Pastel, Food Piece, Radu Leon

Drawing in pastels: Food




30 November 2020-
4 December 2020






Food is life. Across time, representations of food reveal and record its importance and functions: sustenance, cure, comfort, communion, and ritual.

This practical course opens a window on how Western European artists painted food. You will learn how to strengthen your observational skills in conveying an array of shapes, surfaces and textures: from crumbly bread and fuzzy peaches to dewy grapes and melting cheese, from metal and wickerwork to glass and ceramic ware used to store or serve food.

You will use the medium of soft pastels, enabling you to draw and paint at the same time. The tutor will introduce you to colour and design principles of 17th and 18th-centuries masters, and demonstrate a variety of traditional pastel techniques to help you refine your skills.

Who is this course for?

All levels of experience and ability welcome.

You must be aged 18 or over to participate in our online programmes.

What days do I attend?

Monday - Friday

How many people can attend?

15 people

How do I attend the online class?

This class will take place on Zoom, an online meeting platform.

What materials do I need?

Still-life subjects:

  • Day 1: A small loaf of bread, a black/red grape and a green grape
  • Day 2: An apple, peach or both; a small ceramic or porcelain fruit bowl (either white or a bright hue)
  • Day 3: A small jar of honey, a glass of milk, a slice of cheese, a small ceramic plate or pewter tray, and a knife or other cutlery (silver, pewter or steel).
  • Day 4: A small wicker basket, a linen napkin, fruit from Days 1 and 2, and a pitcher or glass of water.
  • Day 5: Your choice, food that you would be interested in painting or have found difficult paint.

Drawing materials:

  • an H or HB pencil, eraser and sharpener
  • 1 x wooden board, approximately 15 x 12 inches
  • a ruler and compass
  • several A4 sheets of cartridge paper or photocopy paper for pratcie
  • several A4 sheets of pastel paper, at least 160gsm. The tutor recommends Canson Mi-teintes (NOT the ‘mi-teintes touch’ range), in any or all of the following tints: Sky grey, Felt Grey, Flannel Grey, Eggshell, Havana light - if not, any similarly tinted pastel paper would do.
  • watercolour round brushes, either sable or synthetic, in sizes 1, 3, 5 or similar and one larger size brush, synthetic or hog bristle (at least size 9)
  • a clean palette with wells, either ceramic or plastic
  • dry / soft pastels, either sets or individual bâtons (sticks), any brand (NO oil pastels). In addition to white, black, neutral grey (medium tone), the essential range of sticks should contain at least the following hues: red earth, a vivid red (for instance cadmium from which hues imitating carmine, garnet lake, or vermillion are made), yellow ochre (light, deep), a lemony yellow, a green-yellow, green earth, an azure blue, deep blue (Prussian, Indigo, or ultramarine), at least two hues of brown umber (greenish, reddish).
  • a clean jam jar with water
  • a small bowl of soapy water and some cloth to keep fingers clean
  • 1 x red chalk, 1 x white chalk, and 1 x black chalk pencil, any brand, OR white, sanguine and black
  • Conté carré hard pastels, or Faber Castell pitt pastel pencils: medium white, dry sanguine, black, OR Cretacolor dry chalk pencils in these three hues. Crayons containing oil or wax will not work.
  • glassine paper (or baking parchment) to store and protect your work.

What if I have questions during the workshop?

This will be a small workshop; Students will be able to ask questions via chat or unmuting themselves.

Students will also have access to our online learning platform, Thinkific, where we share supplementary content.

What if I need to change or cancel my booking?

No refunds, unless cancelled by the School. If you cancel up to 1 week before the workshop starts, we can offer a transfer to another workshop of equivalent value, subject to availability.

Can I buy recordings of the course?

No. We encourage you to attend the course in real time to really benefit from instruction. Students on the course can watch recordings of each session on our online learning platform for a limited time.

Recordings cannot be purchased separately if the course is fully booked or if the course has already started.


You must download the Zoom app and create a free account before the class begins, so that you can use the full range of features:

  • You can create your free account here

  • You can download the Zoom app onto your computer or device here

Tutor Biography

Radu Leon

Radu Leon is a painter and educator specialising in early modern and modern Western European drawing and painting techniques. He completed a PhD in History of Art and Architecture in Venice in 2018. He has been teaching at The Prince’s Foundation School of Traditional Arts since 2016.