Using colour is one of the most exciting aspects of creating art. It can make things beautiful, create a specific mood and express the emotions you feel. You can add coloured paint to pen or pencil drawings, or create pictures using bright colours or subtle shades of paint. A colour wheel will help you understand how the different colours relate to each other. Some colours make you feel ‘cool’ and others make you feel ‘warm’. Decide which colours are warm or cool with your group. Artists like Ed Dutkiewicz and Henri Matisse used bright colours and abstract shapes to make paper cut-out collages that you can try too.

Edward Dutkiewicz, Untitled


Cut out paper in different coloured shapes, influenced by things you see around you - squares, triangles, circles, leaf shapes, wavy lines, or spirals. Think about which colours look good together -similar tones or contrasting colours? Move these shapes around to begin creating your artwork. Ed and Henri often included shapes of people in their artwork. Cut out a shape or a figure to represent you - in a colour you like best. Make other figures to represent your family or friends too if you like. Add your figure(s) to your artwork - you may want to move your shapes around again to make everything fit. Use tape or glue to fix everything in place once you are happy with your design.


  • Wide selection of paper in different colours
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick 
  • Artists materials come in a huge range of colours – see the Handy Art Supplies List


If you find cutting out fiddly, work with a helper to create the type of shapes you like – Ed and Henri did this too! Use paint to mix your own colours from the three primary colours (red, yellow and blue). How many different colours can you make?

Artist Inspiration: Henri Matisse, Ed Dutkiewicz, Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, Mark Hearld