Jenny Halstead

Jenny Halstead

About Jenny Halstead

I am an enthusiastic professional artist and enjoy teaching and this will be my 11th year at L’Age Baston. I invite you to join me on a structured week of tuition for both beginners and more experienced students. The aim is to consolidate basic observational skills while moving you on into developing new areas.

We will start with sketchbook work, using pen and wash, then pen and watercolour. You will have primary tonal studies as well as perspective and composition and take in a figure drawing and portrait study session. I will also teach a specialised session on working with pastels. We paint outside as much as possible using your preferred medium so making this a full and exciting week.

After studying Art & Design at Sutton and Cheam School of Art, I won a Guest Scholarship to the Royal Academy Schools while training in Medical Art at the Central Middlesex Hospital in London. I then worked in various teaching hospitals as a Medical Illustrator attached to medical and surgical units and anatomy departments. I went freelance and successfully expanded my illustrative work into scientific and natural history. I worked in partnership with my late husband, who was a paleontologist; together we produced numerous books, many on dinosaurs including a series for children.

I returned a decade ago to the freedom of fine art from the discipline of medical illustration. My first love is still drawing, which I believe is fundamental to all art forms. I now have an added fascination for form and colour in figure and landscape and their interaction with light both in nature as well as in man-made environments. I rediscovered a range of media from oil, watercolour, acrylic and pastel to mono-print, which has opened up many new and exciting avenues of exploration.

I currently teach drawing and painting both abroad and in the UK and am an elected Member of the Pastel Society (UK). I established, co-ordinate and exhibit in the Whiteknights Studio Trail, an annual event of artists’ open studios in Reading.

I’ve been Artist in Residence in the Harris Garden, University of Reading which resulted in an exhibition of the work produced and the publication of An Artist’s Year in the Harris Garden (Two Rivers Press 2013). This was followed by another Residency at Silchester: Life on the Dig (Two Rivers Press 201) and an exhibition recording the last year of the excavation Silchester Town Life Project (Calleva Atrebatum).

I am really looking forward to teaching again at L’Age Baston this summer and hope to meet you there. Let me be your perfect companion on an artistic journey, wherever you start from.

Gallery of Painting Tutor Jenny Halstead

Here is a small selection of Artist Jenny Halstead’s work. The paintings will give you an idea of her style and way of seeing things. Click on a painting to enlarge it and then click on the side arrows to see the next in sequence. If you want to know more about Jenny Halstead and her art then please read Jenny’s Tutor Profile. You can also return to the Painting Course Home Page or visit her website

All images Copyright © Jenny Halstead.

Kit Guide

If you are new to L’Age Baston or Painting Holidays and are attending one of my painting courses in France, please find below a painting kit guide of what materials to bring with you for my course.

Please above all be sure to bring with you a good sketchbook to record your wonderful week in France.


I like to use tubes for painting pictures but a small traveller’s paint-box for sketching.

Essential basic tube colours

  • Ultramarine Blue
  • Cerulean Blue
  • Alizarin Crimson
  • Cadmium Red
  • Lemon Yellow
  • Cadmium Yellow
  • Burnt Sienna + any others.


One really good medium sable is better than twenty cheap brushes. Ideally Kolinsky sables’ sizes 12, 8 and 4 as these have a large ‘belly’ to hold the paint and a fine point.


Preferably 300lb. The lightest should be 140lb which is best in blocks. Saunders Waterford and Bockingford are my favourites but everyone has their own. Paper is heavy so calculate how much you need.


With deep enough wells to mix a wash.

Optional extras

  • Kitchen roll
  • Small spray for water (Boots)
  • Masking fluid & brush


If you already work in pastels bring your box or a smaller selection. If you are buying some, a boxed set of soft-pastels can eliminate the headache of choosing colours.

  • Pastel pencils are good for sketching and working into soft pastel work.
  • Hard pastels (square) are great for drawing in colour.
  • Wax and Oil pastels do melt if it’s hot but are interesting to work with.
  • Paper  – A good pastel paper is Canson Mi-Teinte in sheets or pads minimum 12” x 16”. Medium tones (eg: not too dark and not too light) are easier to work on. Avoid papers that have too much mechanical texture or grooves.

Useful items are

  • Small plastic tray
  • Tissues
  • Moist Wipes or flannel
  • An old stiff hogshair brush
  • Apron
  • Grease-proof paper to cover your work


  • Paints – basic colours as above plus Titanium white and medium if used.
  • Supports – Purpose made mount board (art shops and large WH Smiths do packs). Heavyweight watercolour paper or you can prime mount board and cut to chosen size before you leave.
  • Wet-Palette or Tear-off Palettes are useful when travelling. Water pot.


Lots of people avoid oils for a one-week holiday due to drying time. However if you are keen, please ask for advice and remember to pack Sansodor as a solvent, in your luggage. John & Alex at L’Age Baston can always courier back for you when dry if you pay the postage & packing.

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