View Full Version : new encaustic - "Windows of the Mind (part 3)"

04-19-2006, 02:25 PM
Hey all,
so I went back to my "windows of the mind" series that I started in encaustic a while back. here is part 3 - 16"x20" encaustic on clayboard (I just discovered that clayboard is a *great* surface for encaustic, btw!)

check http://www.edzarts.com/page3/page3.html for a larger image (and parts 1 and 2)

comments/critiques welcome!

Mary Woodul
04-19-2006, 02:59 PM
Great work Ed, we have missed you around here. I love the colors in this one.

04-20-2006, 10:17 AM
Thanks Mary! I've been doing some other work (acrylic, oil) recently, but I've been getting kind of burned out with it and am coming back to encaustic big time :-) (although I do need to find some place to buy another 20lbs or so of wax!) I should be putting pieces up regularly here over the next few weeks..

Mary Woodul
04-20-2006, 12:55 PM
We will be looking forward to seeing your work, Ed.

04-21-2006, 10:15 AM
Hi Ed ... great to have you back. A very nice piece:clap: :clap:

04-21-2006, 10:21 AM
Ed, do you make your own colors? I would love to learn to do encaustics, but not sure witch is better, buying the wax colors or mixing your own. What type of iron(s) do you use? I really don't want to spend allot of monies just yet, just to see if this media can work for me. azure

04-21-2006, 11:54 AM
Azure - I make my own colors, using oil paint as the colorant (you can also use dry pigments, but oil paint works too, and much easier) I actually don't use an iron, I "paint" with the liquid wax, using natural bristle brushes, and then a small propane torch and/or heat gun to fuse.

you can get started with encaustic for not too much money, especially if you already have some stuff lying around the house... things you'll need:

some kind heated surface with an adjustable temperature - I use a large electric griddle with a thermostat, the kind you can get a walmart or such for like 20 bucks...
some kind of metal cups to keep the colors in on the hotplate, you can use small metal pastry cups or muffin tins... even empty tuna cans work great...
cheap bristle brushes (*don't* use synthetic brushes, as they can melt!)

beeswax, available from art stores in smaller quantities for $7-10/lb or in bulk from beekeepers or candle suppliers for as little as $3-4/lb. also carnauba wax (optional) and damar crystals (NOT damar varnish) to make the wax base (note: my technique uses a *lot* more wax than the "iron" technique, so it goes fast - I like to buy in bulk :-)

oil paint for making the colors (I assume you probably already have some lying around!)

something to fuse the wax - a small propane torch or heat gun (the kind used for stripping paint, make sure to get one with adjustable heat and fanspeed. and of course, if you are using a torch a fire extinguisher(and knowing how to use it) is a *necessity*. open flames + lots of highly flammable materials (studio) = be very, very careful! both can be gotten at the hardware store:

something to paint on: the beauty of encaustic is that it can be painted on any rigid, absorbant surface. (no canvas, and no acrylic gesso- not absorbant enough). you can use: plywood, boards, untempered masonte, clayboard (my substrate of choice right now!) illustration board, even watercolor paper backed with wood or masonite using pva glue. I've even got a fascinating idea for a surface that I'm going to try out in the next few weeks... stay tuned!

so it looks like you could probably throw together a basic encaustic setup for less than $100 pretty easily

fire extinguisher-$10
couple o' brushes-$10-15
few pounds of wax+damar crystals - $30-40
oil paints (free if you already got 'em)

if you want to get into the specialized tools it gets more expensive... (heated spatulas, pens, specialty irons etc...)

edit: also here's the link to the article I wrote briefly describing my technique. I'm going to be updating it soon as well!


and here's Joe's article about his technique (the iron technique)

04-21-2006, 08:37 PM
Thank You soooo much Ed!! So much good information. Yes I do have the paints, heat gun, fire extinguisher, but no torch or hot plate. Gonna go read the articles now. Thanks Again!! Azure