Pastel Painters Society of Cape Cod

Work from our instructors:

Paul Leveille

Karen Murtha

Shelly Eager

Betsy Payne Cook

2017 "Winter Blahs" Workshops

Workshops are now open to non-members!

The Pastel Painters Society of Cape Cod is excited to announce our new lineup of fresh one-day to help chase away those winter blahs!

Workshops will be held on Saturdays at the Cape Cod Art Association, 3480 Route 6A (Main St.), Barnstable, MA. We anticipate interest to be high and space is limited, so members are encouraged to sign up early.

Workshops will run from 9:00am - 4:00pm, unless otherwise noted, and are limited to 12 participants to provide ample room for painting and plenty of one-on-one mentoring at your easel.

Prior to the workshop, participants will receive a supply list & tips for preparing for the workshop.

Cost for each workshop is $70 for members and $125 for non-members. You will also be given the option to join PPSCC when your register online. Members can also pay their dues when they register for a workshop.

Registration is on a first come, first served basis and is processed entirely online.

As with all workshops, your payment is non-refundable unless your spot is taken by another. We do maintain a waiting list.

Please note that 2017 membership dues must be paid to secure a spot at the member rate.

For more information about these offerings, contact Workshop Coordinator Michele Poirier-Mozzone

********* WORKSHOP SCHEDULE *********

“Step Outside” - A Plein Air Painting Workshop with Betsy Payne Cook – May 6, 2017

Cost: Member registration: $70
         New membership + registration: $110
         Non-member: $125

Location TBA, In case of rain: Cape Cod Art Association, 3480 Main St., Barnstable, MA 02630

Let go of the photographs and redesign the landscape while being authentic to your surroundings. Key composition color & value tips will be shared so you can transform the scene before you.

Painting outdoors is an exhilarating experience, and this workshop is ideal for artists who want to take the challenge of stepping outdoors to paint! Whether you are a novice or an experienced painter, the opportunity to paint outdoors is rewarding. I notice that my time plein air painting makes a difference to how I approach pastel painting when I am in my studio, thoughtful choices paired with spontaneity.

This workshop will begin at the location where I will introduce you to some basics for plein air painting. I will provide a demonstration that will include pointers for setting up on location, narrowing the field of vision, importance of thumbnail sketches and underpainting, and using compositional structures and color harmonies. When on location, you will have time to sketch and paint with individual feedback at your easel.  If the weather is not co-operative we will paint at the Cape Cod Art Association and I will share strategies for using photo references and ways to use your sketches to achieve a spontaneous approach when painting. 

You will need a sketchbook, drawing materials (kneaded eraser, pencil and vine charcoal), viewfinder, several painting surfaces (9X12 is good for beginners) and an easel. Pastels in a range of values, alcohol, container for liquid and 1” flat brush. It might also be useful to have a camp chair if you prefer to sit during the demonstration.  Please remember to bring sunscreen, bug repellent, water, a hat with a visor and your camera. Keep materials light and easy to carry, you do not have to bring all your paintings supplies.  I will have some viewfinders for sale and always have pastel papers for sale too.  If you have any questions, please contact Betsy at


Workshop Archives

“Painting City Scenes with Expression and Looseness” with Shelly Eager

Join Shelly as she teaches you how to express the feeling of the city with energy, color and limited detail. She will instruct you on how to capture the essence of the activity, get the angles right and express the vitality of an urban setting with color and movement.

“Portraiture” with Paul Leveille

Want to improve your skills in portrait painting? One look at Paul's work and you will understand why he is a popular instructor and successful professional artist.

"Composition, Contrast and Design" with Christine Bodnar

This workshop will focus on developing a good design with a strong composition and interesting effects to produce or evoke a response from the viewer.

"Water - Reflections and Color" with Dave Kaphammer

Whether the subject is boats in the harbor, foliage reflecting on ponds, or marshes and streams, reflections on water are a fascinating subject.  We will focus on a few key techniques to enable you to paint convincing water reflections with confidence, and have fun with color and mark-making in the process.

“Moments of Stillness” - Painting the Still Life in Pastel with Jeanne Tangney 

In this workshop, we will learn how to create the illusion of depth and atmosphere while learning the importance of shapes, values, edges and color.

“80/20(ish) – Contrast is Everything” with Deborah Quinn-Munson

This workshop will focus on the relationship between contrasting elements in order to create dynamic pastel paintings. As examples, participants will consider the percentage of large shapes to small, light values to dark, warm colors to cool, while pushing the limits a bit! Following demonstrations, students will create quick studies and sketches followed by a more developed painting.  Individual instruction will be tailored to participant needs.

Gel Medium with Betsy Payne Cook

This workshop will be a fun way for you to explore using gel medium with pastels. I will encourage artists to be creative and play with this process!  We will use pumice ground on board and apply multiple layers of gel medium alternating with your application of pastels.  We will rotate working on at least 2 paintings during the day, allowing drying time for the gel medium and pumice ground.

