Pattern and Colour

Ref: C3741417

This course is a practical art adventure inspired by artefacts from different cultures. Picasso and Matisse were greatly influenced by African art and textiles. We will look at objects from cultures round the world especially Morocco, Nigeria and Oceania. Some artefacts will be the textiles of everyday life while others may be masks and figurines with ceremonial or ritual significance. We will take these as inspiration to produce drawings and paintings rich in pattern and colour exploring the use of stencils, masks and resists with water based media. Other artists for reference are Max Ernst and Andre Breton who collected Kachina dolls made by the Hopi Indians, and also Max Ernst and Paul Klee.

Additional information about this course

This course is now full. Please contact the Maidenhead branch on 01628 632208 or as they are compiling a waiting list.

Course aim

This course will show how patterns and designs from other cultures have been and can be used in mixed media works.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Have greater knowledge about how other artists have been inspired by objects from different cultures and how these were taken out of their original context.
  • Be able to incorporate motifs, patterns and/or objects from other cultures into my own mixed media works.
  • Incorporate a range of different techniques into my artwork including some of the following; use of masks, resists, collage, stencils.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning
  • You will be encouraged to visit museums where relevant artifacts are displayed e.g. British Museum, with a sketchbook to record your finds.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions
  • I often photograph student art work as it progresses so that stages of its development are recorded. This can be most instructive for the student and as long as he/she is willing to share is helpful for the rest of the class.

What else do I need to know?

  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)
  • Students to bring all materials: paper, water based media, ink, pens, drawing board, small sketchbook (A5). Tutor to bring reference materials and materials for demonstration purposes.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • Access the WEA What Next? booklet here
  • Continue interest in artefacts from other cultures by drawing in museums or enjoying drawing when traveling. These sketches will help to inform further work.

Download full Course information sheet

Pattern and Colour


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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