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sarkana
09-27-2001, 04:21 PM
we just made beeswax medium for a client here in brooklyn and the four of us became immediately obsessed with it and are (over)using it in all our work!

its really easy to assemble and i have posted my recipe to the sarkana website for those who are interested.

http://store.yahoo.com/sarkana/beeswaxmedium.html

i've been achieving lovely ghostlike layers and unprecedented sculptural effects with it. i'm sure there are other things that can be done, i've really only just scratched the surface (which is another thing i've been able to do with this medium)!

i'm curious to hear how other artists have used beeswax or beeswax medium in their process. any secrets, recipes, or experiences to share?

Phyllis Rennie
09-27-2001, 08:43 PM
I've been looking for info on wax medium. Interested in your experiences with it. But I do not want to cook my own--too busy already and don't want to deal with the danger. Anyway.....I read somewhere that it gives the colors a jewel like look. Is that true? Also, can you paint thickly with it? I assume so since you mention "sculptural" . I understand it gives a very matte look --can you varnish over it to add gloss? Some say no--some say you can if you don't use too large a percentage of medium. I'm mostly painting outside alla prima lately but will probably be moving indoors more for the winter. Does it dry enough to add paint the next day?

Sorry--I know you were looking for answers--all I have is questions.

Mario
09-28-2001, 05:07 AM
"Ghostlike" and "Sculptural" sounds more like Beeswax than "jewel like" does.....
Acaustics are another thing , they do appear to have jewel like colors and I would appreciate any info. on making them..
I have experimented with the addition of Beeswax and found that it dulls color.

Titanium
09-28-2001, 07:17 AM
Sarkana ,

there is a problem with wax and drying oils .

You may wish to look up the specs. before
going whole hog.
Wax never dries and can be mobile.

Please be careful when adding " impurities"
to drying oils.
Titanium

* You try cold wax [ use mineral spirits ]
and pigment ---------- see what happens .

sarkana
09-28-2001, 11:00 AM
Originally posted by Phyllis Rennie
I've been looking for info on wax medium. Interested in your experiences with it. But I do not want to cook my own--too busy already and don't want to deal with the danger. Anyway.....I read somewhere that it gives the colors a jewel like look. Is that true? Also, can you paint thickly with it? I assume so since you mention "sculptural" . I understand it gives a very matte look --can you varnish over it to add gloss? Some say no--some say you can if you don't use too large a percentage of medium. I'm mostly painting outside alla prima lately but will probably be moving indoors more for the winter. Does it dry enough to add paint the next day?

Sorry--I know you were looking for answers--all I have is questions.

if you don't want to make your own you can buy some from us ($9 for 8oz, $16 for 16oz), or check your local art supplier. dorland's wax medium is nationally distributed (dick blick has it) and although i've never used it i know it has many admirers.

it's not really jewel-like, it has more of a matte-ing effect on the colors. it's semi-transparent on its own, though, so it's nice for layering. we have made some very sculptural surfaces with the wax medium, i even used a palette knife to cut into the surface. it's a slow-drying medium, takes at least 5 days to "dry".

some of the drawbacks: wax doesn't really "dry". it definitely gets harder and less workable as the turp evaporates and the stand oil dries, but the wax itself is always waxy. there are no resins in this medium as there are in encaustics to impart that hard and brittle feeling. the surface of a painting which has a high wax content is always going to be somewhat delicate.

i wouldn't recommend varnishing over a painting with a high wax content. it seems as though that would make a very unstable structure. encaustic painters normally just buff their finished work with a clean cloth in lieu of varnishing, but that is not practical for an oil painting.

its still a great medium, though. used in limited amounts, it can alter the handling qualities of your paint, making them thicker and stiffer. i really like the look of the wax when it "dries", i think wax is beautiful.

sarkana
09-28-2001, 11:03 AM
Originally posted by Mario
"Ghostlike" and "Sculptural" sounds more like Beeswax than "jewel like" does.....
Acaustics are another thing , they do appear to have jewel like colors and I would appreciate any info. on making them..
I have experimented with the addition of Beeswax and found that it dulls color.

we make encaustics at the studio, too. i'll try to post that recipe as well. that is an even more complicated process. but encaustics are an incredible medium, well worth the effort.

beeswax seems to effect the way light refracts from the surface of a painting. it defintely mattes and mutes the colors.

sarkana
09-28-2001, 11:08 AM
Originally posted by Titanium
Sarkana ,

there is a problem with wax and drying oils .

You may wish to look up the specs. before
going whole hog.
Wax never dries and can be mobile.

Please be careful when adding " impurities"
to drying oils.
Titanium

* You try cold wax [ use mineral spirits ]
and pigment ---------- see what happens .

i''m familiar with the gross chemistry of both waxes and drying oils. i appreciate your warning. wax definitely must be used with care as it can make the whole painting much more delicate. most of our customers are aware of the drawbacks and use the medium accordingly. we also make a cold wax medium but it is not nearly as popular as the beeswax medium.

sarkana
09-28-2001, 11:13 AM
another interesting medium to paint with is matte varnish, which is damar varnish with a small amount of beewax melted into it. i've used this as a painting medium (in lieu of the glazing medium i normally use) with much success. it dries pretty quickly and is not as aggressively glossy as most of the resinous mediums. it layers beautifully and can impart those ghostly wax qualities without destabilizing the painting surface. i can post that recipe as well if people are interested.

VictoriaS
09-28-2001, 12:05 PM
I'm really wanting to try wax, too. Became intrigued by reading the posts on

www.studioproducts.com/forum/forum.html


Just search "wax" and you'll find quite a bit of information.

Victoria

timelady
10-01-2001, 11:27 AM
Wow, this sounds wonderful. Ghostly has piqued my interest!

Just wondering, is it better to use this medium on a particular type of support? Ie. canvas (flexible) better than board or vice versa? Just wondering because I started using marble dust and acrylic pastes lately and they make the painting heavy so solid supports were recommended.

Tina.

owens1299
10-01-2001, 06:29 PM
I was just wondering if you could use water-soluble oils with this or do you need to use standard oils with this medium?

sarkana
10-02-2001, 11:43 AM
i paint on wood, but as long as you mix the beeswax medium with your paint and don't use it straight, you should be able to use it on canvas. the more wax you use, the more delicate your paint film is going to be. if you use it more or less straight, you need a more rigid surface: wood, canvas on masonite, or sized illustration board would all work.

i have never used water-miscible oils so i'm afraid i can't say yay or nay. turpentine, oil and wax are hydrophobic in their natural state. my instinct tells me that this medium is probably best for traditional oils. but maybe someone who is familiar with the water-miscibles can better address this.