Saturday, December 31, 2011

Brushed Wax Trial #1

What I did:  I used a bleached white beeswax since this project was on a board.  I brushed several layers on, crisscrossing each layer and using the heat gun between each layer.  I wanted to muck up the corners a bit so I mixed some paint to be the same color as the butterfly and thinned it with a lot of the plain beeswax.  The result was too clean so I started playing with using an old credit card to scrape on more layers.  I added some black and some white as well as the blue.  I cleaned up the edges a bit and stopped there for the evening.  The next day the wax was much more translucent and I buffed it to a shine with a cloth.  I used a black oil pigment stick around the outside edges to accentuate the texture.  After I applied and rubbed it all around, I used some odorless thinner to get the excess pigment off.  It seemed to make some changes in the wax as well.  I rubbed off some of the brushstrokes and everything became cloudy.  I’ll have to do some research to see if it was the type of wax or the thinner but I didn’t have this problem the last time I did it in someone else’s studio.  I waited to see if I could buff it back to a shine once it had rested for a bit.  Luckily buffing did the trick and now I am trying to decide if I imagined the problem. 

With just wax and encaustic paint.

After applying the oil stick.
What I learned: 
  • You can use a brush and the heat gun together to add some nice texture if you didn’t get what you wanted with the original application.
  • It’s handy to have some extra pieces of 4 ply mat board around to try ideas and test colors before you work on the real piece.  Here’s an ATC card I made while futzing around with ideas.  I made the circles using the eraser of a pencil.
Artist Trading Card (2.5" x 3.5")

The last decision is to figure out how I want to finish the sides.  I could paint them black with an acrylic paint or maybe stain them a nice dark brown.  I like the outcome of the piece and I’d like to make a much larger version down the road.

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