Pastel Painting - Porthmeor Seascapes CW

Painting / Pastel / Seascapes - Materials included

Book Selected Date

Course details

Drawing inspiration from the awe-inspiring St Ives coastline, dive into pastel painting and discover unique techniques that are possible when painting with soft pastels.

Nina Squire

Join practising artist, Nina Squire, as she demonstrates how she uses soft pastels in a painterly way. Learn both traditional and contemporary approaches to pastel painting; how to create texture and how to layer colours to create your own dynamic seascapes. 

During this 3-day journey, Nina will guide you through a variety of approaches to enhance your technical skills as well as nurture your creativity and individual expression. You will follow her hands-on process, creating paintings from blank paper to finished artwork, enabling you to delve into the distinctive characteristics of these pigments. 

Nina’s approach to teaching encourages students to express themselves through an artistic process and she will help discover what works best for you as an individual. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned artist, her personal tutelage will encourage you to find new ways of working with soft pastels, loosen your technique and extend your creative range. 

You will be presented with your very own bespoke set of 16 handmade Unison Colour pastels that have been especially curated for the workshop by Nina, only available to St Ives School of Painting. These pastels are often described as ‘smooth as butter’ and are highly pigmented for the deepest colouration. Made, labelled and packed completely by hand, they will be yours to keep after the workshop.

artwork and photo credits © Nina Squire 2023  

Day to day plan

This is a rough indication of what to expect over the course. However sometimes the structure of the days may alter depending on the nature of the group and weather.

Day 1

The course will begin with introductions at the studio overlooking Porthmeor Beach before venturing out to the St Ives coastline to capture a rich array of visual elements using line and tone.  

In the afternoon, you’ll return to the studio to refine and expand upon the visual inspirations, crafting more thoughtful works of art with tone and mark making. 

Day 2

On day two you will venture to the captivating, rugged terrain of The Island to visit St Nicholas Chapel. Here, Nina will encourage you to revisit the techniques explored on Day One and build on these by creating colour studies (weather permitting), before heading back to the studio for the afternoon session.  

Day 3

Using reference material, colour studies and artwork completed over the first two days and your developed skills, consolidate your learning through a completed artwork.

What will I learn?

  1. Develop and understand your own artistic process.  
  2. Tips to avoid and move through the creative blocks. 
  3. How to enhance your technical skills using pigments. 
  4. How to create texture with pastels.  
  5. How to layer and mix colours with pastels. 

Who would this course suit?

Nina’s hands-on approach and real-world experience as a practicing artist makes her an invaluable mentor for those seeking to discover their unique artistic voice and a personalised creative process in a supportive, friendly and encouraging environment.  

Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned artist, the skills and techniques covered will enhance your understanding and inspire exploration of soft pastels and creative approaches.   

Pastel Painting – Porthmeor Seascapes CW

Painting / Pastel / Seascapes – Materials included

Book Selected Date

Taught by


View Nina’s Work

With her early life spent on the coast of Devon, Nina Squire, has always been drawn to the sea and the rugged coastline that surrounds her. She seeks to capture the changing moods of the sea, from the calm, serene blues of a summer’s day to the stormy, tumultuous greys of a winter’s evening.

What to Bring

Our studios are fully equipped and we provide you with all the materials you need for your course. However, if you have a favourite set of brushes or any specialist materials that you would prefer to use, please bring them with you.

Timings and Breaks

The first day starts at 10am and finishes at 4.30pm, please aim to arrive ten to fifteen minutes before the start time.

All course days after that start at 9.30am and finish at 3.30 on Sunday after a short lunch break to try an enable people to get home that day.
There are plenty of nearby places to eat and we will serve tea and coffee at break times during the day.


Studio Courses

How can I get help in choosing a course?

Our friendly expert staff are always happy to discuss your needs and our courses in more detail to help you with your decision. Please call us on 01736 797180

How do I get my work home?

Tutors have special techniques for transporting oil paintings and the school has plastic folders available in our shop for £3.50 or do bring a portfolio.

For international students we are happy to arrange transportation of your work back home.

What do I need to bring?

Absolutely nothing! All materials and aprons are provided although some people do like to bring their own set of brushes.

What do I do for lunch?

Courses allow an hour’s break for lunch and there are numerous places nearby or you are welcome to bring a packed lunch into the studio.

What times do courses run?

Most of our courses start at 10am and end at 4.30pm on the first day. Subsequent days we start at 9.30am ending at 4pm.

Weekend Courses run 10am – 4pm on the first day but the final day starts at 9.30 and ends at 3.30 with a short lunch break to enable people to get home that evening.

Do you have to be experienced to come to the School?

The School is a very friendly and welcoming place for all ages and experience. Our drop-in life classes and August half-day workshops are ideal for those wanting to have a go for the first time. Most of our longer courses are also fine for novices.

If any of the courses do need a bit of experience we flag this up in the brochure and on the website.

Booking a Course

Can I pay by cheque?

Please get in touch by phone and we can hold your place for a few days whilst you post your cheque (made payable to: St Ives School of Painting) to us at St Ives School of Painting, Porthmeor Studios. St Ives TR26 1NG

How can I reserve a place?

We will hold a provisional reservation for 24 hours if you give us a call whilst you find accommodation. Otherwise please book online or by telephone 01736 797180.

You can reserve a place with a £100 deposit; balance is due 12 weeks before course start date.

About St Ives

Where do I park?

The nearest long stay public car parks are the Island and Barnoon both 5 minute walk away. In the peak summer months it may be easier to park at the big top car park by the leisure centre and walk down into town. If you don’t fancy the walk up the hill at the end of the day there is a shuttle bus which runs from outside the cinema.

How do I get there?

Public Transport: If you are coming from further afield the main train line runs into St Erth which is a 15 min taxi ride away or you can take the St Ives Bay Line which runs approx. every 30 minutes. The School is a 10 minute walk from St Ives station.

Driving: M5 will take you to Exeter where we recommend that you take the A30 across Bodmin Moor and into Cornwall. After passing Hayle, leave the A30 at St Erth roundabout for St Ives. Turn right at the second roundabout. This road will take you through Lelant and Carbis Bay into St Ives.

Where can I stay?

St Ives has a huge selection of hotels, guest houses and self catering accommodation to choose from. Please browse the art holidays St Ives section on our website and give us a call if you would like any help.

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