Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Feelin' pretty jazzed about this!

Yep! Uh huh, can I get a....
ok, Hannah Montana I am not! But wow! Encaustic is fun and I want you all to run out and buy yourself all the supplies you need and get started on this! What are you still doing here? Go now!

Attention folks: The following are the results of an encaustic play date and yes, you should try this at home.

Friend Barb and I started with this one. We used a pre cut board with a small lip that I found at Michaels in the unfinished- pre cut -wood area. I also bought several plaques because they had a nice routered edge. This one, with the slight edge seemed a natural way to contain the wax and have a frame around the piece.

First we laid down a layer of wax as a base.
Next we laid in a sheer piece of fabric with a scroll design. Then we went over it with the heat gun which promptly melted the polyester. Lesson One.

Lesson Two- do not point the heat gun at Barb or other co-hort as "I'm melting...I'm melting" is not something you want to hear being screamed at you. My apologies, Barb.

Lesson Three- other than the material covered in lesson two- there are no mistakes in this art form, only opportunities. Our burnt edge of poly became a place where we could hang up wax creating a nice break in the surface. You can see this brown area in the picture. It creates a strong visual center and kind of pulls the eye along the curvy line created by the fabric. We dropped in a couple thin bamboo sticks to contrast the movement of the other lines. The flowers you see are dried Queen Anne's Lace- a personal favorite of mine. The shells gave us some needed three dimensional bulk.

Then we played around with adding encaustic to a paper image. Barb had the very cool thought to cut copper screen and add just a couple of squares which made the color pop. We lost a lot of the original image while we were pushing wax around. I scraped it off the bird and stem of the flower to keep those prominent. this time around the bamboo sticks served to create a foreground as they appear to be in front of the bird. Barb added a Queen Anne's Lace blossom but it got kinda smooshed up and I think it looks like a nest. Like it. The original flower was much smaller but in this medium things have a way of growing larger not smaller. Like it! The brown you see in both these pieces is instant tea mix. You can pour it on while the wax is wet and it will be very dark burnt umber-ish. Let the wax almost dry, pour it on and then shake off the excess and the color is more golden. Like that, too!

Barb tried her hand at a floral but discovered that working 'small' is not easy in encaustic. I do like how the wax went over the edge and the visual depth created here. Remember- no mistakes, only opportunities.

I, too, tried my hand at a floral and when things went awry I just grabbed my friendly heat gun and started blowing wax around. I absolutely love this little mess! It makes me want to do a big abstract for my living room wall.

WHAT? DO I HAVE TO TELL YOU TWICE? GO NOW! Go get you some wax, baby!


  1. Oh this looks a lot of fun ! I never tried it, but like you said... maybe I should just go get some wax~! ;-)

  2. Oooooooooo..... running to get wax now!! Ok, not now, but soon!
    I NEED to borrow your transfer book...

  3. Hey Chris, sounds like you guys had a great time. What a cool medium for art, I bet you could incorporate a lot of junk pieces with this too. ;) Thanks for stopping by my blog.

  4. Ooo... I love them. They turned out great.

  5. Oh my! This is wonderful. I think I will head on over the Reddi Arts right now!!!!!

  6. Yes, go girls, run! Martha- I think I was looking on RA's website and they do have the wax and resin pre-mixed or separate. I was thinking of buying the pre-mixed for myself to start out with and then maybe trying my hand at mixing my own. I really like the book I bought about encaustic painting, too!


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