Category Archives: Painting & Drawing

2D visual art programs exploring the creative potential of the visual mediums of charcoal, ink, printmaking, oil and watercolour painting, pencil drawing and other mark making. Embracing the exciting world of original and individual expression through Artist led, theme based workshops.

Liquid Landscapes

Capture the movement of texture and light across a landscape to create a luminous watercolour painting in this Creative Catalyst watercolour painting workshop.

Albert Namatjira

Drawing inspiration from an array of wonderful Australian landscape artists: Albert Namatjira, Hans Heysen, Penleigh Boyd and Arthur Streeton, we’ll learn how to manipulate colour transparency, intensity and temperature to make our scenes come to life.

The fluidity and smoothness of the watercolour medium is particularly suited to subjects like the sea, stream and sky. Students will spend the morning sketching and painting in ‘plein air’ to capture a little of Yarralumla’s lakeside setting, then head inside for an afternoon of painting a landscape of their own design at their easels.

Arthur Streeton

Examples of Australian landscape artist’s work will open students to wonder at the quality of light watercolour can create. A quick, small watercolour sketch using a monochrome palette where we will trial the wet on wet technique will prepare students for a trip outside to sketch and paint in ‘plein air’ down on the oval.

Marion Mahony Griffin's Canberra
Marion Mahony Griffin’s Canberra

We’ll discuss and learn about the history of early landscape painting in Australia that saw artists struggling to capture the ‘alien’ quality of the Australian light until the late 1800’s and the establishment of the Heidelberg school which deliberately embraced the raw and unique landscape before them.

Celtic Labyrinth Drawing

Create a virtual world full of myth and mystery within a timeless Celtic knot or labyrinth drawing. Explore the intricacies of Celtic symbolism and incorporate some legendary creatures or sacred script into your own unique masterwork.

The classic Celtic labyrinth has one path that winds around to a central point then back outward. Dating back 4000 years it has been used as a meditative tool designed to help it’s travellers release burdens on the way to the centre and then accept what they most need on the way out .

Lizards by MC Escher

Students can draw inspiration from modern artists such as Escher as well as computer generated fractal images which also share intricate, continuous pattern work.  

Passion by 12GO

Catalyst students will weave their own path in ink, graphite or pastel incorporating many design elements along the way. Trace a journey through pattern, line and form following the ancient druids to a centre full of iconic imagery highlighted with some gilding.

Mega Collage (Palimpsest)

Palimpsest – ‘a manuscript or piece of writing material on which later writing has been superimposed. Something reused or altered but still bearing visible traces of its earlier form’

Palimpsest Richard Pousette-Dart 1944 Abstract Expressionism

This is a Mega Collage involving drawing, rubbing, transferring, cutting, painting and assembling. It investigates the differences between and possible combinations of abstract and representational art, using a mix of mediums and visual elements.

ANFITRITE by Henri Matisse gouache on paper cut and pasted 1947

Over a series of exercises colour, shape, balance and context will be explored. Cutting and reassembling images from glossy magazines can also be used to add to each student’s diverse collection of textures, details and surfaces which will be brought together to build large compositions, both individually and collectively, over a full day of creative and experimental art making.

A portrait by Picasso made with collage


Xray Drawings


Double Exposure photograph, Liam York

From the creative origins of animation and photographic superimposition through to modern anatomical illustrations and state of the art design techniques this workshop explores the creative possibilities of working with layered transparent drawings to build an image full of both depth and variety.

Black & White Photography Superimpostion, Wanda Wulz 1932

Ever wished you could look inside someone’s head? Can we peel back the leaves, skin or cover to unmask the true form of a plant, creature or object? Building from the ‘bones’ of your basic prototype what features might you add to your living or inanimate creation?

‘Red Tree’ Ardan Ozmenoglu, prints on glass

Using a range of pencils, pen, ink and markers we will work onto separate overlapping sheets of tracing paper to build up our finished image. With texture, tone, line and colour we will bring to life our unique multi-layered design.

Drawn portraits on tracing paper layers.

Botanical Oil Painting

Botanical elements, in their many forms and extraordinary beauty, from both exotic and more familiar landscapes, have been a compelling subject of many famous painters, across continents and centuries. From Australia’s own Margaret Olley to Holland’s Van Gogh, flora has always held a fascination for artists.

Van Gogh’s Sunflowers

Used in christian religious images for their symbolism of purity (white lily), fertility (pomegranates), or humility (violet), they reached their zenith as a serious art subject in the Netherlands, in the 1700’s with Jan Brueghel.

Jan Brueghel

Working from a collection of cut flowers, fruits and various leaf forms, complemented by images from Aeoncademy’s own fabulous art library, students will compose their own still life arrangement, from which we will create a lustrous and original oil painting, over a full day.

Margaret Olley

Early pencil sketches and studies, will enable students to develop a monochromatic first layer, in acrylic on canvas. After drying, we will return with coloured oil paints, to furnish a rich, textured and detailed finish, on our botanical works.

Printmaking: Into the Future

Using the versatile technique of Relief Printmaking create a rich and detailed landscape of the future. Are we in a futuristic jungle? Or a sci-fi city? Is this a vision of Atlantis or are we looking at a Mad Max dystopian future?

Printmaking: Into the Future
Tato’s Flying over the Coliseum in a Spiral (1930)

Designs can draw from diverse habitats, and different architectures to build multilayered compositions over 3 weeks.

Etching onto Scratchboard printing plates students will first design and print their background scene to be populated over the following 2 weeks with a second layer of printed plates detailing the creatures, structures and objects that inhabit their world.

Imagination Map

Imagination Map
The map that J.R.R. Tolkien drew up for The Hobbit, which appears in the endleaf of the original 1937 edition.

Orienteer through secret worlds with an Imagination map. Draw upon your memories, stories and experience to devise cartographic details of your own design. You can include invisible ink riddle leading to hidden treasure, unfolding flaps into underground dungeons and mazes… all part of the one big picture! This is a map making workshop like no other.

Gondwana Drawings

gondwana drawing
ancient flower waratah

Gondwana was the ancient supercontinent that Australia broke away from millions of years ago. Most modern Australian plants have their origin in the great ancient landmass of Gondwana. Many of these plants are unique to our country and are strikingly identifiable, like Banksias and Waratahs. Then there are the ancient and awesome  giants like the Wollemi Pine (the Dinosaur Tree).  In this drawing workshop we will look at both images and actual  plants and flowers  to base our drawings on.  Drawing materials will range from lead pencil,  water colour pencils, pen, ink and markers.

Margaret Preston
Australia 1875 – 1963
Waratahs (1925)
woodcut, hand-coloured

Illuminated Letters

All that shines is Gold in Creative Catalyst’s Illuminated Letter workshop. Starting with a favourite poem, phrase or lyric we’ll construct our own beautifully ornate piece of calligraphy.

Working with metal leaf over Celtic and Italian Renaissance inspired script we’ll add colour, pattern, texture and line to create figurative and abstract embellishments with ink and watercolour.

Students will hone their design and drafting skills, experiment with font styles and other illustrative elements to develop an original and magnificent manuscript.


Lost in the Clouds

Drawing inspiration from the tradition of Surrealist painting we’ll take a flight of fancy through a landscape where elusive forms are glimpsed through  layers of mist.

The depth and lustre of oil paints will add a wonderful dimension to these images as we employ the centuries old technique of glazing to create layer upon layer of textured and toned cloud forms.

After sketching our initial composition within which an object or figure is shrouded in clouds we will work to build a ‘sky’ foundation with a detailed foreground to be covered in a series of glazed cloud layers; revealing a tantalizing part of our hidden  treasure.