RampArts - Community Art Group

Starting a Community Art Group

Feel free to use any elements of this specially designed pack for those who say they "can't draw".

You will find all that you need to help you get together, explore different materials and make pictures. Follow the recipes and surprise yourselves.

  • First Steps
  • Materials
  • Recipe Cards
  • Our Artist and Teacher

First Steps

The most important aspect of the class was to build enough confidence in the group to ensure they were happy to have a go with all of Rosemary's ideas, however outlandish, and for them to suprise them selves with what they could acheive. The first thing that the group realised was that, even with exactly the same brief, the pictures all came out differently - reflecting the individual's personality.   You may feel that without a teacher present that you will not be able to progress. However, it is the doing that is the key. Follow the brief carefully, using the different materials and you will be surprised at how you will develop. You are the artists. Have a go!  After one year our group was confident enough to frame their pictures and we held our first exhibition ...the sky's the limit!

What you need ....

  • a few people, four or five will do
  • we meet once a week for around two and a half hours
  • a venue, someone's house will be fine but community halls are great and shouldn't cost the earth
  • materials - see info below
  • drawing boards are really useful and a good investment. A sheet of 5mm plywood cut to around 45mm x 60mm is cheaper and lighter
  • newspapers or plastic covers to protect surfaces and keep them clean
  • old cups and plates for water and mixing paint
  • coffee and tea
  • the Recipe Cards to explain what to do for each session


Always treat your materials with respect. Put the tops back on tubes and pastels back in their respective boxes. Clean plates and paettes after use.

Using the different mediums correctly is an important part of creating your picture. All materials have particular qualities and understanding these will instruct and define your work.

To cover all of the Recipe Cards you will need the following materials:

  • poster colour for thick impasto and brilliant colours
  • chalk and charcoal to capture light and shade
  • cut paper to 'draw' with scissors
  • oil pastels for strong, bright mixing of colours
  • oil paint with paintin knives to indulge in the lovely creamy texture of this special medium
  • water colour, the most difficult tu use correctly, where the white paper lights the painting from beneath washes of transluscent colour
  • grey pastel paper
  • white card
  • water colour paper
  • paint brushes
  • painting knives
  • palettes or plates for water colour

Recipe Cards

The aim of this 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

RECIPE 2 Still Life

The aim of this exercise is to:

  • create a picture in black and white
  • arrange a satisfying composition
  • consider light and shade

RECIPE 3 Abstract entitled 'Autumn'

The aim of this exercise is to:

  • give you the freedom to express yourselves without being constrained by lack of drawing skills
  • understand how colours, lines and shapes can express mood, feeling, ideas, and memories
  • better appreciate works by non-represemtational artists

RECIPE 4 Flowers in a Landscape

The aim of this exercise is to:

  • use dark and light (contrast) to create perspective and distance in your picture

RECIPE 5 People at a Party

The aim of this exercise is to:

  • consider 'eye level' in distance perspective
  • create a picture with figures

RECIPE 6 Still Life in Oils

The aim of this exercise is to:

  • experiment with oil paint
  • give you the freedom to express yourselves without being constrained by lack of drawing skills
  • produce a well composed picture that you will be pleased to hang on the wall

RECIPE 7 An abstract subject of your choice

The aim of this exercise is to:

  • study and experiment with texture
  • create mood and feeling through colour

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

RECIPE 9 An abstract subject of your choice

The aim of this exercise is to:

  • use line to create movement in your picture
  • use colour and shading to move the eye around the picture
  • use all the picture space effectively
  • use oil pastels effectively

RECIPE 10 Still Life in Watercolour

The aim of this exercise is to:

  • use watercolour effectively
  • produce a freely expressed composition
Rosemary Millar: Seascape

Our Artist and Teacher: Rosemary Millar

Rosemary studied art at Woverhampton College of Art and Newcastle University. Working under Victor Pasmore in the early sixties she studied the Bauhaus inspired Basic Course which has influenced her work both as a teacher and artist. After teaching for twelve years in Uganda and the UK she joined a visual communications company which absorbed most of her creative energy until she retired as Managing Director in 1997. The Company produced training materials for the largest pharmaceutical companies worldwide. She then started working full time as an artist, exhibiting in Penzance, London, Cambridge and Barcelona. Teaching the RampArts art group has been a pure pleasure for her providing enormous satisfaction in seeing blossoming confidence, the enjoyment of exploring different materials and producing a great variety of attractive pictures.