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Art project using Atelier Pigmented Inks.

Inspired by the brightly coloured interior paintings of artist Henri Matisse, learn to construct an impressive Fauvist style ink artwork! Following steps in simplifying forms, flattening perspective and imaginative use of colour and patterns, create a unique and playful work of art. Using the interior of your own living space, relax into making a truly personal and impressive artwork.

Inspired by the more fauvist works of artist Henri Matisse we are going to turn the everyday scenes into beautiful, playful works of art. This style is all about feeling, playing and going with the flow. It’s about removing details and perspectives and learning to go with your intuition. What going with your intuition really means is to detach yourself from an expectation of what the outcome will look like. Trust your first gut instinct when making a mark or choosing a colour. Knowing that you can’t make a mistake.


  • Watercolour paper one sheet
  • Atelier Pigmented Inks (Variety of colours: Phthalo Green, Pyrrole Orange, Titanium White, Ultramarine Blue, Quinacridone Magenta, Indian yellow)
  • Pencil
  • Small flat paint brush
  • Small round paint brush
  • Paper Towel
  • Paper Plate
  • Masking Tape
  • Jar of water
Materials for project

Step One

Choose the space you are using as inspiration for your artwork. Is there a quiet corner in your home that you enjoy reclining in? Maybe a place that you often daydream or maybe just a corner or room which you spend a lot of time in. 

The first step is to take a photo or make a quick sketch of this space. Corners of rooms that include windows can create a nice sense of space. We are using a bedroom corner with a large glass door as inspiration for our artwork. 

Experiment with different angles when taking the photos both from the height and the direction of the shot. 

Step Two

Create a border around the edge of your paper with masking tape. This will make a nice crisp edge of white paper to frame your finished artwork. This can be as thick or as thin as you like.

applying masking tape

Step Three

With a light pressure, sketch the outlines of the objects in your photo. Start with the object closest to you then work backwards. There is no need to be accurate with the scale or perspective in this drawing. In fact the more loose and flat it looks the better! Use your imagination to add in objects, for example we drew a rug and a little cat into our artwork.

The most important part of this step is to ensure the pencil marks are very light. Ideally you should only have the faintest impression of the marks.

sketching interior
Sketch of interior

Step Four

Now we get into the fun part of filling in each area with colour. You can pick any colours you like for any object you like. Use bright flat colours with no blending or shadows. If you would like a sense of depth you can use cool colours such as blue, turquoise, green and purple for objects further away and warm colours such as red, pink, orange and yellow for things that appear closer. 

Ensure that each object/section of your drawing is painted in one colour with nice, crisp edges.

Let dry for 10 minutes.

Dropping Orange ink
Painting with yellow ink
Mixing light green ink
Ink Painting

Step Five

Now that every part of your page has been coloured in with bolour bright hues its time to layer on some details in the form of patterns. 

Look at your reference photo for inspiration in the design of patterns. Look for details in the throw cushions, lampshades, rugs and other things. How can you simplify these into basic repeated shapes and lines? If you can’t see any patterns, use your imagination to create them. Maybe the walls can be covered with decorative wallpaper, or the floor has a unique design in the carpet. Get creative and look at Matisse’s previous work for inspiration.

The lovely thing about using Atelier Pigmented Inks is that they are highly saturated with colourants (pigments) and are opaque! Making them perfect for layering.

For a strong contrast in colour you can choose to use complementary colours when overlaying the patterns onto your work. A complementary colour is one that lives opposite to another on the colour wheel. For example if the walls are orange, you can paint on the pattern of the wallpaper in blue.

Let dry for 10 minutes.

Finished Artwork of Interior

Step Six

Now its time to remove the masking tape! Take it off slowly, pulling from a low angle to best avoid the paper tearing. If you do have the unfortunate experience of the paper tearing you can use scissors to cut out your painting and put it in a smaller frame. 

We hope you enjoyed this tutorial and are feeling inspired to create works of art for every corner of your home!

Atelier Artists’ Acrylics Tutorials

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