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.

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.

Forest Relief Collagraph

Creative Catalyst students enjoy the full spectrum of Visual Arts experiences including this unique printmaking technique. Collagraphs enable us to employ all the materials and design possibilities of collage with an intaglio technique which highlights the wonderful textures and forms created.

From collected grasses, leaves and seeds and a variety of other found or crafted materials such as: paper cut outs, lace or string we will embellish an individually shaped backing board with our own forest landscape. Once sealed and dry will will apply ink and then wipe away the excess from the upper surfaces of our collagraph plate ready to print onto lovely, thick, softened printing paper.

Collagraph by Lynne Bailey

Intaglio printing is a style in which the deepest part of the printed material holds the ink, as opposed to relief printing – which functions similarly to a stamp. In producing Intaglio collographs, students will begin exploring this unique artistic technique that is still used today for banknotes and bearer bonds, and holds enormous artistic potential.

Pet Portraits in Oils

Painting & Drawing

If a picture paints a thousand words then a portrait of a pet is a lavish love sonnet.

Pivotal to our human evolutionary journey – our ancestors rendered their faithful hounds on cave walls. Amongst the most beautiful of the Egyptian sculptures are those of their revered feline companions and many pretty pennies were spent by Europe’s aristocracy to preserve a favourite pooch on canvas.

Pet Portraits in Oils
18th century oil portrait with pet by Pompeo Batoni

Working from a photo of your favourite pet or from  images of your ‘dream pet’ – an elephant? a unicorn? a dragon? a falcon? we will build a fabulous portrait  over a full day.

Early pencil sketches and studies will enable us 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 Pet’s Portrait.

Animal Panels for the Petting Zoo

Animalia – The exploration of animals and their habitats. Big, small, furry, scaled, camouflaged, horned,  domesticated, wild, from icy dominions, soaring heights, hidden depths and changing landscapes. Inspiration abounds. Is there an animal that inspires or embodies you?

Both Creative Catalyst (and the Sparks in their incursions into the Art room) will be exploring animals as the inspiration, subject and object of several projects this term. A variety of materials will enable us to express and manipulate animal forms in a several ways.

Our theme is reflected in the painted Animal Panels we are doing over the next two weeks of term to be exhibited at  the Canberra Show.

Animal Panels painted in collaboration with our students in our After-School Creative Catalyst Program will be displayed at the Canberra Show this year in the ActewAGL Farmyard Nursery or the petting zoo.  Featuring animal motifs and teaching fantastic techniques and tips for how colour, shape  and texture create an artwork go and check them out yourself!

Some of our giant paper mache beasts created over the summer program  will be visiting Tuggeranong Art Center.

Tuggeranong Art Centre are also  exploring animals during this year. They say:

Food, friend or foe; guardian, mascot or symbol, animals appear everywhere in our society. Ever present in the human psyche, animals connect us to the wild and anchor us in the domestic. Indulge in your pet passions, scrutinise the treatment of animals and receive some good old pet therapy as we explore the theme of animals across a program of dance, theatre, music, film and visual arts.

Give them a visit and see if you can find any of our beasties.

Fiery yak becomes Chocolate Moose


After we finish the Animal Panels  we’re going to branch out and explore sculptural forms in Little Dog Models in our Ceramic classes. Taking this as our starting point, Creative Catalyst will expand into Large Dog Sculptures for the following fortnight with all sorts of different canine creations coming together.

Following on from our Panels project, our Mixed Materials classes are going to be exploring different sorts of Kinetic Beasties, both in standing and mobile form.

So let your spirit animal roam free, find your totem, and explore the wilderness of Creative Catalyst’s Animalia Theme!

Creative Catalyst-Week 1 of the Spring Program


Adventure Island Dioramas, Wednesday 30th September

Construct an exciting land of adventure using a vast array of materials and tools.

A marble run through Boulder Valley
Boulder Valley Adventures

Our diorama workshops give you a chance to;  

cut foam with hacksaws, handle hot glue guns, twist wire and metal, cast plaster,  manipulate air drying clay, draw, paint (and more!) into…

bridges, pit traps, forgotten cities in overgrown jungles, crocodile infested pools, hidden caves, secret coves, wild beasts, dangerous cliffs and other fiendishly, unexpected features.

A close up of the Forbidden City's walls
The Forbidden City’s walls







Colour Explosion, Thursday 1st October

Uluru painted by teenager
Painting large scale

Play with acrylic paint and a great range of brushes, sponges and other tools to experiment with abstract painting. Learn some colour theory and get ready to make all the colours! We will be using easels outside for part of the day to really get hands on and active in our investigation into the impact of colour. We will look at past artists such as Rothko and Frankenthaler and also Bancroft who is a contemporary Australian artist who uses strong pattern as well as colour.

Bronwen Bancroft's engaging use of pattern and colour.
A painting by Bronwen Bancroft.




an ancient pot from America
Native American pottery vessel







Prehistoric pots,  Friday 2nd

The oldest pots in the world were built around 15 000 years ago.  Humans have been making pots, ornaments and instruments out of clay for a very long time.  This is your chance to  join in the tradition and coil a huge pot and decorate it with earth colored slips. We will look at images of pots from the ancient past and all over the world . Design your own decorations based on these frequently mysterious vessels.

Handprints and animal shapes are some of the most popular motifs. Spend the day making the best pot you can, after all, it might be discovered by someone 15 000 years from now!20150421_115454

 Kids making coil pots
Carry on coiling