Exploring Encaustic

September 16, 2016

So I finally took the leap into Encaustic painting! 

I have been secretly putting off working with encaustic because I feel like I already use so many different mediums and it is one more thing for me to be obsessed about. I decided I just couldn't hide my desire to work with this beautiful medium any longer so I jumped in an bought the R&F Handmade Paints Encaustic Painting Complete Studio Set from Amazon (why Amazon and not Blick? Mostly because I have Amazon prime and it would come before the weekend so I could play with it). Of course I obsessively did a bunch of research on price, kit materials, encaustic paint, process etc. and I decided on this kit because it had so many elements all put together in one box plus a 16" palette and a brush holder! Yay!

 

 The kit arrived super fast and I was all set up for the weekend. Like most weekends though there is always a bunch of stuff to do besides make art like: Laundry, cooking, cleaning, dog walking etc. so I got up early to knock out as much of my chores as possible and spent a good 4 hours exploring encaustic painting.

 

I set everything up (the palette required some light assembly which my husband Chris so kind did) and I got extension cords to plug everything in. There were so many beautiful colors to choose from so I settled on Indian Yellow (because I am obsessed with it lately) and a white, blue, violet mixed color that I created myself. 

 

Once I had everything set up and the wax was melted and all ready to go I started to drip, pour and paint to my hearts content. I quickly got lost in layers and the process of cutting away the warm wax and pushing around pools of color with the heat gun. I layered in some fiber and paper bits to explore the mixed media process and kept laying wax until I had about 1/4 of an inch think layer filled with color and texture. For this piece I used a 6" x 6" clay board with a layer of encaustic gesso (which also came in the kit). You can see a progress shot and my more finished piece below.

 

Overall I felt the kit really gave me almost everything I needed to get started with encaustic painting. The book it came with ( The Art of Encaustic Painting by Joanne Mattera ) was a good overview of the medium and included some beautiful finished examples. The only items I felt were missing were additional bowls and cups for melting the beeswax, a bowl for the soy wax that is used for cleaning your  brushes and a few additional cups to melt colored wax in. I ordered those on amazon and now I am all ready to keep creating!

 

One of my favorite parts of the process was adding other mediums to the wax. I used oil pastels and a few pan pastels as I worked through the layers of this piece both of these added really interesting color and texture to the wax surface. I love the semi transparent look and exploring new ways to use color is always exciting. For me experimenting with my art and my process is one the most enjoyable parts of my work especially when I am doing mixed media and encaustic is all about experimenting!

 

I would love to hear your stories and adventures in encaustic painting. Leave a comment below and tell me what your favorite mediums to mix with encaustic are! 

 

Thanks so much for reading! Until Next time, keep creating!

XOXO - Tori

 

 

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