Saturday, March 27, 2010

Permission To Dance

This is my latest encaustic: "Permission To Dance". It's 9" x 12" encaustic on wood panel. I think it's interesting that I'm into this pink/yellow/green mode with my color choices now. These aren't the colors I'm normally drawn to. But looking over the work I've done this past couple of weeks, my Muse seems to want to play with them.

This piece was a totally new departure. It's painted entirely in layers of Pan Pastels and encaustic medium. The incised lines and dots are filled in with oil paint. I read on Linda Womack's blog (love her encaustics!) about her experiments with the Pan Pastels. She said she wanted to try an entire painting using them. So did I after seeing her results.

I recently ordered a bunch of new colors and decided to see how they would do with the encaustic medium. Dreamy!! Plus, it saves on the cost of encaustic paints if I can alternate between the two. This opens up a whole new world of possibilities! I will definitely be playing more with the Pan Pastels in my future ecaustic work.

On another note, in Monica Zuniga's "Inspire Me" workshop I did this painting on watercolor paper. I call it "Roses For A Blue Lady".

Again with the color palette! But I enjoyed playing with watercolors for this piece! This portrait was painted entirely in watercolors, white acrylic paint and watercolor pencils. Loving the results I get with that combination. Then I just added some collage material, napkins, stencils and acrylic paints in the background. I LOVED her last lesson and she just posted another one for drawing/painting dolls. Anyone who knows me knows I have a BIG soft spot for anything to do with dolls. So my attempt at that may be coming soon.

That's it for today. Just finished the encaustic piece. Hours fly by when I'm playing with these! The whole afternoon is gone but I love the results.

Friday, March 19, 2010

I Stand Alone

This is the latest encaustic piece I'm working on. I may still add some more medium to it. It's called, "I Stand Alone". I did another shellac burn with this one but this time I used Bronze Metallic pigment. I got a little too much on it, but I'm learning. I think overall it turned out pretty good.

This was the first time I used the encaustic gesso before working on a piece. I put on three coats of the gesso, sanding between coats. Then I applied two layers of encaustic medium, a layer of white encaustic paint, the image and then three more layers of encaustic medium. The image was printed onto rice paper and adhered with the medium. I love how the rice paper sinks into the wax. Easy to adhere!

I'll be practicing more with everything this weekend. I'm wanting to incorporate different elements for the collaged pieces. Right now, both pieces with the shellac burn are mounted in my living room and I'm enjoying them!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Feeling The (Shellac) Burn

We are havin' some fun now! I finally got up the nerve to try the wet shellac burn technique. Of course I waited til hubby was out of town ;) . I've been itching to try this since I saw it in the book "Encaustic Workshop". There are a lot of techniques I want to play with in that book.

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.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Dreaming...more like daydreaming! Dreaming about all of the things I want to do, dreaming about having the time and the skill to do them. Ahhh...hopefully, one day all of it will materialize.

I love these two photos I have in my archives. One is of a ramp going out toward the water and the other is a sunset on a water scene with a figure walking along the beach. I merged the two and put them on a background of merged CitraSolv papers. I love staring at the water and dreaming...that's what these images remind me of.

It's funny, the images that can attract me at any certain time. For some reason lately I've been drawn to any images I see about the circus. I'm not necessarily crazy about the circus; I don't think I've ever been to one. But just the right images have piqued my Muse's curiosity and we are experimenting with a few things. Once I get a good sketch down, I'll try to incorporate the encaustics.

There was a great circus theme in the last issue of the Anthropologie catalog. One image in particular caught my eye. I did some manipulating with more CitraSolv backgrounds, some funky blending modes and finally a few filters and ended up with this:

There's something brewing in my head that I want to nail down and put on the canvas. Hopefully it will make itself known soon. The circus theme is a perfect one to experiment with. I'm itching to try a few techniques that I've been reading about in the encaustic workshop book. They all involve shellac burns using a butane torch. Scary, the thought of me with a torch (even a small one). But I'm going to try. I found a nice little torch at Lowe's and now I'm set for the experiments.

My brother and sister are coming in today and staying through the weekend. Maybe I'll talk my sister into playing in my studio for a while. ;) I haven't seen them since Christmas so I'm really excited that they are visiting.

When I've had a chance to try my hand with the torch, I hope to have something worthwhile to show. Wish me luck!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Day Into Night

Here are two more encaustic paintings I've been working on. The painting in the top photo is called, "Day Into Night". I also incorporated one of the many images I've transferred onto pieces of muslin. I'm still not getting the look I want with the wax but I'm learning more as I go along. I keep forgetting to heat my surface first, then add the wax. It will just take a while to get used to it. I also had to get some different brushes. The bristles were still coming out of mine, even though they were supposedly "natural" hair brushes.

This next one was another experiment with adding encaustic medium to a CitraSolv page. I tore part of the CitraSolv background page and adhered it to black cardstock that I'd already glued down on the clayboard panel. I then added the encaustic medium to get the smoky, cloudy look. Finally I just flicked on different colors of encaustic wax paint and added the flowing color at the bottom. This was for a challenge at Art From The Heart.ning. The theme was "In Darkness".

I thought this section of the CitraSolv background was so cool. It looks as if there is a figure partially hidden behind a curtain. It's just the way that the inks melted onto the page partially obscuring a person in the photograph. I like the "ghostly" look.

I said when I posted this to the group that I could identify with the figure hiding behind the curtain. The title of the piece is "Hiding In The Shadows".

That's it for now. I'm hoping to have another couple of pieces ready soon. I've been experimenting with different techniques. Some have worked while others...I'm not quite there yet.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Experiments In Encaustics

I'm finally able to start experimenting! I received my encaustic medium today so now my kit is complete. The top photo, "Sunday Morning Mist", is my first attempt at using the encaustic medium. There's that cloudy look I'm after! I am going to have to get some detail brushes. The chip brushes are fine for slathering on paint but I need some smaller ones too.

Since I didn't get the medium until today, I have still been playing with the paints. Here is "Wild". This is a different look than you are accustomed to when you think of encaustic. I LOVED the demo of how to do this on the FineArtStore site. They sell the encaustikos brand of products and a little thing called the pen tool. That's what I used to paint this one:

You get a lot more detail with the pen tool (and a very fine point nib). You have to dip the pen into the wax paint and then make your strokes. It's kind of like writing with a calligraphy pen but you don't fill the pen; you have to dip it each time into the wax and then paint. Takes a lot of patience but I'm getting better at it. I like the looks you can get with it. It's great for blending the wax to get just the right shade. I'm working on a bigger face right now but it will definitely take a while.

These next two were just done on 3.25" x 7.25" basswood. I wanted to start out small. The first one is called "Pink Attitude". I wanted to get the feel of the wax paint and practice mixing it on the palette. At the end I just splattered white wax all over it. I also used an image I transferred to muslin. I used the wax to glue her down.

The last one is called, "Bleeding Heart". I used another image transfer on muslin and painted over it with the white wax.

I'm getting used to working with the wax. I have some other colors on order and hope to get those soon. I also have to work with a window fan as my exhaust system. That means the window is up, holding the fan while it blows the air out. I've had to bundle up while working! At first I was just using the ceiling fan but after reading the hazard warnings I decided to do as they suggest. We are going to get an exhaust fan for the window and then we'll be set. In the meantime I'll keep using the window fan.