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Designing for Surface Decoration Online Short Course

Course description

Surface decoration transforms plain homewares into desirable items that appeal strongly to different groups of consumers, and so skilled surface and pattern designers play a vital role in the homewares and ceramics retail sector.

In this online course you will gain an insight into how to create and design patterns, through practical experimentation with a range of hand-painting techniques. These mimic traditional pot decoration techniques, and can be used to create patterns for interiors, wallpapers, and homewares.

You will start with visual research, learning where to find inspiration, how to recognise trends and decor styles, and how to develop these inputs into distinctive palettes and motifs. Then you will create experimental designs with different techniques, and develop these into layouts, patterns, and a collection which can be displayed in a portfolio.

Every lesson is interactive and practical, and you will learn through Q&A, hands-on making, and tutor feedback on your work.

Course Outcomes:

By the end of the course you will have;

  • Gained confidence in a range of painting techniques
  • Developed a deeper understanding of designing for ceramics and homewares
  • Produced artwork you can further develop digitally
  • Learned how to present a portfolio of work

Who is Designing for Surface Decoration Online Short Course for?

This course is perfect for anyone with an interest in surface decoration and homewares, either as a designer from another field who wants to start creating in this space, or as a hobbyist.

All our Online Short Courses include:

  • Live online lessons with the same tutors
  • The same course content and learning outcomes
  • Lesson recordings, for review
  • Access to VLE with course content
  • Forums for support
  • 2 weeks online access
  • Certificate upon completion

Please note that all courses are taught in UK time.

Online courses are closed to all new bookings 48 hours prior to the course starting.

Available dates

If no dates are showing then please sign up to our mailing list to find out about upcoming dates and new course developments.


Topics covered

  • How to analyse the homewares market
  • Visual research for surface decoration for homewares
  • Experimental mark-making techniques with stamps and other methods
  • Experimental painting techniques with Gesso, wax resist, dry brush and other methods
  • How to create patterns
  • Discovering and examining simple layouts
  • What is a collection, and how to create a collection
  • How to present your work and produce a portfolio


Online Short Course Materials

To take part in the Online sessions you will need:

  • An up-to-date version of the Google Chrome web browser
  • Microphone and headphones (a headset with a microphone function is recommended)
  • Webcam
  • Strong Internet connection via WiFi or ethernet.

Course Specific Materials

You will need the following materials to complete this course

  • AB, 2B, and 3B pencil
  • Paper scissors, and a scalpel / craft knife
  • Selection of acrylic paints, and watercolour inks
  • Selection of paintbrushes including one flat 4cm acrylic brush
  • Palette to mix paints and inks (well will be essential)
  • Regular A4 cartridge paper (e.g. 90gsm)
  • Liquid masking fluid and wax candles

n.b. Photoshop and other digital editing tools are not required (although students are welcome to experiment).

Meet the Tutor:

This online short course is an introduction to designing patterns and surface decoration for items in the home. Youll create your own designs through experimenting with print, layout and different surface textures.

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