Live Lessons: "Butterfly" with Pastels

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This lesson series features:
9.5 Hours of Instruction
8 Videos

About This Lesson Series...

Join us as we draw and paint a butterfly with soft pastels and pastel pencils. Draw along side as we develop the background first before moving on to the flower. Lastly, we develop the colors of the butterfly to complete the image.

pastel drawing of a butterfly

Resources for this Lesson...


Photo Reference

Finished Result

Here's what you'll need...

  • Soft Pastels
  • Pastel Pencils
  • Toned Pastel Paper
  • Kneaded eraser (optional)

Lesson Discussion

    • Hi Collen,

      The yearly subscription is deducted once a year for the full amount. In the future, you may consider using the contact form or emailing directly for questions concerning your account.

  1. Hi Matt, I just have a quick question about your next course. Since you have completed your most recent course “25 days to better drawings” course; are you going to ask us to vote for your next course soon?

    • Hi Barbara,

      We’re currently having network issues with services that are coming into the studio. Without going into too many boring details, the issues are all external, meaning new wiring and equipment must be installed in this area (in the surrounding areas outside of the studio). The issues are unfortunately out of our control. We thought that the issues that began last Thursday would be resolved by Tuesday (so we could do the live stream) but instead they were actually made worse by the technicians working the job! As a result, we were forced to cancel the stream on Tuesday. We are still having these issues at the time of this writing, but hopefully they will be fully resolved today in time for the next scheduled lesson on Thursday.

      Believe me, I am incredibly frustrated by this and I apologize for the inconvenience.

      • Matt, we’ve missed you but patiently wait for you to get back on line. I know this must be terribly frustrating for you and we want you to know that we completely understand that it is out of your control.
        You are an amazing teacher and artist. We appreciate all that you do to help us enjoy the talents that we all have.

      • Thanks for your reply, Matt. I’m sure this situation is very frustrating for you and I hope the problem is resolved soon. No need for an apology! 🙂 Since I am 6 time zones into your future I always look forward to the uploaded videos and I was afraid that I had somehow missed them.

        Looking forward to resuming the lessons 🙂

  2. Hi Matt, sorry about the above comment! I accidentally pressed enter and now I can’t delete it lol

    Now, my question ….. I was wondering if you can do more live lessons of “basic drawing exercises”? It’s been awhile since you did one of those …..
    Thanks, 🙂

    • Hi Ashis,

      This has been fixed. The video was just uploaded when you tried to download it. It takes a little while to process the download files and make them available.

  3. Loving this so far, currently at lesson 7, but am eager to know how many more lessons there will be for this as I hoped to finish in time for a birthday rapidly approaching.

  4. Hi Matt! Really enjoying these lessons. Right now I’m just watching to get the overall idea of how this is worked before I actually try it out. I don’t have the Conte pencils, so I would like to know what color numbers you are using on the flower and on the butterfly. Hopefully I can purchase them open stock and be ready to join you! Thank you!!

  5. My Rembrandt stick pastels come in a base number, ie Gold Ochre 231.5 . The 231.3 (there can be a .2 also.. deeper than .3) has some black. The 231.7 thru 231.9 are increasing lighter value tints. That is why Matt appeared to have two different colors for Gold Ochre. I was confused so I pulled out my color charts for my Rembrandts. My columns were separate color designations (Gold Ochre, Burnt Sienna, Ulltramarine Blue, etc.) and the rows were .2, .3, .5, .7, .8, & .9 (.5 being the straight index color). The Conte a’ Paris pastel pencils are numbered like most colored pencils are.

  6. Derwent makes a holder you can place the pencil in while you sharpen it with a craft knife. I bought one on Amazon and it is very useful at keeping the pencil stable.

  7. Hi Matt, this is the first live lesson I’ve watched and am loving it! You make it all seem so less intimidating by saying you don’t have to stick ridgidly to the reference. Also love it all being real time to watch every process, and having the reference on screen the whole time really helps. I’ve just started using pastels and am loving the effects, especially the blending. Your commentary is great. You make me laugh. I’m so glad I became a member. It’s great to see you work and realise that there’s no rush to produce a piece. You’ve helped me to take the pressure off myself. Thanks!

  8. I’ve just watched video 2 and I love the slow pace and the time you’re taking. It’s making me learn and is also relaxing to watch so not boring at all!! Also I’m in the uk so will watch these when not live. So glad they’re all saved. Am learning so much, Matt! Thanks again!

  9. So glad you made the changes to the composition so we could watch how and what you did – so helpful! Have just bought some conte a Paris pastel pencils and I love them! Loving these videos of the butterfly! I’m learning so much each time I watch:)

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