Online Painting Classes in Pastel & Oils

Award-winning and experienced artist Sophie Ploeg shares her studio with you

Easy to follow video lessons For Beginners and more advanced

A warm and welcoming community of fellow arty folk

Student Art Work of the Month

Susannah Fisher, Portrait of a Lady, pastel on card, 12x9"

Susannah says: "this was the portrait I did right after finishing the Pastel Portrait workshop and relied heavily on the skills I learned in the workshop as well as The Pastel Place. This is the fourth portrait I've ever done and it's the second successful one (i.e. looks human, looks like the sitter, etc) :-D"

The Pastel Place



  • Materials
  • Art History

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Paint Whatever You Want To Paint

Welcome to Sophie’s Art School! An online art school with courses and workshops for all who want to improve their art. Join a course or become a member and let me support you on your creative journey! I will encourage and support you in whatever you want to paint, by teaching the fundamentals of painting. Seeing shape, form, colour and value will help you paint any subject matter and is at the heart of my teaching style.

Busting The Myths of Painting

At Sophie’s Art School we believe there are too many myths surrounding painting and many of us are kept back because of it. We share a practical approach to creating art; taking learning seriously while having lots of fun. 

Practical And Supportive

Sophie’s Art School offers courses and workshops as well as a vibrant, supportive and friendly community at The Art Cafe. The Art Cafe is free and welcomes all. 

Online Courses

Pastel, Oils, Drawing

Online video Courses and workshops for anyone wanting to improve their skills and get regular personal support. The focus lies on oils and pastel and general painting skills. Some are courses you can complete within days, while others are full-on courses that will take many months. Buy an individual course, or join as a member to have access to them all.

Available Courses

Classical Portrait Drawing

Get those proportions right every time! I will teach you a technique that will help you get proportions in your portrait work or any other subject matter. We draw a portrait in graphite through 12 short video lessons. 

The Pastel Place

A true deep dive into soft pastel for beginners as well as more advanced artists. The course consists of video lessons and assignments and teaches materials, techniques and fundamental painting concepts. A unique course that will teach you all you ever wanted to know about soft pastel. 

Monthly Workshops

In our monthly 5-day workshops we work together in an online class on a single painting. Daily video tuition and support provides a fun and productive art class!

Painting Drapery

An 8 hour video demonstration, cut up into 10 lessons. During the video I will provide a commentary explaining what I am doing and why. Extra articles on materials and technique.

Colour Mixing in Pastel

A short mini course for absolute beginners. The video lessons will teach you how you can layer and mix your colours in order to create the colours you don’t have.


Join as a member!
Enjoy access to all current and future courses and workshops, a private table in The Art Cafe and dive into the members-only library. Regular new material, access to the workshop archive and a community of fellow members to bounce ideas off.  
You get personal feedback and support from Sophie. Try it for free for 7 days. 

Free Community

The Art Cafe

The Art Cafe is a free and public community full of arty folk. Grab a virtual coffee and join them in the daily art talk. Why not share your latest work, ask a question about materials.
Private community
There are private ‘tables' for members and course students.

What The Students Say

"Loved this workshop! I liked that it was short and very focused and I could see results quickly. Your daily videos were just the right length to give good guidance and not overly long. Your comments on our posts during the week were helpful and very encouraging. They offered specific suggestions for improvement which I appreciated."

"This is the most unique online art course I have taken. The setup is unique and the contents takes a pastel newbie from pastel and paper types through mark making and beyond. Also Sophie is there every step of the way and I think that she is the most valuable resource in the course.” 

"Just wanted to let you know that after 5 months I've finished my course in The Pastel Place and what a fantastic time I've had ! 
 I feel so much more confident to take on new projects now. All thanks to Sophie for being a great teacher and encouraging me each step of the way. Definitely sign up for this course but make sure you take up all It's challenges !!

"Absolutely loved it. I enjoy working with others and this felt like we were doing it together as a group as much as one can "virtually." But most of all I enjoy learning from someone who obviously has a great deal of knowledge and is a gentle, kind soul.” 

About Sophie

Sophie Ploeg is an experienced art tutor and a professional artist. Her paintings have featured regularly at prestigious exhibitions such as the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, the RWA, and the Pastel Society. She has had work selected for the BP Portrait Award Exhibition.  She is self-taught and shares her practical approach to painting and drawing through courses and workshops.

Sophie’s painting techniques stem from trial and error, picking and choosing; over the years she developed her own techniques, often fed through selected bits and pieces from existing methods and approaches. She does not follow any particular school of thought but prefers to use painting techniques that are fun and ‘work’. 

Sophie’s paintings are realistic and full of atmosphere. They seem to echo traditional methods and style, but are painted in a modern and practical manner. Her work celebrates the beauty of every person and the heritage we all share.