Painting Workshops & Retreats

with Gail Sibley

Upcoming Schedule


Deal with the foreground: Done!! Gail Sibley, "Exploring the Possibilities (on SSI)," Unison Colour on UART 400, 9 x 12 in. Available.


17 - 27 March 2024

🌞 Gillian has done a tremendous job and at the moment we are sold out. If you’re interested you can get on the WAITLIST by emailing Gillian: 🤞

Paint what you love: Gail Sibley, "Vesuvius Beach Ladies Club #1, pastel on Wallis paper, 11 x 18 in. Sold.

Australia (Melbourne & Gold Coast)

2024 - To be determined

Since I’ve had a lot of interest to teach on mainland Australia and in New Zealand, Gillian offered to take on the job of organizing all that for me. Whew!! And I’ll be teaching TWO five-day workshops on mainland Australia (Gold Coast and Melbourne).

Simplify, Simplify, Simplify: Gail pastelling at Martin's Restaurant in La Manzanilla, Mexico. Such a hard life!

New Zealand

2024 - To be determined

Gillian and I are deep in organizing for me to teach a couple of workshops in New Zealand – YES!!! Can hardly wait! I’ll keep you posted!!

Gail Sibley, "Quiet Afternoon in Trequanda, Tuscany," Unison Colour pastels on UART 500, 8 3/4 x 5 3/4 in. Available. $295


November 2024

10-day workshop in November at the Villa Nobile in Tuscany. Still finalizing exact dates. The workshop will be a combo of sketching on location, pastel technique in the studio, and how to take your sketches and photos and create successful studio paintings.


anine Baldwin, "Avenue des Grandes Vallees," 2018, charcoal and graphite on Fabriano paper, 81 x 64cm. SOLD. In 2017 and 2018 I took part in a collaborative cultural exchange project involving seven artists from the UK and France. Whilst staying in the coastal town of Pornic, Brittany, we often cycled down this beautiful tree-lined avenue to reach the sea and I just had to create this artwork in honour of it.

France - Perigord Region

15-24 April 2025

🍷 The Perigord region of FRANCE!! The dates are set and the details should be available this weekend!!

Richard Suckling, "Beach Scene Costa Blanca," Unison and Sennelier pastels on Sennelier LaCarte, 9 ½ x 12 ½ in. Painted overlooking the beach equipment precariously perched on a balustrade.

Costa Rica

2025 - To be determined

There’s a possibility of another trip in 2025 with Martine, the fab organizer of our Costa Rica Art Retreat. Let me know if you’re at all interested!!

Beach towels on the clothesline: Gail Sibley, "Clothesline Dance, Mexico," Sennelier pastels on UART 400, 12 x 9 in. Available

Santa Fe, New Mexico

2025 - To be determined

We’re working on setting this up with Bluebird Studios!! If you’re interested, do drop Beth an email to let her know! And let me know too please!

Past Events

Gail Sibley, "Shade!," Unison Colour pastels on UART 400, 4 ¾ x 4 ½ in. Available $100

Cornwall School of Art - 3-day workshop

3-5 July 2023

Introduction to painting en plein air painting with soft pastels. We will explore the process of painting on location, from how to choose what to paint, to simplifying the scene, to working up a thumbnail. From there you will block in the big shapes, and move towards a completed painting. Along with plein air work, there will be some in-studio practice which will include looking at pastel application and layering, making colour studies, and reviewing linear perspective. There will be plenty of one-on-one attention throughout the workshop.

Gail painting en plein air

Yorkshire Dales

14-22 June 2023

Painting en plein air is all about being in the moment, documenting the view, yes, but also capturing the feeling of being where you are. And this means letting go of perfection! This location is new to me so we will be discovering it together. I’ll be with you to guide you, one-on-one, through the ups and downs of painting on location. Sooo exciting!

ICAN (Pastel Artists Canada Bi-Annual Conference)

31 May - 4 June 2023

  • a one-day workshop all about layering for luminous paintings
  • a three-hour workshop on how to critique your own paintings
  • a two-hour demo on colour studies
Gail Sibley - Pastel Live

Pastel Live Online

18 - 20 August 2022

This online event was wonderful 4 day event that had many great pastel artists share thier knowledge. One of my sessions was on materials for pastel painting and the second session was a fantastic look at painting still life. It was a blast!

