Using colour with more confidence

Hi Messians,

Jules here to help build up your colour confidence!

If you are familiar with my work, you will know I am a huge colour obsessive. I always want to use more! I understand that to a lot of people though, this can be intimidating and for some pages not necessary. I have devised a quick routine to get you feeling more comfortable and confident with colour, by easing you into it.

First, choose 7 colours; including black and white:

nb, your white acrylic does not have to cost $2.99 like mine did πŸ˜‰

As you can see, I chose to mix some of my paints to create new colours but you could choose 7 totally different paint tubes, or 7 gradients of one colour. Whatever you feel most comfortable with.

I am focusing on patterns and using acrylics but this could be applied to anything – drawing, lettering, collage… You’ll get the idea!

Step 1, create (something, anything) with colours 1 and 2Β 

Step 2, use colours 1, 2 and 3

Step 3, use colours 1, 2, 3 and 4

Step 4, use colours 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5


Step 5, use colours 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6

Step 6, use colours 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6


There is something beautiful about each of the patterns created, and about using small or large quantities of colour. That is something I want to explore and consider myself this season, the effect that colour has on a page, in a pattern or composition.

Pattern 1

Pattern 2

Pattern 3

Pattern 4

Pattern 5 – I was definitely channeling my inner Lauren here!

Pattern 6 – All the colours!

I use an old butter lid as my palette to mix paint on, it’s becoming quite beloved to me. Β 

Action Steps


I would love you to really challenge yourselves and re-create all of the steps I have shown in this tutorial. If this isn’t a little scary or intimidating for you, add even more colours or mix up your mediums. Try the same technique with watercolour, collage, mark making… I can’t wait to see what you all come up with!!!!


Julia is a British designer and creative enthusiast. She loves to express herself through shape, colour and pattern – living by the ethos of more is more!


  1. Eleanor McComb

    Magnificent use of gifs!!! This is really great πŸ™‚

    • Julia Cusworth

      Thank you!! So much fun to make!! πŸ™‚

  2. Gilly Welch

    This looks so effective will definitely give this a go, thanks…& I’m desperately trying to finish up a few outstanding projects before starting my Pen & Ink Class…I just wish there were more hours in every day!!

    • Julia Cusworth

      I know that feeling Gilly! Have fun with them both once you get to them πŸ™‚

  3. Misty Granade

    I gotta try that color combo on pattern 4!! Love it!!

  4. Romana

    hehe! i use the lids of takeaway containers lol! your tutoriial looks like so much fun. I will definitely try it!

    • Julia Cusworth

      Yey – another art thrifter! Have fun with your colour building πŸ™‚

  5. Ashley Rodgers

    Love this tutorial! I’m always mesmerized by the sense of movement and energy you create in your work with only a few simple brush strokes. I will definitely be trying this!

  6. Clare Davis Etheridge

    Oh I love this idea, I am going to have a go today! I love your gifs too, what a good way to demo.

    • Julia Cusworth

      Awesome! I’m glad you like them! πŸ™‚

  7. Vanessa Oliver-lloyd

    Loving all these stop motion videos. This is definitely a challenge for me!

    • Julia Cusworth

      Thank you! You’ll rock it !!!!

  8. Sasha Zinevych

    What a great exercise, Jules! I am always so impressed with your bright patterns! Have to try that too!

  9. CIndy Jacobs

    Whoa! Taking color to a whole new level!! Can’t wait!!!

  10. Elizabeth D.

    These gifs are so much fun! i could spend all day watching you paint! (Is that creepy?!) <3

    • Julia Cusworth

      haha! Not at all, I’m the exact same !