. on the Queen St. East line

Fee: $420 ($350 for 7 weeks + $70 for supplies/model fees)

Payment: Call or text 416-910-5535 or email for e-transfer details

Questions: Call Gary at 416-910-5535

student work from module 3

Sample of Gary's demos from Level 3 workshop.

Each demo illustrates a different way to start and/or a different style.

"Gary is able to capture the true essence of the subject he is painting. Each time we look at his paintings we discover newness, upliftment and connection with the universe. He is able to bring out the artist that resides within all of his students and is epitome of a true friend: non judgmental, always encouraging and be helpful when you need him."



This module is so different from all the others in this curriculum. In this course you will experience and probably fall in love with pastels as a quick drawing/extremely expressive painting medium. After all your portraits from drawings and photos now we take the big step to drawing directly from life.

The objective will be to capture what you sense as some essence of the model. One would render a small child in a different way than an old man for example. Accuracy and physical likeness are not important in this course. The goal is to capture some essence of the model.

This training is to help you avoid the early traps of working with measurements and focussing on the person as an object; which is the tradition in Western Art. Our approach here then is more akin to the values of Eastern Art. Capturing the essence and omitting the rest.

We also change gears for this course from proceeding very slowly and methodically to very fast, Alla Prima, from life. This will become very freeing and your individual ‘style’ or way of seeing and communicating will just show up under this pressure of speed without constraint.

By the third night you will be drawing two or maybe even three portraits! By the fifth night the model must keep moving. The whole experience of portraiture will take on a much more complete involvement and the additional the practice will increase your ability and confidence.

What’s not to love about pastels. All painting mediums use the same pigments for colour. Pastels use the least amount of binder to hold it together. The colours do not need to dry. They stay the same colour much better than other mediums. They are immediate. You can pick the colour you want and use it. (Of course there are ways of blending colours with pastels when you want to do that.) No mixing with liquids, no waiting to dry. You do not need to learn a tool, hands are good enough. Edges are a breeze. This all leaves lots of room for your creativity. And they are very portable.

REMINDER: There are several ways to start your portrait drawing so each day Gary will demonstrate a different way to start and even to continue.

coloured drawing of woman

drawing of man on red papaer

coloured drawing of woman on grey paper

coloured drawing of man