Expressive Skyscapes with Ed Chesnovitch

Skies are dynamic and ever-changing! In this FUN one day workshop we will delve into understanding the use of aerial perspective in skies, and focus on creating depth and form with color temperature to create luminous moods. Experimenting with sky color and discovering design and gestural movement in cloud formations will bring your skyscapes to new heights!

Using Intuitive Color with Jean Hirons

Working from a black and white photo, Jean will demonstrate a method for creating color studies, based on limited harmonic palettes. Each individual can decide how realistic they want to be in their use of color. Jean will identify the areas of the composition where color can be most variable, and the importance of shape and value in creating good compositions. Seeing color in terms of value, temperature and chroma, rather than hue, will be the focus of the workshop.

Bold and Expressive: A Figurative Workshop in Pastel with Michele Poirier-Mozzone

Add excitement to your work with a bold under painting and confident strokes of color. We will use photo references as a jumping off point to achieve a figurative painting with exciting color, gestural, painterly mark making, pleasing composition and sense of light. Participants are encouraged to gather a selection of figurative photos with a good sense of light and shadow. Whether you choose figures in groups or alone, outdoors or interior - the possibilities are endless! In this workshop, thoughtful planning of composition, drawing and color choices in a thumbnail painting allows freedom and confidence to achieve a more bold and expressive final painting. We will experiment with the effects of an under painting in both watercolor and oil. As we examine how beautifully the under painting can complement the pastel, we will work on achieving interesting and expressive marks, not only with pastel sticks, but through the use of pastel pencils and rewetting/splattering the pastel surface. By paying close attention to value, we will work on using more interpretive color than what we see in the photo references. This is a time for us to have fun, loosen up and put our tentative, "safe" ways of working aside.

"Abstract in Pastel" with Michael Evans

Michael Evans focused on identifying resources and reference material that can be translated into creating abstract paintings in pastel. Reference material was provided and examples of how they could be distilled into abstract works was demonstrated.

The use of metallic acrylic paints in conjunction with pastel was also introduced. Michael demonstrated how to take subject matter and transform it into the abstract. To see Michael's work, visit his website at

Colorful, Bold and Luminous in "Up Close" with Shelly Eager

Shelley Eager of Franklin, MA shared her experiences in painting her new series, "Up Close" in which she zeroes in, crops, and gets intimate with subject matter. She paints ordinary items into extraordinary paintings, finding beauty in the mundane. She teaches how to paint the still life from unique finds from an antique store, and what to look for in terms of shapes, color, composition, and more!

Seeing the beauty in everyday items is what gets Shelly Eager's creative juices flowing. She paints "Slice of Life" paintings and sees everything through a different point of view. One of the things that makes her work so distinguishable and recognizable is the way she pushes color and the very colors that she sees. For more info: visit Shelly's website:

"Color Dynamics with Pastels" with Gigi Horr Leverant

Pastel Society of America Master Pastelist, Gigi Leverant, will guide you through multiple exercises to help you feel more confident using the vast array of color available with pastels. Pastels are a medium that begs to be "played with" and Gigi will show you how to get greater impact out of the medium. Students will have the opportunity to explore the use of quick studies to focus your imagery toward a more compelling visual expression. Everyone will have the opportunity to create his or her own prepared pastel board under Gigi's guidance.

The one-day workshop is geared towards the individual artist's goals and abilities. The morning session will include a demonstration followed by examples of the quick studies used by Gigi. The afternoon session will give you a chance to apply new strategies and focus on your own work with lots of individual instruction. Students are asked to bring a minimum of 30 pastels. A supply list is available on request.

"Explore the Dark Side", Reflections, Glows and Textures! with Christine Ivers

Join this award-winning, nationally recognized pastelist and "Explore the Dark Side" during this two-day workshop. Work on your surface or on Chris's hand-made boards (which will be available for purchase). Discover the depth of darkness while working in a relaxed atmosphere. Demo included. A materials list can be found at Bring your own photo or work from one that Chris will have available.

"Pushing Color Boundaries" with Ed Chesnovitch

Fire up your imagination and explore the emotional side of landscape pastel painting. This one day workshop will focus on creating a series of strong simplified starts by using big shapes of bold color. We will then experiment with color temperature, complements and the addition of beautiful neutrals to push a painting further. Go beyond your comfort zone, create a more expressive sense of atmosphere and have confidence with color. Let's push it and have fun!

"Painting A Pastel Portrait" with Margaret Farrell Bruno

This workshop covered the basic principles of painting a representational portrait, including capturing a good likeness, adding dimension, depth, expression and creating emotion and vibrancy. Learn to look for shapes of shadow and light to simplify your approach and also use of lost and found edges and color temperature will be discussed.

Because of space limitations, we will be working from photographs. But this will enable good discussion on how to photograph your model and the strengths and weaknesses of using photographs.

During the morning session of this workshop, you will be provided a photograph to work from. For the afternoon session, please bring at least two different portrait photographs you would like to use. The subject can be either and adult or a child. We will determine at that time which is the strongest photograph for the afternoon session portrait and why.