RampArts - Community Art Group

Recipe 1: A Vase of Flowers

The aim of the first exercise is to:

  • free everyone up
  • forget about drawing
  • use poster colour correctly not like watercolour
  • mix colours together and make dark and light colours
  • consider composition
  • produce a picture




  • Red, blue, yellow, white, black poster paint
  • sheets of newspaper to paint on - a broadsheet is a good size
  • pots of water to wash brushes - NOT to thin paint
  • big brushes


Everyone should have a sheet of newspaper to paint on. The reason we're using newspaper is to ensure that you use the paint thickly. If you don't the paper will disintegrate! Poster paint is an excellent medium, it's cheap, you can paint over your mistakes and it's much easier than watercolour.

From memory draw a vase of flowers in thick black lines using a big brush and black paint. Go straight in with the brush - no pencils! Fill the paper with your picture composing it carefully using all the space. When you have finished the outlines fill in the shapes with colour. Choose two from the three primary colours (red, yellow and blue) and make your colour scheme more interesting by mixing the two together. Also create light colours (by adding white) and darker colours (by adding black).

Keep the colours even and flat. When you have finished there should be no newsprint showing. It should take about two hours to complete your pictures.

Stand the completed works against a wall at some distance from you and look at them afresh. Remember, pictures always look better at a distance. This is how we look at paintings - in a very nice frame hanging on the wall!


So what did you learn?

  • That anyone can make a picture
  • to mix colours effectively
  • to use the paint thickly
  • to have a go and enjoy yourselves

Look carefully at the flowers that you see around you. Collect pictures and photographs of flowers in landscapes. Gardening magazines and seed catalogues provide an excellent range of fruit, flowers, gardens and landscapes