Abstract Expressionism Wax Layering Technique TH/F

Intermediate/Advanced With Leslie Rogers Todder



Students will combine soy wax resist layering and thickened dye techniques to create whimsical and abstracted expressionistic painterly compositions. The transparent quality of dyes will facilitate layering of values to create depth and textures. Thickened dyes will be combined with soy wax and fluid dyes to create varied resist effects to create dimensional abstract compositions. The process involves repeated steps in applying layers of color and soy wax in a gradual increase of textures and values.  Wax will be ironed out from the artwork with layers of plain newsprint while the silk is still suspended and stretched on the frame. The small amount of residual wax on the silk leaves a sizing type coating that allows for additional direct application of deep dye without bleeding for detail and refinement. This is an opportunity for students to let go of control and allow for a spontaneous and unexpected result in their finished silk painting. Students may bring floral reference as inspiration for color, values, and composition. Students will work on a frame to allow for stretched silk from apprioximately 24"x 30" for completed artwork to be displayed in a standard 22"x 28" frame. This size specification may be modified depending on available studio space.  


Leslie Rogers Todder has used the medium of silk painting for most of her career as a successful commercial textile print designer in New York City. Her designs have been featured in apparel from couture lines of Oscar de la Renta and Fendi to mass market women's wear of Chicos, Liz Claiborne, Terri Jon, Maggie London, Adrianna Papell and Victoria's Secret. Leslie uses silk painting and batik as a fine art medium incorporating her skills and techniques developed over her career to create wall hangings, paintings as well as handpainted, wearable art.


Leslie has experience teaching at the Alpharetta Arts Center, Alpharetta, GA, Sawnee Arts Association, Cumming, GA, Johns Creek Arts Association, John's Creek, GA, Sexton Hall, Cumming, GA, Creative Center at University Settlement, NYC, NY, Central Queens YWHA, Queens, NY, The Craft Students League, NYC, NY and the 1998 SPIN Festival.


Workshop Title                                         

 Abstract Expressionism Wax Layering Technique  TH/F- Int/Adv

Workshop Dates                                       


Workshop Description

 Two day workshop using wax layering techniques

Materials provided  For classroom use, electric skillets to heat soy wax, irons, several tjanting tools to apply wax lines, assortment of natural bristle brushes to apply soy wax, soy wax, primary and secondary colors of Jacquard Red Label dye, mixing cups, sodium alginate, Frixion pens (heat erasable pens) to lightly and loosely sketch design on silk, plain newsprint for ironing wax out of silk.

Cost of materials provided



What students are required to
bring to workshop                          

  • frame with clips, pins, tape or mechanisms to attach silk to frame.Frame sized to stretch silk size appx 24"x30"
  • silk to fit frame- silk type is optional but at least 10mm
  • suggested silk is satin, twill, crepe-de-chine or charmeuse
  • references for color and composition inspiration
  • paper towels
  • disposable gloves
  • water container at least quart size like cottage cheese or yogurt container
  • silk or watercolor brushes, sizes 12-16 rounds
  • two pints of 70% or 90% rubbing alcohol
  • travel iron or dedicated wax iron