Sunday, 8 June 2014

Still working on fine lines

I think I might be on track
this is just an exercise on how I can apply fine layers and have some control

Further developments

after watching Jenny Sage's work, based on pigment in wax
I couldn't resist to play
this is the result

it is still a bit milky as it is "hot of the press"
it has tissue paper as base, the clear EM, pigment pressed/polished in and
a "3 minutes live drawing ink sketch" (one of mine) added
The wax will clear with time

Saturday, 7 June 2014

this time with tissue background

with tissue background

background is tissue application melted in, covered with a thin almost transparent white layer,
chair cushion is tissue paper

I think this series is coming to it's end

again, it's a learning curve
an exercise of different applications and how to treat and apply the wax
trial of different brushes and how they work

Conclusion Brushes:

Hake brushes, they really work best for fine applications, for thinner layers,
less "droppy" drops (which have to be melted flat again), need less time to clear the surface with heat

---  against these, the cheapest Bristols work well for other things, like texture and playing
  • I cut them down to have few hairs left
  • cut them up for different effects, etc.
  • treat them badly for textures
they do leave a lot more wax behind though.................

Monday, 2 June 2014

Still working Encaustic out #3 & #4

#4 a Victorian Frame
Not a lot of added paint, the chair itself is very thin layers of oil pastels, the background has been finished with oil paint rubbed back
I think I am improving slightly, but can tell you, fusing is explosive, one nano-second too long and puff, you are in trouble and a lot of work ahead to restore

#3 Chair

I scratched the chair's lines the 'dry' brushed the encaustic until there were all this bumps of paint, didn't like the surface as was so painted another layer of Encaustic Medium on top

Monday, 5 May 2014

Encaustic background, well it's not pretty

Been working on my second chair, needed to add a table, didn' t I
But the background is causing me greave ...... I am not sure its possible the way I am trying, might have to look for another option.

I see now why so many artist work with a white or other plain colour background

Hmmmmmmm......   Thinking........

Anyway, here is

#2 Chair and Table

Monday, 28 April 2014

New tack in Encaustic, see where it takes me

I needed to find myself a subject to satisfy in this here Encaustic Adventure ................
Maybe this is it:


and my first try, simply named: First Chair
sketched, drawn and encaustic'd chair
layered, overdrawn
your basic all use wooden chair
PS: colours look much better in real light, I have trouble making photos of the Encaustic works (with an Olympus OM-D), they do not transfer the blue colours as they are, maybe the wax layers change it?

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Eco dyed Prefelt in Encaustic

Was interested on the outcome of this leftover piece from my Eco dyed Pre-felt and some of the wool strands imbedded in Encaustic

I want to do something with it, but haven't worked out what yet so I just keep in visual contact until it occurs

(What is Eco Dyed? you can click on my Textile Blog to find out)

Monday, 21 April 2014

Finished Encaustic Poppy

I will be taking photos to see if and how much the Encaustic Medium dry's clear

It is autumn here, so the temperatures were 16 - 18o daytime and dropped to 5o at night

be interesting

PS: 2 day painting was polished before photo

Sunday, 20 April 2014

It wasn't meant to be easy, was it?

Phooooooooooooo.........., this is more difficult than watercolour

I have spent the last few weeks painting with Encaustic only to reject all, redo, over paint, melt and repaint. Most were not worth taking photos of, some are just turned against the wall for the moment....

here is a collage of the "Poppy" story
first issue was that this is a 60 x 80 x 2.1 cm board, and let me tell you, beware of going big, it changes enormously the way you can work in many ways
How much EM you need, how long the warmth keeps in the working container and simply just the surface to work on
My working space is restricted, and that did not help either

whatever I tried to achieve ended as visually not satisfying

by the way, the top middle photo, I think some of the wax mixed with the clay, hence the discolouring (I first thought it was not dry, and waited and waited, but it stayed this way)

Now I am waiting for a bit of light, so I can take a photo of, hopefully, the finishes picture

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Working with Encaustics in Australia - Safe - Environmentally friendly - Low cost

As it usually is the case, living in Australia (especially in a Country area) you need to be inventive and research a lot as far as buying supplies go. 
Postage is a major cost and lot's USA suppliers do not send to Australia anymore

Once I started painting with Encaustics, I realised the cost for heating the wax needed to be looked at.................
This is what I came up with:
I am using a Pancake/Crepe griddle/pan, as it provides nearest temperature settings to what the beeswax requires.

Before this I used a Meat griddle, but this provides too much heat and heats up too high at first (providing bad fumes), which is bad news for the Beeswax and also costs more electricity.
    I bought this one for under $ 30.00 at Aldi's,
    it has a lot of surface (just over 30 cm wide)
    and works well


Researching heating containers, I came across this:
It is a Beauty Shop's Wax warmer,
2 containers, separate heat control,
ideal for my needs,
again, temperature controls for wax and
price around $ 50.00 to 60.00 delivered
Added in July: this kind of Beauty Shop's Wax warmer are
NOT RECOMMENDED BY ME, they proved to be cheap and nasty, cable burst into flames.................. when my son took it to pieces afterwards he was shocked at the flimsy construction, told me I was lucky not to be electrocuted, as the wires were badly wired.................

