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. This course is taught primarily at college, however there will be some online content each term. Students will be expected to work remotely as well as at college. Therefore, Zoom capability is essential. Refer to Zoom support below for more information.

Tutor Bio: Abigail's practice and approach to Art and Design is wide ranging. Although she has always been a colourist - she trained as a sculptor at Newcastle University in the 1980's before working on private and public realm commissions nationally. Teaching has always been a part of her professional practice and her knowledge and creative use of 2d and 3d materials is inspiring. More recent works and creative practice can be viewed at
If you would like enrol at the concession rate, please request and complete your enrolment by contacting: or calling 020 7269 6000 Mon- Thu

Available Classes:

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 design. Students should 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, 2 and 3as the basic structure (but not content) of term 1 will repeat (see below).
While the class is planned to take place in the classroom, in the case of a lock down, we will move to online delivery - so please make sure you have installed Zoom. Online classes will also involve self-study and information being sent to you via email.

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. from observation, subjectively, expressively, and towards abstraction.
- 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 from different periods and or cultures.

By the end of the course you should be able to:
You should have greater knowledge and confidence in the subject, see above. Please note that 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 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 discussed by the group to develop analytical skills. Examples of other artists' work will be shown as appropriate.
Any online content will be power-point lectures/discussion, feedback of student work in development and group discussions as preparation for the work that continues at college. The course will be structured to allow students to develop an individual approach and self-reflection as they progress.

Teaching methods: Visual demonstration and verbal explanation. Written handouts with visual diagrams. One-to-one teaching. Group discussions
Learning methods: Hands-on practical activities, Reading handouts and following instructions.
One-to-one and group discussion.
How students are assessed: Questions and answers during group discussions and one-to-one teaching.
Record of students' progress and achievement on an assessment sheet as they achieve the course objectives. Practical work produced is evidence of learning.

What else do you need to buy or do

Bring your sketch book and any homework that you have done to the college workshops.
N.B. Keeping a sketch/note/scrapbook is also extremely important for any student who wishes to develop independently.
Bring your own basic artist tool kit, pencils, pencils - HB - 2b to 4b, Graphite stick 2b, willow charcoal, masking tape, craft knife. System 3 white acrylic paint (250ml bottle). Tin/paper plate/plastic food trays to use as palettes - Jars/tins for water - Range of brushes - Apron/ old shirt for working in.
It is absolutely essential you have your own set of brushes suitable for painting in acrylic. A set of synthetic brushes, that range in size from a cm width to larger. Small household brushes are also good to give you a greater range.
For health and safety reasons - materials and equipment cannot be shared between students during the workshop.
Paper can be purchased at college on the workshop days. (Limited range)
Acrylic paint is provided by the college for the workshop days. If students bring secure lidded jars the tutor will able to offer some acrylic paint for the students to be able to carry on working from home.
A set of basic acrylics costs 40 to 50 pounds plus 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. A 250 bottle of white is essential.
Basic Palette: - Lemon (or Hansa) yellow - Cadmium yellow (not deep) - Cadmium red (not deep) -Alizarin Crimson (Alizarin or Rose) - Magenta - Ultramarine blue - Cerulean blue - Colbalt blue - Prussian blue - Black (small tube only) - White. Optional: - Yellow ochre - Burnt sienna - Viridian/monestial/pthalo green - Pthalo blue
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.
Students are encouraged to visit exhibitions and develop an interest in other artists' work, as this is one of the most important ways to develop skills.

You will need a microphone (it's fine to use whatever is built into your device) and camera, so we can see you via video. You may also want to use headphones during the session.

By signing up to the course you are consenting to being on camera during online study. The content of the lesson may occasionally be recorded by the tutor for internal education and training purposes but any such recordings will not be made available to anyone outside of the Mary Ward Centre organisation without us asking you again for further permission to do so.

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

Got a Question about this Course?

Contact The Departmental Administrator.

Why choose Mary Ward?

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 and weekends to suit your timetable. You can learn face to face at one of our centres (Bloomsbury or Waterloo) or take an online course

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.’