Learn more about the artists featured in our TATE Collection II

We’ve joined iconic British art gallery TATE to release two new sets of artists’ materials and colours connected to artists known in each of these mediums: ink and acrylic.

These sets are like modern day conversations in colour and material; they share the palettes of these exceptional artists and are accompanied by how-to guides so you can learn from their techniques as well.

We take a closer look at the two great artists, who are all known for their work using these materials.


gillina ayres


Gillian Ayres

Building her work in a similarly thoughtful way, Gillian Ayres worked in acrylic with a view to balance colour and form in this quick drying medium. Also interested in repetition, Ayres took a different approach, one that combined the process of painting with printmaking. While printmaking gives relatively consistent results, you can vary the colour and the process to allow for unique features, she took this one step further and used printing with painting. The handmade marks and gestures acted to harmonize her paintings and allowed her to keep going until she reached the ‘mood’ she was searching for in the work. Only after it was done was Ayres ready to put a title on it, which indicates she was unconcerned with narrative as she worked but her titles show she found it in the end.

Paint with Acrylic like Gillian Ayres OBE.


Ithell Colquhoun


Ithell Colquhoun

On the other hand, the work of Ithell Colquhoun on the cover of this Tate set was left untitled, but it is usually referred to as: ‘Untitled work (Sardine with Eggs)’. Colquhoun was interested in nature and natural forms as she saw them through the lens of surrealism. She had a spiritual practice and an independent streak that saw her expelled from the British Surrealists, although she identified as a surrealist artist and a spiritualist her whole life. Ink on paper was often her chosen medium, and she used it to great effect both with controlled, considered marks and careful layers as well as organically, to simply allude to natural forms. Until recently her accomplishments were largely overlooked but, in 2019, Tate acquired her 5,000-piece archive from the National Trust and her contribution to the arts was formally recognised.

Learn to use ink like Ithell Colquhoun.