Thursday, February 14, 2013

Heart for the Arts

I'm currently working on a mixed media encaustic triptych for a local charity auction... See the Wiki on Encaustic for more information on the medium.

First I adhered white mulberry paper to three wooden hearts then coated the surface with clear encaustic medium.

Spent a few days playing with paper and sketching ideas.  What you see here is only a fraction of what I have in mind. The beauty of this medium is the ability to float stuff in between layers.

Now that I have an idea of where I will start I've painted in the firs layer of color.

You can see the muffin tin of paints melting on one griddle and on the other griddle I have tins of medium and metallic mixes melting.  I make my own encaustic paints.  I use 1 part damar resin to 8 parts natural beeswax.  The damar raises the melting point of the wax and helps it to buff up to a sheen.  For color I use some powder pigments but they are expensive and I've found that crushed soft pastels (professional artist's chalks for drawing) work just as well, are less expensive, they take up less room and I can use them for more than one technique.   Plus I get a greater variety of rich jewel like colors to work with for less money.  It takes very little pastel powder mixed into the melted medium to get vivid colors.  I like my paints to be translucent since I layer inclusions into the works. 

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