The W.I. Taster Sessions: Drawing + Batik

batik from anemone study

The Clifton, Bristol branch of Women’s Institute recently asked Heart Space Studios if we would organise a special series of textile classes for their members – so we have put together 3 classes to demonstrate how to develop drawings into designs for textiles.

drawing class for the Clifton W.I.

We chose to draw from flowers – very W.I. and to develop studies to take onto the Batik class – it didn’t quite work out that way – but the results are extremely promising.

glamorous bunches of flowers for drawing

The idea was to give the members tasters with a view to developing a whole series of evening classes built specifically for them. I taught the first drawing class and the results were really inspiring, large and luscious drawing emerged for the close studies…

pastel drawing of an anemone

I had chosen 2 types  flowers, those with full faces of interesting detail, Anemones – above, Daisies

sorting out the spiky daisy petals.

and Cabbages – as September roses were not really blousey enough for my purposes….

curiously coloured cabbage

the drawing below really captures the strange colours and growth patterns of the cabbage…

details study for cabbage petal/leaf

other flowers were chosen for their silhouettes, Lilies

a fully leaved lily stem

and long stemmed Anemones

long sinuous stemmed anemones

And because of the studio’s spot lights we were getting some wonderful shadows thrown onto the papers, perfect line drawings for the next class in Batik.

lovely line drawing from the cast shadow seen top left.

the same lights also caused the rapid wilting of the more elderly anemones but they, like tulips die very gracefully.

Anemone - wilting as it was being drawn

this drawing below really captured the quality of the flower, both the full faced and the silhouette.

pastel drawing full faced and silhouette Anemone.

So I was really looking forward to seeing how the group translated these studies into Batiks…..and they completely ignored them, choosing instead some (very attractive) flower photographs that the tutor, Debbie Bird, has brought with her “just in case”……….

group settling down to draw from photographs - and one chose a parrot...
linear drawing for wax outlines



however once Debbie had explained how to set about developing  a linear version of the images to enable drawing with a melted wax line, they soon got going to develop more interesting textile studies….

demonstrating Djantings for wax drawings


And the colours soon started to flow once the wax line was dry enough to contain the liquid, it is always fascinating to see the cclolour belled to the edge of the line, you wait with baited breath to see if it will escape your initial drawing with the djanting.


applying dye to wax drawing on stretched silk

Debbie showed various techniques to apply the dye to wet or dry silk.

dye application onto very wet silk

but the dry results are always fascinating to see –

dried version of above

and some of the Batiks did at least resemble the original flower studies of the previous drawing session or so I like to think!

The last class will be a “show and tell” by  3 Heart Space Tutors’  of their drawing/research books and folders that demonstrate how the process of drawing and sampling in many different media, results in finished textile based work that is both personal and original.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.