Painting And Mixed Media

Explore and combine painting, printmaking and collage techniques to develop your ideas. All abilities including adventurous beginners welcomed.

See a sample of work from this class here

Who is this course for

This course is suitable for students with different levels of experience, including adventurous beginners. Students should have an active interest in visual phenomena and art and be prepared to experiment with materials and ideas.

What does this course cover

The course will encourage students to develop new or existing skills and approaches in exploratory ways eg. experiment with a range of black & white and colour materials, with various implements, on different grounds and in different formats.

You will also refresh your core skills like observation, tone, composition, colour mixing. Sources and inspiration for work will be varied, ie. images derived from observation, from the imagination, from different materials, from other artists, photos, text, the media etc.

The course will also look at the use of collage and its various combinations throughout the history of art, how other artists have dealt with the medium and how it has informed other disciplines.

Each session on this course will be with producing finished pieces of work by the end of the term in mind, so the students will have a clear idea of where their studio practise is going.

The content for each term is different so you can join for the whole year or on a termly basis. In the first few weeks of each term, work will alternate between experimenting with and applying techniques, materials and approaches. In the last few weeks of each term, students will work on an individual project, which could be related to a gallery/museum/exhibition visit .

We will conclude each term with a mini exhibition, final review and party.

Note: The level you reach within any learning area will depend on your starting point and whether you take the course for one, two or three terms.

What will it be like

Tutor presentations and demonstration
Practical making
Questions and answer sessions
One to one feedback
Group reviews

Assessment is informal and happens on a regular one-to-one basis each week. We also do group reviews. Students are also encouraged to do a self assessment to track progress and achievement - this is discussed individually with the tutor.

During each term there is the opportunity for a short individual portfolio review, where strengths, weaknesses and onward progress can be discussed individually.

By the end of the year you will be able to:

1. Explore and use a variety of materials such as paint, collage, decollage, photomontage, print (mono printing, lino cutting, dry-point etching) and drawing

2. Employ a range of techniques and approaches including using tonal values (in black and white and colour), texture, mark-making, proportion, composition, layering, creating grounds etc

3. Use a wide range of sources; your own sketchbook or journal observation; your imagination; your experiences; the media; the work of other artists.

4. Produce work, including exercises and finished pieces, where imaginative experimentation expresses personal subjects, themes or emotions.

5. Discuss, appreciate and learn about creative painting and drawing from your own and others' work, including fellow students and artists from different periods or cultures.'

What else do you need to buy or do

Paper is provided by the college, but you can also bring in your own paper or canvases if you want to.

You will not need any materials for session 1 each term.

Your tutor will recommend materials for you to bring in or buy. These will include some of the following which you may already have:


Some soft pencils 2B, 4B, 6B
Putty rubber
A range of pens eg. biros, felt tip, fine liners etc.
Optional extras:
Coloured pastels
Drawing or writing ink
(cost variable around £10-20)
Painting Materials:
A set of basic acrylics paints that fits your budget and that you can comfortably carry!
250ml bottles are better value than 75ml tubes but heavier to carry. It's worth buying at least White in a larger bottle as you will use that most.
Basic palette to work towards:
- Lemon yellow
- Cadmium yellow (not deep)
- Cadmium red (not deep)
- Crimson
- Burnt umber
- Cerulean blue
- Prussian blue
- Ultra-marine
- White
- Black (small tube only)
- Yellow ochre
- Burnt sienna
- Sap/Viridian/ monestial/ pthalo green
Cost between £30 and £50 up depending on size and quality. Daler Rowney System 3 is a good student quality acrylic.
You will also need:
Tin/ paper plate or plastic food trays to use as palettes
Jars/ tins for water
Range of brushes - small and large, round and flat
Apron/ old shirt etc.
Rags/ kitchen rolls
Palette knife

You can also collect (not necessarily buy) as many other coloured materials as possible, eg. wax and chalk pastels, child's crayons, markers and felt tips, colour pencils - and coloured papers for collage, e.g. from glossy mags, tissue, wrapping paper etc.

Outside of class you are encouraged to think about your ideas and projects, experiment and play and gather materials and inspiration. This is not compulsory but will help your development.

Students are also encouraged to visit exhibitions and develop an interest in other artists' work.

Keeping a sketchbook/ notebook/ scrapbook is also very useful for any students who wishes to develop independently

What this course could lead to

Many other courses at the Mary Ward Centre and other colleges would be suitable to progress onto, either within painting, drawing and collage, or by widening approaches into printmaking, textiles and 3D media.

The course is also suitable for those intending to apply for, or already doing certificated Mary Ward courses (Pre-foundation in art & design, and Foundation in Art & Design and Advanced Practice in Art & Design).

The course will assist in the development of individual visual language and subject matter, and with general portfolio preparation.

mwc logo

I've been to many Centres to study in London and the Mary Ward Centre is one of the nicest I've studied in.

MWC student

Got a Question about this Course?

Contact The Departmental Administrator.

Why come to Mary Ward Centre?

Mary Ward Centre is the adult education centre with a difference. We provide a wide range of subjects for people at all levels and run courses during the day, evening or weekend to suit your timetable.

Get inspired and enjoy excellent teaching in an environment where each individual’s learning experience is valued. That’s what makes Mary Ward Centre ‘the friendly place to learn.’