More photos from Abu Dhabi

Last week, I was in Abu Dhabi again, delivering another series of workshops at the Islamic textiles exhibition in the Emirates Palace
I have written a previous post on the exhibition and the work that we have been doing in Abu Dhabi. Unfortunately, last time we were so rushed and busy with the teaching that I took very few photos! This time, however, I made a concerted effort to photograph more of the workshops and the student’s art work. I hope you enjoy looking at the results below – there are some absolute stunners! I’ve split the photos into two groups – adult’s workshops and children’s workshops. The adults each attended five, two hour sessions (ten hours of work in total), while the children’s workshops were one-off drop in classes – each session running for two hours. 

Adult’s workshops:
I love, love, love this design. This lady is an architect, so she has an eye for shape and proportion. We taught the students about traditional Islamic geometric patterns, harmony and design with arabesques – giving them the tools to create their own compositions inspired by the exhibition. This is a great example of a student showing that they’ve understood the fundamental principles of design, and made the composition their own. If this is just a starting point, think of how much potential there might be for future work?!  

Examples of rotational symmetry -  we asked students to design just one petal of a flower, then rotate the page and trace their design into six segments of a circle to create a floral pattern. It’s such a simple technique, but great results are almost guaranteed. 

We used a limited palette consisting of hand-made watercolours. These included yellow ochre, burnt sienna, indigo, ultramarine, buff titanium and bone black. 


Beautiful bold colours and a confident design.

Great brushwork and use of the limited palette.

Children’s workshops:

Both the children and adults were given the opportunity to go out into the exhibition and sketch examples of their favourite designs for inspiration. We then helped them to translate their sketches into designs for their own unique compositions. 

Like the one above.

We also prepared stamps and stencils with various leaf and flower shapes for the younger kids. This little cutie-pie was just four years old! 

Check out his masterpiece!

We also got the kids to work on a group piece of artwork. Students from all of the sessions contributed their drawings and paintings to a large group piece, which resembles a design for a susani (large scale textile). The piece above turned out a little something like this:

Here are some of the details:


We had another group piece, which looked like this:

Our final group piece:

And a detail of the central star:

So all in all, a good weeks’ work! Now all I need to do is prepare myself for round three of Abu Dhabi workshops, in two weeks time! Wish me luck!

Until my next post… love and light. 

This entry was posted in Abu Dhabi, Islamic Art Courses, Pattern in Islamic art, Student's Work, textiles. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to More photos from Abu Dhabi

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  2. Ayesha Gamiet says:


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