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Karol paints from life as much as possible and ‘en plein-air,' in pastel, oil and mixed media. Karol is constantly searching out patterns, textures, vibrant colours and the light extremes of Mother Nature’s presence. The majority of her work is based on water themes in both the land and seascape. This doesn’t stop her from exploring other subjects such as still life, flowers and animal portraits. Karol works on the premise that there is always more to learn and shares her enthusiasm for painting through workshops and demonstrations, when not out exploring new places and painting her response to natures showcase. 


Karol Oakley is a highly respected International Pastel Artists known for her vibrant representational paintings. A Master Pastellist for over twenty years Karol has works in public and private collections in Australia and overseas. She has been in many exhibitions and is a long-time member of the Pastel Society of Australia, a member of AGRA (Australian Guild of Realist Artists),NAVA and the Pastel Society of Southern California. 

Regarded as one of the best educators of the pastel medium in Australia, Karol Oakley is continually invited to tutor in regional and rural Australia, starting back in 1996. Karol is an International judge and tutor travelling, teaching and painting ‘en plein-air’ painting tours to the Greek Islands and Norfolk Island repeatedly. 


Artist Statement:

As a visual artist I am looking for what the story is in each subject, how I can express this for others to feel connected and involved. Nature's bounty is special to me, reminding me that our natural world is unique and precious. That natures work has a story to tell as nature itself is interconnected. It is my privilege as an artist to explore this natural world, find the stories and sculpt a response in paint.

Where to find Karol...

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Get Toned

Is tone the great mystery of art? Some artists make their way through without knowing why tone is important and how it can be used so brilliantly to make an art-piece sing. Why is tone so important? Do you need to get toned up? Have greater awareness of what this essential painting tool can do for your paintings?


Find out how to use tone, with simple myth-busting demos and discussions along with an interactive Q&A in this demo. Student Requirements: Bring a notebook or Visual Diary and a 2B pencil for some hands on work and your favourite colour pastel.

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Plein-Air Confidence

Student Experience Level: All Students

New or a bit unsure about Plein-air painting? Our focus is on getting to the nitty gritty of what to look for, and how to get all that info onto your paper in the short time you have before the light changes! Be challenged.


It is doable and I’ll show you how, in easy to take steps that get to the heart of painting, quickly and simply, at one of our beautiful beaches with rocks. A finished painting isn’t a requirement, learning how and gaining confidence is.

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Landscapes - Normal with a Twist of Paint

Learn how to set an underpainting as a tonal block-in to ready the painting for your pastel work.


This ‘twist of paint’ is a direct method of painting that can help the artist stay on track with tone as the painting develops.


It creates a foundation for pastel work that transitions onto any style of artwork, from normal traditional to contemporary.


Get the bones set and take flight with colour!

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Traditional Landscape from the Heart

Student Experience Level: All Students

How to start the painting, what to look for in getting your landscape story on to the paper is demonstrated, explained and discussed in this structured course. It is for those with some idea of pastel painting but want to get into the nitty gritty what makes a stand out landscape painting.


Elements of painting, tone, colour, temperature and more, are worked through so that each participant has the tools they need to make that painting. Each person will be working with their own references to tell the story that’s in their heart.

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