Friday, April 9, 2010

Bird on a Wire

The first encaustic piece since getting the grant. As part of the my contract I'm going to blog about working with encaustic.

This piece started out with leaves and such on the left. I was going to do a very realistic apple on the right. It was just too uptight for my taste. I scraped and layered and the texture got more and more exciting.
For the bird I tried a transfer process - putting graphite on the back of thin paper, then using a hard point to draw, embedding the graphite into the wax. Oil pastels work very nicely for tinting surfaces.

The new heat gun is great - has variable temperature and blow.

At the end I rubbed acrylic into the whole surface, then wiped it off to further bring out the texture. There are a couple of wax-filled incised, then scraped lines, because I just wanted to try that.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Gouache Book is IN

Yesterday the printed books arrived. Have to say I'm really pleased with the results. It's so fun to see this out of my head and real. I'm hoping to reach illustration and painting teachers who might consider using this as a text. It's meant for anyone who's ever thought they might like to try gouache, which is a remarkable medium.

Available HERE.


Final images for the Wine Label Library seeking wines.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Almost done

At this point it's time to let these rest overnight. Just in scanning, I can already see things I want/need to tweak. It's been awhile since I've worked in goauche, so this hit the spot.

I'm not too sure about the blue feather - may go back to something more neutral there.


These have been on my drawing board for over a month, waiting for me to start painting them. I'm posting the start to commit myself to finishing them soon. Just proves how distracting the rest of life's been lately. All good - just lots going on.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Warming Up

Today was my first foray into encaustic since getting the grant. I started a board, just hoping the right concept would come as I worked, but in the end I tried pretty much everything I'd read about in the book last night - in addition to trying oil pastels. Needless to say, the piece lacks focus. Like the oil pastels a lot and can see how I might add them down the line. I'll go back to the piece later with a fresh eye and see what it needs.

In the book they discuss keeping one brush for each color...VERY hard for a painter to do. I just dip where I need it. So, pretty much contaminated each color pan and brush I have. If that's how I work, it'll become part of what makes my stuff look like my stuff. I can clean brushes if it really gets to me. Can already tell I'm going to want another hot surface, so I can have more choice of color at one time...not patient about waiting for a color to heat up, just so I can make a single mark.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


In the interest of limiting the variables while exploring encaustic (by doing as much to and with it as I can) I've chosen the theme of growth for the imagery. The point of getting this grant was to allow me to grow as an artist - to bring fresh shoots to old wood, as it were. There's a LOT of room to play with this concept!

Embracing Encaustic

First box of goodies arrived today. Thought I'd start with reading "Embracing Encaustic" to get my head going. It was a very simple, but good solid primer for processes and supplies. It didn't blow me out of the water, but I really liked that they made it all very approachable. Nothing hit me as radically new, but it reminded me of a few things I want to try. I liked that they talked about every day tools you could use and it may end up having saved me some $$ here, that I can use better there.
Check out their site here.

Psyching up

All the new tools and supplies have left R&F and Dick Blick and are headed my way.
Encaustic medium
Wooden panels
tacking iron
heat gun with - the important part - nozzles to direct the air flow

The hot plate will have to wait.

At some point I'll be ordering encaustic colors from Bees Knees Encaustics - a great place I found with wonderful customer service.

A guest brought be her favorite oil pastels. Have never used them, but just know they're going to be a wonderful addition to the encaustic toy chest.