5 Day Pastel Challenge:

Spring Glow


Julie Skoda

Monday 24th – Friday 28th April

Join the Pastel Academy for full access to all the files, discussions and Live Q&As.

New members get their first month completely free!

We're doing things a little differently this time around...

The 5 day challenge format is the same, we’ve just taken your feedback on board and moved the challenge away from Facebook. 

This time we’re hosting it on our own learning platform at the Pastel Academy. 

Pastel Academy members will get full access to the challenge files and images, the community discussions and Live Q&A’s each evening with Julie, as well as the daily instructional videos.

So if you’re already a Pastel Academy member, getting instant access to this challenge is just another great benefit of your membership.

If you aren’t currently a Pastel Academy member it only costs £19.99/month but new members can get their first month of full access completely free. 

So if you’ve not tried Pastel Academy before you can sign up today and take advantage of our first month free offer. That means you’ll still get to take part in this challenge 100% free.

But you'll get so much more than that...

As well as the 5 Day Pastel Challenge, new members will also enjoy a growing library of over 75 pastel courses created by our incredibly talented army of Associate Artists. 

When you’ve finished the challenge there’s going to be lots more for you to do over the remaining weeks of your Pastel Academy membership. You really should make the most of it.

We’ll also be uploading Julie’s daily videos to our Unison Colour YouTube channel, so if you really don’t want to check out Pastel Academy you can still follow along at home.

But don’t forget that you’ll only get full access to the challenge files, community discussions and daily Live Q&A’s if you do sign up.

Sign up to the challenge and you'll also get an exclusive offer on 2 sets created by Julie Skoda.

Julie’s Workshop 16 Half Stick set and the expanded Studio 30 Half Stick set (which contains almost all of the colours in the 16 set) will be available to purchase at a ‘challenge participant’ discount. 

Julie will be using the 30 set in the challenge and the 16 set in her follow up workshop, which will also be available to all Pastel Academy members.

That’s because we’re changing the way we run the follow up workshop too. 

Rather than buying a ‘ticket’ to the workshop we’ll be dropping this into Pastel Academy in early June, as a bonus for all live members to enjoy.

The challenges are run very much with a ‘work with what you’ve got’ approach, but if you do want to get some pastels for the challenge or the workshop, either set will serve you very well.

We’re very happy to offer them at a great price. 

On top of all that, it’s worth noting that an ongoing benefit of Pastel Academy membership is a 10% discount on the standard range of individual pastels and sets at unisoncolour.com.

So come and join Julie for another challenge. Try Pastel Academy completely free for one month and enjoy all the courses and benefits that full membership brings.

And now onto the Challenge...

Julie Skoda

Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or advanced artist, Julie will challenge you to paint an uplifting Spring scene from the Florida Keys.

Watch the video below to hear about the challenge in Julie’s own words!

With Julie’s daily instructions, advice and demos you’ll be led from the initial drawing right through to final finishing touches.

You can follow Julie on Instagram at @julieskoda.

How it works...

5 Days

The challenge will run for 5 consecutive days, from Mon 24th - Fri 28th April, and will run in a dedicated community group here on the Pastel Academy.

For All Skill Levels

Suitable for beginners, as well as more experienced pastel artists. There's always more to learn from other artists.

Video Demonstrations

Daily instruction is made up of a combination of pre-recorded 10 minute video demo and written guide, posted in the group each day at 6am.

Reference Material Included

There will be reference material and worksheets available to download from the 5 Day Challenge Group here on the Pastel Academy.

Step by Step Progress

The Challenge will be broken down in stages of creating the painting, which will enable participants to make progress each day.

Stay Motivated

Participants will be able to post their progress in the Community Group for commentary. You will be supported by a live on-line Q&A session with Julie at 7pm each evening where Julie will answer your questions.

Follow Up Workshop

Julie will run a follow up workshop available to all Pastel Academy members.

Read what people say about our challenges...

I thought this challenge was excellent. I learned a lot from Rebecca and I even got her book which is full of great tips so I recommend that. Thanks Dan and Unison for a well organised event. Love using the pastels and getting into the zone.
Really interesting to try new techniques and follow an Artist as they work through to a finished piece. I had never used soft pastels with alcohol before. The tips on how much to load the brush and create a ground to work into were very useful. I shall use this technique again. Thank you.
Unison pastels are amazing. Their soft pastels are the best and they organise great inclusive classes with wonderful tutors. If you want to learn pastels look no further than here and get to share your work and thoughts with many others around the world.
I loved this challenge, excellent instruction and support, everyone has been encouraging, a new technique on a different surface and the opportunity to use some of my new unison pastels, I usually work in coloured pencil, but I am finding pastel much better for land and seascapes. I have found both 5 day challenges really valuable on my pastel journey, thank you
This was really interesting. I have dabbled in pastels before , but this stretched me! Not only were there new techniques but whole new surface to work on. The pre course instructions/ rawings etc were clear and helpful , so I idn't feel as though I was thrown in at the deep end. On the course it was easy to follow the process an Nina's enthusiasm was great. Now to use what I have learned
I thought the workshop was very organized and easy to access. I am behind and can still access all the info. The Q & A session is very helpful. Nina is a great instructor, very patient and supportive. I hope there will be more workshops in the future. Thanks to your team! Btw I LOVE your pastels!
Just completed a 5 day Unison challenge with Nina Squires. The whole experience is organised so efficiently by the Unison team who work tirelessly to ensure that you get the best out of the challenge irrespective of your own individual level. I have completed several of these now and cannot fail to be impressed by their attention to detail and would definitely recommend them in the future as a good taster for pastel use and broadening your skills and techniques in a fun environment.


Check the video above to hear Julie’s recommendation for selecting colours.

The daily videos are only around 10 minutes long and can be watched at any time.  The worksheets are also available to download at any time, so you should be fine.  There will be lots of people taking part from all around the globe, so you’ll be in good company, wherever you are.

The only part of the day that is fixed, is the Live Q&A sessions, which are held at 7pm (GMT/UTC), but they will be recorded, and again viewable at any time.  If you can’t make the live session, and wish to put a question to Julie, you just need to leave it in the comments section of our post that we put up at 2pm (GMT/UTC) each day, asking for questions.

The equipment required for the challenge is minimal. The items outlined in the materials guide are considered ‘good to haves’, but you can usually get by with what you already have.  We also announce the challenges far enough in advance for you to buy any items you feel you need.

But go with what you have and if you like the look of what you achieve, then you can always buy paper and pastels later and still access the challenge while you’re a Pastel Academy member, or you can always get the daily videos on the Unison Colour YouTube channel.

Pastel Academy membership costs from £19.99/month, and new members get their first month completely free.  Cancel at any time.

Julie Skoda