This course has concessions available

Painting: Colour

This course will give you a broad introduction to the uses and theories of colour and a range of materials, including paint, collage and pastels. Suitable for all levels, a year-long course that can be joined in any term

Who is this course for

This course is suitable for students with different levels of experience, including adventurous beginners. Students at whatever level should have an interest in visual phenomena and art, and be prepared to take risks and experiment. Those with some experience in working with colour media will be able to use the course to consolidate and expand skills and approaches. The course is one year long but students can enter in terms 1 and 2 as the basic structure (but not content) of term 1 will repeat (see below).

What does this course cover

The course will cover practical colour theory and a range of skills, techniques and approaches associated with colour and colour mixing. Sources for work will be varied, e.g images derived from observation, from imagination, from other artists, photos, text, the media.
- Understand and apply basic principles of colour mixing and use a basic palette.
- Develop or expand skills in using different colour painting techniques.
- Work with a variety of colour media, including acrylics, collage and mixed media
- Use colour in different ways, e.g. observationally, subjectively, expressively, abstractly.
- Apply and explore the use of colour in a personal context
- Discuss, appreciate and learn about colour from your own and others work, including fellow students and artists of different periods or cultures.

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

Each session or project is structured round a particular skill, technique or theme to develop the use and creative application of colour. Teaching during each session is on an individual as well as group basis. Students learn through practice, through group and individual discussion, and through looking at their own and others' work. Work produced is displayed and discussed by the group and tutor weekly to develop analytical skills and learn from each other. Examples of other artists' work will be shown as appropriate.
Verbal guidance and feedback on work in hand is given individually on a weekly basis. The tutor will use observation, discussion, notes and student feedback to monitor progress over the term and the year.

During each term there is the opportunity for a short individual portfolio review, where strengths, weaknesses and onward progress can be discussed. Student feedback on individual progress and the course in general is given by discussion and a one to one review at the end of term.

What else do you need to buy or do

Paper is provided by the college. You will not need any materials for session 1, term 1. From session 2 you will need a set of basic acrylics as follows, cost from 40 to 50 pounds up depending on size and quality. (Daler Rowney System 3 is a good student quality acrylic). 250ml bottles are better value than 75ml tubes but heavier to carry. It's worth buying at least White in a bottle as you will use that the most.

Basic Palette: - Lemon (or Hansa) yellow - Cadmium yellow (not deep) - Cadmium red (not deep) -Alizarin Crimson (Alizarin or Rose) - Ultramarine blue - Cerulean blue - Black (small tube only) - White. Optional: - Yellow ochre - Burnt sienna - Viridian/monestial/pthalo green - pthalo blue

You will also need: - Masking tape - Pencil (2B or 3B) - Tin/paper plate/plastic food trays to use as palettes - Jars/tins for water - Range of brushes - Apron/ old shirt etc - Rags/kitchen roll
You should also collect as many other materials as possible e.g wax and chalk pastels, markers and felt tips, colour pencils and coloured papers for collage, e.g. from glossy mags, tissue, wrapping etc.
This course does not require any specific out-of-class work except for gathering of materials, images and inspiration. Students are encouraged to visit exhibitions and develop an interest in other artists' work, as this is one of the most important ways to learn. Keeping a sketch/note/scrapbook is also extremely important for any student 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 colour work further e.g. in printmaking, textiles, collage, stained glass, design, graphics, fashion. The course is also suitable for those intending to apply for, or already taking certificated Mary Ward Courses (Pre-foundation in art & design, Foundation). It will assist in the development of individual visual language and subject matter, and in general portfolio preparation.

There is detailed information in Reception about all our courses at the Mary Ward Centre.
Information about other learning opportunities can be obtained from Learn Direct: and from the following websites:;;;;

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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


This course has concessions available for people who meet certain criteria

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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.’