Choosing the best pastel courses requires thinking about your level of experience as well as the type of subject in which you are interested. Pastel courses are often divided up in terms of skill levels, but they also often focus on a particular type of subject, such as a landscape or a portrait. Some courses are extremely specific, focusing specifically on pets or pastel art made while traveling. Another aspect to consider when choosing this type of class is the location of the class, as hobbyists often cannot travel far for courses relating to their art. Finally, for advanced artists it is a good idea to look at the work of the instructor and find out about his or her reputation, as once someone has progressed past basic skills, he or she might benefit from criticism from a renowned artist.
When looking into pastel courses, most people start by looking for local classes offered by art schools, community colleges, and local artists. Working with pastels is a relatively common drawing technique, and most schools offer at least some instruction in pastels. For people who do not have access to any schools, there are also online pastel courses and classes in the form of books. Following these classes closely can often yield great improvements in technique and style even without an instructor.
Pastel courses for beginners should teach all basic techniques, although learning techniques cannot always compensate for lack of talent. More advanced courses might refine techniques, but these classes usually take the form of practice periods with assistance from an instructor. Working with models or traveling to special sites may be part of the class. Art theories, historical information, or evaluation of the work of famous pastel artists may all be part of a class of this type as well.
There are also technical and financial considerations a person must make when choosing the best pastel courses. Classes must be at a convenient time and location and must be at a price that the student can afford. Some classes require students to apply in advance, which requires some demonstration of existing skill. It is also important to find out about any materials required or special fees, as these can add on significantly to the cost of the course.
For advanced pastel artists, the best courses are often offered by prestigious art schools that have highly skilled artists as teachers. Interacting with these artists not only helps developing artists with their techniques, but also provides exposure to the teacher's way of approaching the medium. This type of course is not often helpful for people who are still working on the basics, but learning in a small workshop with a respected artist can be a valuable experience for many students.