Friday, October 8, 2010

My Second Ever Encaustics Class

Well a friend and I signed up for an encausitcs class and it began last night. Unfortunately my friend was sick and couldn't join me on this adventure-feel better soon!

I usually paint with acrylics so painting with wax is a whole new experience. It is a real challenge to think differently. Wax doesn't work like acrylic. It is warm and then dries quickly. The idea, as I am understanding it, is to layer the wax and then carve, embed and scrape your way to a painting. Of course with acrylic you use a brush or pallet knife to manipulate your work. Oh I forgot to mention the blow torch that is required to seal and manipulate the wax. It is a whole new tool unto itself! The heat moves the wax in ways that are unpredictable to a novice like myself. But oh what fun.

Our instructor Julie Davidson suggested that we work on more then one piece at a time. I found this really helpful because when I felt stuck with one of the paintings I could switch to the other. It helped to keep me "loose" as she would say.

I had so much fun. I barely looked up from my work until it was time to go. When I did surface and look around at the other artists I was amazed at how different eveyone's work looked. Some were furiously carving or scraping. Others were using mylar to transfer images. While others were embedding netting, objects and more.

I discovered oil pastels so I began to draw like a kid which was so much fun. Then I realized that if you apply the flame from the blow torch it actually changes the lines that you draw with the pastels. It was well worth the experience and surprisingly physical.

Oh ya, did I mention the smell-bee's wax! It has a lovely sweet smell, unlike acrylics which are icky.


  1. I love working with wax too - it is a great medium. Your pieces are amazing - newbie or not!

  2. those are both mesmerizing and i gotta say it...