Drawing Arabesque Patterns Inspired by Roman Designs (2 part series)

Live from Pescara, Italy

Join VAWAA artist and Irish-Italian surrealist Colleen, for this 2 part series to discover how Roman designs influenced Islamic art. Get an insight into the ancient methods and learn how to transition from simple roman designs to unique arabesques, by rotating, overlapping and interlacing of geometrical shapes.

In the first session, on Sunday August 22nd at 2PM EDT, Colleen will take us back to the time of the Romans. Using a compass and ruler, we will learn the steps they took to create patterns and borders for their mosaics.

In the second session, on Sunday August 29th at 2PM EDT, we will delve deeper into the influence of Roman designs on the intricate workings of Islamic art. Using techniques learned in previous session, we will create our own unique arabesque patterns. 

All levels are welcome and there is no prior experience required. There will be plenty of time to share, get feedback and meet other participants from around the world.

If you are not in EDT time zone be sure to convert the time.

What you'll need

Ruler, pencil, eraser, compass, some colored pencils are optional

How to join

We'll be hosting this VAWAA Online on Zoom. We'll send the link and details to join via email 1 day and again 1 hour before it begins.

About Colleen

Colleen is a surrealist printmaker and sculptor whose work reflects her love for buildings and architecture. After learning and teaching across the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Saudi Arabia, Colleen now lives in rural southern Italy, working with monotypes to get fresh images directly on a plate; woodblocks to work with several layers of color and etchings for varying textures and applying different inks. Her biggest project to-date is a twenty-year multimedia exploration of Italo Calvino’s novel Invisible Cities. These days she's creating experimental prints using alternative materials and textures, and when she is not printing, you can find her dreaming up cityscapes by sketching, painting, or working with clay!

Visit her artist page to learn more about her in-person VAWAA.


"Great course - really clear and enjoyable - really good to have the follow up session as well" - P.

"It was good that we were able to draw along with Colleen in the session and that we were given recordings of the session so we could revisit the things we learned. I enjoyed doing the homework too. I would definitely sign up to more." - Clara

Photo by Dimitry B on Unsplash