Recap of the Four Course Modules

Week One - Mille Fiori

Basic flowers in primary colours

Over the first week, attention was given to basic colours: how colour ranges are created, and the way we perceive them alongside each other in harmony and contrast. The exercise of cutting out colour wedges from magazine pages, helped to look intently at groupings of colours and the variety within them. Hue, shade and tints of colours can drastically influence how they react with each other. The simple flower observational drawings helped to focus attention on the subtle differences even in basic flower shapes. Capital letter shapes were utilised to make a vocabulary of shapes, these were helpful in designing petal shaped stencils to create individual floral components for the first big collage project.

Deli sheets were painted in the basic colours from the High Flow set, and used for the mille fiori collage project. An all over flower pattern was created by using the simple flower shapes in groupings of primary colours.

It was important to explain the technique and use of matte medium to make transparent colours as well as using it as glue, and to fuse the petal components together as part of a bigger floral design.

Week Two - Leaves and Foliage

Tropical plant still life

In this module, leaves were the subject used, offering larger individual components to explore secondary colours and combinations of textures.

Drawings of leaves helped to focus attention to the wide variety of leaf shapes. A selection of brush mark techniques were demonstrated using different paint brushes. By using the matte medium and High Flow paints, orange, green and purple colour ranges were created with textures and mark making incorporated on the deli sheets. The coloured papers were used for the leave shaped cut outs, and actual leaves were also used as stencils and as method to transfer shapes and textures onto the deli sheets for collages.

A still life composition consisting of a tropical house plant was the subject, combining the three secondary colours to create collaged artworks

Week Three - Neutrals and Pastel Colours

Arts and Crafts inspired rose designs

Neutrals are important in creating balance in paintings and designs. Exploring different greys with and without black as component, as well as pastel colours and tints was the colour focus of this module. Drawings of roses and the Arts and Crafts movement informed the flower designs used for the collage projects. Painterly mark making techniques were demonstrated to make loose rose shapes, and the introduction of carbon paper to create stencils and duplicate line drawings was instrumental in the composing of the larger collage projects.

The collage artworks incorporated black outlines, grey and neutral tones, transparent and opaque pink and green coloured pastel colours in combinations to develop dynamic artworks.

Week Four - Complimentary Colours

Retro flowers

Having spent the previous three weeks exploring different colour combinations, the final module combined complimentary colours with a mixture of stamping, printing and colour transfer techniques to be incorporated in collages inspired by mid-century floral designs. The addition of geometric shapes, developed from capital letter shapes, and masking fluid to enable designs and patterns in contrasting colours for collage papers added more components to be utilised in the composing of interesting collage artworks.


Collage was used as central theme to this art course, for the reason that it encourages play and exploring of methods, techniques and combinations of colours that cannot be done easily in a more traditional painting course. That said, the techniques are transferable: all the materials used for painting on paper can be incorporated for making artworks on canvas. It is my hope that this way of teaching, and the wide selection of techniques and methods, helped to develop individual artistic voices regardless of experience.

© 2020 Esté MacLeod

© 2020 Explore Colour