IAPS Convention - Albuquerque, New Mexico

June 2022

Gail balances her art practice with creating content for her well-respected blog ‘HowToPastel’ and her online art membership IGNITE! She loves to travel and combines that with her love of teaching, offering workshops worldwide. Her pastels and accompanying instruction are featured in the book ‘Artist’s Drawing Techniques.’

Paint Anything With This Set of Soft Pastels:Gail Sibley, "Tuscany Vista," Unison Colour pastels on UART 500, 4 x 5 in


May 2022

During this 10-day workshop, our focus will be working from life. Much of our time together will be spent painting outdoors on location but since we are lucky enough to have a studio on site, we’ll also spend some time there too.

We’ll go through the process of creating a painting en plein air step-by-step, from choosing what you’re going to paint, to simplifying the scene, to drawing up a thumbnail (a getting-to-know-you tool which also shapes a value pattern for your painting as well as a good composition), to blocking in the big shapes as an

15 thoughts on “Workshops and Retreats”

  1. Hi Gail,
    I am interested in updates/info. Concerning your 2018 plein air France workshop. I am a relatively new follower of yours and just love what I’ve seen and learned thus far. Thank you for your willingness to share your abundant knowledge.
    Elliott West

  2. Hi Gail,

    I enjoy your work and website. As an old Guy I don’t do international travel any longer but
    I live in Comox on Vancouver island . Are you planning any workshops here on the Coast ?

    Chris Carter

    1. Hi Chris,
      Good to hear from you and know you are enjoying my stuff 🙂
      I did just offer a workshop at Peninsula Gallery. The answer to your question is yes, I’d like to. Is there anyone else up your way who would be interested in a workshop? It would be great to offer a workshop in Nanaimo/Comox Valley region!

  3. I live in Calgary so i would LOVE a workshop in the West Coast!
    Or why not Calgary itself? Banff is very close and we have some amazing parks / downtown area / rivers (2), historic village and fort to paint in town. I can help organize it if you need assistance with that…

    1. Patricia, let’s do it!! Your help to organize something either in Calgary or Banff will make it happen. Please email me!
      I do have the occasional workshop out here on the west coast – sometimes on Salt Spring Island.

    1. Thanks so much Hannah!! You don’t say where you live but my hope is to do workshops all over the world. As a subscriber, you’ll be the first to know where I’ll be teaching next. A number of possibilities in the cards!

  4. I’m looking forward to more information regarding the way the art holiday in Tuscany will be organized by Raffaele. I spent 10 days with Raffaele when he was the tour director for an Art Safari holiday I took in Malta. He is very conscientious and concerned about his clients and is also lots of fun to be around. Tuscany, pastels and Gail …..great combo

    1. Many thanks Joyce for sharing your own positive experience on an art tour with Raffaele. I am excited to be doing this painting holiday workshop with his company! Hoping from what you’ve said that I’ll see you there! Whoo hoo!
      At this point we don’t have a clear itinerary for the 10-days but Raffaele emailed me a generic 7-day one which will give you an idea. So email me and I’ll send it on.

  5. Thanks Gail
    I’d like to see the generic 7 day itinerary that Raffaele sent you.
    I am interested to know about the travel arrangements within the holiday as
    I sometimes find getting around in mini buses can be difficult for me. Perhaps all such considerations will be ironed out nearer to the time. Sure sounds tempting!

    1. Joyce, I’ll send you the itinerary. I’ll also let you know more in November when Raffaele will have time to focus on getting the info up on his website. Thanks for your interest and patience. Hope to see you in Tuscany!

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Latest Edition

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Gail Sibley

Artist. Blogger. Teacher.

My love of pastel and the enjoyment I receive from teaching about pastel inspired the creation of this blog. It has tips, reviews, some opinions:), and all manner of information regarding their use through the years – old and new. Please enjoy!

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