Friday, February 19, 2010

New encaustic painting in Progress

Back up in the studio today to start doing something with the 24 x 36" panel with the coat of Evans Holy Grail on it. If anyone doesn't know...this stuff is like gesso for encaustic painting. You cannot use regular acrylic gesso or anything acylic under or with wax or it might or most likely will pop off at some point.

This is a size panel I've never worked on before for encaustic painting. If I continue to work with encaustic a lot, I will have to have larger pieces as working on all these little ones is just not for me. I worked on the two panels for the 48 x 48" diptych and it was no more of a problem than a couple of small ones I thought other than the physicality of applying all that wax. Same with my other paintings....I like to make big gestures.

Well......this ain't gonna happen with encaustic.....the big gestures. It's dried and cooled by the time I can get it to the no fluidity. (Unless I learn some way to remedy that.)

SO....with that nice white ground, I set about laying out some color all over and making some gestural marks with oil paint. I've never done this before as a beginning for encaustic. I didn't use any medium other than thinner and just painted a lot of it on. This took a gazillion years since I had to heat and unscrew all the dried on tops of the tubes. SO, I didn't use many colors being lazy as I am.  I had it in mind to make a 2010 winter painting....don't know how and why but I had it in mind. Of course, I had to start with color though so I used violet, magenta, cad red light...kind of analagous, gorgeous colors.



Hum.... started out looking like my layout for lots of land inspired work....then I add more paints and squished them all around with a paper towel so they wouldn't be wet or have any thinner left when I added wax medium  I don't know if this is kosher or not but I do know you have to have a ratio of a lot more wax than oil paint in your encaustic paintings if you want them to dry and fuse properly.  Then I just added a good layer of a lot of medium all over this panel and fused it gently.

It's a toss up what this might become is my reasoning...thought about getting out some papers but then figured I'd just wing it and see what happened. I got out the flow tool, wax crayons, oil sticks and turned the whole thing around a few times.  A real mess.

Looks like a tree or some other type of  organic shape is emerging.  I just kept adding paint, medium, marks and fusing until at the end of the day I had this going.......light is not good...all the clouds have rolled in again.

Taking photos does a lot to tell me that the black is too prominent in the photo...there will be scraping and fusing and more paint added...maybe another plane but this is looking like the old pecan tree I gaze down on from the studio...


  1. Hey this sounds like a good plan. I wonder if you let the oil paint cure for a couple of days if that would even be better for adhesion purposes. I love this piece and I agree the black seems prominent in the photo but that is easily rememdied. I am off to show the house today may stay and do some waxing myself. YOu inspired me!

  2. NO...don't let it cure. It should be still not dry, although a little dry might be okay so that it can combine/meld with the encaustic medium when fused. Then they become one...otherwise, it is a dry impenetrable surface that the wax won't adhere well to.

    Good luck with the waxing.