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Page last updated at 09:20 GMT, Wednesday, 3 February 2010
Pastels and pencil art in the Lake District
By Valerie Wood

Herdwick sheep

Drawing has been my enjoyment nearly all my life, but it has only been in latter years that I have found the time to explore more possibilities.

Before coming to live in Cumbria, I was in Bristol, running a stained glass studio and drawing courses for adults.

My time now is taken up with running pastel coloured pencil courses, as well as undertaking commissions.

My courses are designed for beginners as well as those wishing to further their knowledge.

Through observation

The pleasure of drawing for me has always come from nature, and this is the subject matter I put into all my courses.

Nature is so versatile and there are so many areas that can bring inspiration, it is a subject that can never fail to deliver.

Meerkats in coloured pencils

My work is usually in study form, as this is executed through observation, a very important beginning for any artist wishing to depict wildlife and botanical images.

Pastel pencils are an excellent tool for detail and are less messy than stick pastels, although they can be used together, and I would usually use a stick pastel for backgrounds.

There are very definite techniques with pastel pencils, one of the most important being basic layering, if the basic layers are not correctly laid down to start with, the light that is required to come through the subject can be lost.

It is then a process of blending layers to achieve a finished work.


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