Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Froth of July

6 x 9 inches
encaustic on canvasboard
In honor of the 4th of July, I made two encaustic pieces using only red, white and blue. The results were quite interesting; I'm completely happy with one piece, and almost happy with the second one.

For this piece, I layered the medium and pigmented wax on a 6 x 9 inch canvasboard, then worked the layers with my awesome new heat gun and fan nozzle. I've spent a year wondering how other encaustic artists achieved this lacy, foamy effect, and the answer is basically having the right tool. I could never have accomplished  this with my little craft heat gun, even if it had some kind of attachment that enabled me to direct the airflow.

4 x 6 inches
encaustic on wood
The second piece is on a 4 x 6 piece of wood. On this piece, I applied layers of medium and colored wax, and added a final series of drips and strokes in white and ultramarine blue. I then used my tacking iron to smooth the surface and blend and direct some of the colors. The results were reasonably successful, but it still feels like it's missing something, so I may work on this some more. One thought I had was to perform a shellac burn. It will be my first time giving that technique a try, and I'm not sure what the results will be, but all of this is experimental to a certain extent. And if I've learned anything working with wax, it's that you can't understand any of these processes without using them over and over and over again, and learning how to control and adjust them.

I'll leave you with a couple of detail images from RWB 1. I'm going to continue working with this technique and see how many more effects I can draw out of it. I'm pleased with my progress so far.

detail from RWB 1
detail from RWB 1