As tools I use:
First is an Encaustic iron, around $ 60.00
the second one is a foldable Travel iron.

They can be bought a lot cheaper, but require temperature controls for use with Encaustics

I found that not any Heat gun will do
required are:
heat and air flow control
a model like this one, with a narrow nozzle works best for me
I also use a small one from the Scrapbooking range for minor heating
         This is my latest toy, took me forever to be able to buy it in Australia, until I found it in a local Airplane Model makers shop for under $ 40.00

Better even, NO electricity and lots of fun:

Needs a bit getting used to and good ventilation, but I love my Blow torches.
Left the little one for small jobs

Below the real thing:

To paint on I found the best value wood and stability, to be 21mm Playwood.

At the local Hardware store I bought a large sheet for $ 77.00 and had them cut it up to my requirement.

To the lovely people at Bunning's I would like to send a thank you for their patience


Now, how to best and cost effective ground/gesso it, well that proved to be a drama...

First I bought the  R&F Encaustic Gesso, but this proved to be very expensive, then I trialled the traditional Rabbit skin Gesso: NONONO no way........
it worked lovely until I was fusing the beeswax medium, bubbles everywhere, it drove me crazy

so researching alternatives I came across this:

A natural clay paint made by Rockcote. Has the health giving and aesthetic quality of clay in your home. Very environmentally friendly in its manufacture, use and disposal. A good choice for people with high chemical sensitivity and those appreciating the aesthetic quality of natural clay.

I bought it online from here, 4lt Grecian White:

MSDS checks ticked all the boxes

This is what I will be using, cost effective, all natural products and safe


Saturday, 22 March 2014

trials to find "my way" in encaustics

                                                Encaustic Medium to be written as EM

this idea from: Wax and Paper book by Michelle Belto

I love her work and ideas, one worry though for the health conscious, the "rigid foam core boards" she uses under the paper;
I apply lots of heat when I play with the encaustic medium, it seems to me there might be an issue with fumes, if and when the heat transfers to the foam, toxic fumes?
I have decided to leave the foam board for non Encaustic works, just to be safe
Print glued to base, encaustic medium (EM) layer, masking tape layered in grid (make sure the EM is at least a day old, otherwise some wax might come off when tape is removed)
White EM applied, more EM layers
This is my check how transparency works on EM

an idea from my Eco dye sample's lovely texture
Marks made with all sorts of tools, oil paint for staining and stylus for filling in ridges
my own print as background, glued on art paper, marks hammered in, oil paint to stain, and hoping for transparency of EM

colleague lent me some cogs and things, they are used in various ways to leave prints: positive, negative and trace, oil paint, oil sticks, EM with pigment and lots of fun play with heat
Love Jane Guthridges work.
Here is my trial with rice paper stripes, will take some practicing but is an intriguing idea

 the next trial:
now here is a fascinating way to use EM and Shellac, on this work I used burning Shellac on only half the panel following lots of layers of different coloured EM
On the next panel, again lots of layered coloured EM finished with a Titanium white EM layer, Shellac was added and lit, adjustments can be made with the blowtorch.... all outside in a fire safe area of course

 some details
More experimentations:

 now this one is intriguing too, I am inclined to venture in this direction....
After seeing Alicia Tormey's beautiful works, I have started to experiment with effect.
I tried outside the box, with all different paints, pigments and inks.
In this case I am plying with EM colours and oil sticks, heat gun versus blow torch, different heats and airflow


Working on a larger Landscape now...................... want to go and wax a bit more............. 

Friday, 21 March 2014

2014 - Encaustic

my new thing..................... Encaustics

I have been painting (well experimenting more like) all year with a Beeswax medium, encaustic paints (Beeswax medium and pigment), oil pastels and sticks (Sennelier being my favourite so far) and affordable Encaustic blocks.

As always when you learn something new, there is lots of money to be spent on new equipment for it.
Being a thrifty person by nature I tend to cut it down with a lot of research...

Heating the main component of encaustic is: you have to keep the wax in liquid form at somewhere between 65o and 100o Celsius, to paint with it, if it heats too much the wax gets damaged.

So far I managed:
  • an electric pot for making up the medium
  • an electric skillet for the plain encaustic medium (to keep the pan on it warm)
  • an electric griddle for all the colours and mixing, plus keeping the brush warm
  • several foldable encaustic (travel iron can do too, just make sure the temperature is adjustable) iron
  • several encaustic stylus and bits with it

more to follow, got to go to work unfortunately.............

Monday, 26 March 2012

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Eucalyptus branch, Watercolour

Eucalyptus branch, Watercolour 300 gsm, Full sheet

Yellow ochre, Raw & burnt sienna, Phtalo blue, Cad Yellow lemon, Primary red.
Little of Cerulean blue, Austr turquoise, Rose lake and Primary yellow to make up the leaves and blossom. And not to forget, some Neutral tint for the gum nuts and branches......

Monday, 13 February 2012

A chair that took my shine in the Alhambra


1/2 sheet, 300 gsm

I loved this chair, it grazed a wall in one of the courtyards in the Alhambra...