Pattern: rhythm and colour on hand painted textiles with Sarah Campbell

Ref: SLW33114

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Places available

About this course

This course delves into the intricate art of applying patterns onto textiles, examining its essence, applications, and the interplay of colour. Exploring into the re a lms of composition, balance, drama, and harmony, you will explore the rhythmic flow within repeating designs and the profound impact of colour on both aesthetics and perception.

Course Description

This course will be concerned with looking at and painting pattern on textile – what it is, how it's used, why we love it and what part colour plays. We will consider the composition, balance, drama and harmony of pattern, exploring the part played by rhythm in a repeating design, as well as the impact of colour on both composition and perception

Learning how paints and inks behave on fabric, you will start with simple pattern and mark-making on paper and work towards making more complex designs on fabric – to wear, hang, sit on, use in the home, to sew into and embellish, or simply as reference samplers.

A variety of examples drawn mostly from your tutor’s own body of work will also be available to see.

You are encouraged to bring a little reference of loved colours and cloth as a starting point, as well as any sketchbooks or work in progress, though complete beginners are most welcome. Please bring any favourite paintbrushes you may have too.


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


  • On this course the tutor will provide fabric paints and inks, foam brushes, sponges, and other equipment for use during the course, together with lining paper, one metre of calico, plus small practice pieces, and some small pieces of linen fabric.

What students need to bring

  • Optional: Any photographs and favourite fabric samples as inspiration
  • Any work or sketches in progress
  • Apron or overall

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Gouache paint
  • Brushes
  • A3 Sketchbook/paper
  • Pencils
  • Rulers
  • Available from tutor:
  • Some ready-to-paint cotton blanks such as bags and cushion covers will be available to buy (cash only)

Additional information

Wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear i.e. no open-toes or sandals. Safety boots, if specified.


Sarah Campbell portrait

Sarah Campbell

Sarah Campbell co-founded the renowned textile design company Collier Campbell; she has always worked as a painter of patterns. Now practising under her own name she makes design for clients from the high street to one-off commissions; she gives talks, workshops, teaches, writes a blog. Her starting point remains the hand-made mark.


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

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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 advance your learning with our BA (Hons) Art and Contemporary Craft: Materials, Making, and Place (six years part-time). 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.