RampArts - Community Art Group

Recipe 8: A Christmas picture

The aim of this exercise is to:

  • consider shape within your picture
  • draw with scissors
  • practice design and composition
  • use colour effectively to express mood




  • coloured paper
  • scissors
  • glue
  • white card


Set up a Christmassy still life or, alternatively, an Easter one or any festival you would like to celebrate. Note that there are no pencils! I want you to "draw" with the scissors - no-one did it better than Matisse!  Look carefully at the still life and design your picture thinking about how you can make the shapes interesting and appropriate to the subject. Be as abstract as you like, you will not be able to get too much detail using this medium.

Start with the background (at top of page) using larger pieces of paper. Gradually work towards the foreground sticking paper over paper. Think about arrangement and composition; and balance large and small shapes.


All the pictures came out well. They really showed everyone's individuality. We were very fortunate in having someone to scan the pictures and print as Christmas cards. Reducing the size of the pictures gives them a very professional look. And there's nothing like seeing your name in print! If unable to scan then keep your pictures as an annual decoration.

When designing, it is more effective to keep shapes simple and use "flat" (not textured) colours. This makes the end result work well from a distance.