Sunday, February 28, 2010

Experiments In Encaustic

I've been having a lot of fun playing with my encaustics. I have to wait until the encaustic medium arrives in the mail before I can try what I really want to do: add collage papers and photos. You need the clear medium for that and that's one thing the mfr. forgot to include in my shipment. So hopefully that will be arriving early next week.

But I was able to play around with blending color and painting in different styles with different tools. The top photo is my favorite way to paint. Normally when you see encaustic paintings they are a little abstract or have the cloudy layers showing through. I was excited to see that there were some artists who had great success painting more realistic images with encaustics. The secret is in the tool you use.

For the top painting, "Wild", I used a woodburning pen tool with a very fine calligraphic point. You have to dip your point into the wax to do your painting, just like a brush. The pen doesn't fill up like a traditional calligraphy pen. It's more a dipping process: dip and paint. But you are able to get the fine lines, blend nicely (I'm still learning how to to do that) and have a smooth finish (I'm not there yet). The pen is already very hot so there's no need to do the fusing you have to do when painting with a brush.

Next, I experimented with the coarse brush strokes. I used a chip brush and scrubbed the wax on, blending as I went. Finally I just splattered white wax on the top layer. I had an image that I transferred onto muslin a while back. I adhered the edges of it with the white wax. As soon as I get the encaustic medium I'll go over that again and make sure she's adhered properly. Plus I'll get that cloudy, layered look I like so much. But here is "Attitude" minus the encaustic medium:

Along the same lines here is another one: "Bleeding Heart". The image is a very faint transfer onto muslin. I used more of the white wax to adhere it.

So I'm impatiently waiting for the rest of my shipment. When I get the last two items then I can really begin to experiment with the different methods. By the way, I've only burned myself once! ;)

1 comment:

Lori Saul said...

Fabulous- so fun to read and learn about a unique and very expressive technique. I've never done encaustic or woodburning (just plenty of lead soldering) so glad to hear you haven't burned yourself too much. This is a beautiful piece- look forward to more of your new works and experimentation!