Painting – how to make colour work with Emma Biggs and Matthew Collings

Mixed and other media

Ref: S5D12415

Book now

Places available

About this course

Colour effects in art are neither accidental or pure instinct. Colour efficiency can be taught. Suitable for all artists and makers, you will explore the use of colour in your own work on this multi-media course.

Course Description

Each day starts with a presentation, looking at different aspects of the historical and contemporary use of colour by artists and makers who have worked in a variety of materials. This is followed by hands-on workshops where you experiment with the theories discussed during the presentation. In the afternoon, there will be a further workshop and a seminar during which your experiments will be reviewed and reflected on.

By the end of the course, you will be more confident thinking of colour in art as a language, which can be productively manipulated.

To succeed in this course, all you have to do is be open minded for a few days about new ideas. Everyone thinks they already know what colour is – you’d be surprised what there is to learn.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • The course fee includes the cost of materials shared amongst the group, used in the colour experiments during the first half of the course comprising: newsprint, rags, PVA, some acrylic paints and disposable palettes to get you started. Plus 1 x A3 cartridge paper 220gsm, 3 x 50mm flat brushes per student.

What students need to bring

  • Please bring:
  • Three images of artworks that demonstrate the kind of use of colour that excites, stimulates and challenges you. This could be something you dislike.
  • A selection of the materials you use in your own practice to use in the experimental workshops in the second half of the course such as items from the available to buy list.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Acrylic paints, acrylic mediums, good quality cartridge paper (300gsm), flat palettes, brushes and other general painting materials.
Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio. This includes stout covered footwear, i.e. no open-toes or sandals.


Emma Biggs

Emma Biggs is a professional mosaic artist of many years experience. Her work has been shown internationally and is in collections world-wide.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

Courses of interest

Further study options

Take the next step in your creative practice, with foundation level to Masters in Fine Art study. 

Depending on your experience, start with an Online Foundation Certificate in Art and Design (one year, part-time), a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design made up of 10 short courses taken over two years (part-time) or a Diploma in Art and Contemporary Crafts (10 three-day study blocks, over two years). All will help you develop core skills, find direction in your practice and build an impressive portfolio in preparation for artist opportunities or higher-level study. See all degree and diploma courses.

Sign-up to be the first to know

Sign up to our Short Course enews to hear about new courses, late availability and get creative inspiration delivered straight to your inbox.