So what you do: You coat your board with a layer of encaustic medium. This is an 8" x 8" x 2" wood panel. Then you dab on some shellac with a paper towel. I found through trial and error that you put on quite a bit of shellac to get the look I wanted. Then, while it's still wet, you sprinkle on some metallic pigments. This is a Pearl Ex pigment in the shade Duo Blue Green. I love the metallic pigments of Pearl Ex. Then you kind of rub the pigment into the shellac a little bit. Next you take a match or torch and light it up. The flames shoot up immediately and you can either blow them out or let it burn itself out. I waited until I got the look I wanted, then blew out the flames. It makes this crackling sound while it burns. I LOVE the results! I also embedded a bronze charm in the wax. I call this, "Excavation".
Here is a closeup of the piece. I'm trying to get a good shot where you can see the metallic pigment powders shining through. You can't really tell from the photos but it's an awesome effect:
Here's another closeup. The blue dots on the edges are embedded into the shellac and they shine through. I wish I were a better photographer.
The dark brown areas are where the shellac was burning and it gives off this gorgeous brown/amber color.
I definitely want to do more of these! There is also a technique called the dry shellac burn. You let the shellac dry completely and then you take your torch to it. It won't go up in flames like the wet burn does, but you'll get the circles burned like you see here. You have more control over where you want to place your burning on the dry technique. I'll have to try that one too. :)
So that's what I played with today. I have a few more encaustic pieces I'm working on and will post those soon. I've also been taking a Plexiglas workshop and will show something I painted for that.