PDA

View Full Version : wax/encaustic process


kellysue
02-06-2001, 09:57 PM
Don't know much about encaustic art, but I want to try something similar. I love the way wax chips look melted together and want to try it with a canvas support. I also want to use common, household items to heat and melt. I'm thinking of trying holding an iron close to canvas (horizontally)on a table with newspaper underneath to catch drips. Another possibility is steamimg from underneath. A blow dryer would blow the wax bits away, but maybe a heat gun would work. I could use melted and mixed chips in a mosaic fashion, too, with clear or white wax as the grout. Would a large canvas covered with wax crack easily? I think it would. Maybe acrylic background with wax appliques.

Hmmmmm...any comments? I'm off to experiment.

Kellysue

kayemme
02-06-2001, 10:26 PM
as you may have noted from my last post on alt med, i just purchased encaustics and am awaiting their arrival. i have not worked with them yet, however being that they are made from wax, my assumption would be that canvas might not be your best choice, due to its inherint flexibility. i would think (no quoting) that encaustics would need to be adhered to a hard surface, like board. this isn't to say you can't stretch canvas over board for that effect, but with encaustic, you can make any effect you want, so it may not be necessary.

a blow dryer won't get hot enough. you'll have to use a heat gun/lamp.

also, i did a bunch of research about the properties of encaustics before i purchased, and i read that the lower the grade of beeswax, the more likely your colour will cloud up. pre-made wax chips should be checked for quality/ clarity.

here's a good reference reference one (http://irondavis.com/22_Dfn_Illus_Fldr/24_Encaustic-fldr/64EncausticPtg.html)
Amazon's Forthcoming Book (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0823002837/o/qid=981516354/sr=8-3/ref=aps_sr_b_1_3/107-9707530-8936557)

best of luck..

let's keep each other posted as our progress.. i'm interested to see what you come up with.

k

kellysue
02-07-2001, 03:41 PM
OK Kayemme,


this is my first experiment: wax crayon shavings on primed masonite (fredrix brand) and then microwaved. I call it Rainy Day Abstract. tee hee, fun for a first, but I want a heat gun for spot treatment.
<IMG SRC="http://www.wetcanvas.com/Critiques/lib/07-Feb-2001/waxart.jpg" border=0>

Shriner
02-08-2001, 01:12 AM
Yay! Encaustic talk! I have a ton of encaustic stuff, and a good Wagner heat gun (hair driers won't work well, as KM pointed out) and large pancake hot plate, etc... I have only done mixed media stuff with it so far.

Just FYI (I am sure you already know this) but crayons are horrible to use. They will fade very quickly because they are not lightfast at all. If you want it to last, don't use basic crayons. The microwave idea is a riot! What a hoot. Very cool. I agree 100% with KM. Use a non-flexible support, not canvas. Masonite is a good bet.

Post more experiments here! I would love to see more. I probably won't do more until this Summer (too busy now)

------------------
Shriner

kellysue
02-09-2001, 10:18 AM
Here is my latest experiment, done with an iron and crayons---haven't ordered the real stuff yet.
I think it looks like a landscape with a covered bridge. What do you think? Also, how do we frame these?

<IMG SRC="http://www.wetcanvas.com/Critiques/lib/09-Feb-2001/waxart.jpg" border=0>

[This message has been edited by kellysue (edited February 09, 2001).]

[This message has been edited by kellysue (edited February 09, 2001).]

kayemme
02-11-2001, 12:55 AM
wow, kelly.. really cool so far

i unpacked my little encaustics package the other day and started in on a big masonite support (duh, i shoulda started small).

i went to the thrift store and bought an old-school iron. and i just ironed over the wax and made all kinds a "swishies" the kind i have has a few holes in the top that collect wax. my guess would be a flat iron would work best, but the less holes the better. it does provide a cool blotty look though (the holes do).

i don't know if i'd use my food microwave for real encaustics (as compared to crayons) but i think it's a FABULOUS idea.

i'll try to get some sort of detail of what i'm doing uploaded. since it's such a large support, i don't know when, though (it's 2/5'x4')

whooooohoooooooo

k

Shriner
02-12-2001, 11:14 PM
cool! this is awesome that you guys are playing around with this. Maybe I will be able to get inspired by you and finally get some work done, myself!!

------------------
Shriner

paintfool
02-14-2001, 09:29 AM
I don't know much about encaustics but have always wanted to play with them. I'll be watchhing this thread! I did seem some fantastic work done at an art show recently, using burlap and some other peices done with a very heavy cotton type fabric. The burlap work was really awsome. Wish i'd gotten pictures!
The idea of using a wagner heat gun sounds like a very sound one to me. I have a question... Do you think it feasable to arrange color in what ever manner and then to place the entire piece in an oven at maybe 250 for a bit would work? I would think that using this method you could also incorporate other textures such as glass, stones etc....just a thought.
Cheryl

------------------
paintfool

kayemme
02-14-2001, 09:32 PM
well today i purchased my hotplate and i'm all set for tomorrow.

mostly so far i've just experimented with a hot iron.. looks kinda neeet.

i've been working with oil paints over the encaustics, then rubbing out and painting over again, etc., too!

will post a photo as soon as i have one

k

ps..
hey tim, i wanted to know if you were familiar with a Reverand Ethan Acres out of Las Vegas, now moved to San Antonio, performance artist and preacher, builder of such vessels as "Holy Roller" and the "Highway Chapel," trailers converted into travelling sermon-mobiles.

kayemme
02-14-2001, 09:35 PM
Originally posted by paintfool:
place the entire piece in an oven at maybe 250 for a bit would work? I would think that using this method you could also incorporate other textures such as glass, stones etc....just a thought.
Cheryl



i dunno... i think that the oven is pretty small, first off, so a whole piece wouldn't *fit* inside not to mention, i hate the idea of putting any kind of toxic pigment in my oven http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif

it's bad enough we're melting it in the first place hhehehee

once you get the pigments warmed up, you can add stuff to the canvas anyhow... so no real need for the oven.

the brand that i'm using doesn't require the "burn in" process, but you could achieve a little of what you're talking about using that method..

"burn in" is when you take a heat lamp or some other very warm object and place it over the piece to "seal" the work.. it's the final stage, like a varnish - without varnish, of course.

k

grannyb
02-16-2001, 07:11 PM
Hi Folks, Although I have been quiet on the site lately I haven't been idle artwise.

My site has lots of encaustics on it and as I have been painting in and making my own waxes for several years if I can help please ask...don't know it all of course ...never will http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/wink.gif
...and the colors are as bright today as they were when I did them five years ago.

Supports I have used include canvas on board ,glass,mirror,clay coated paper,boards of kinds and sizes and I even put some on a gumnut once..then added some glitter ...just to see. Canvas unsupported will crack in cold climates if it moves.

Don't leave you wax works in the hot car either!

I use a paint stripping heat gun,and irons of all sizes ...the light travel irons are good but make sure you get one with the bottom plate completely sealed as the wax will suddenly drip or run from under neath and mess up your masterpiece.Also you can paint with melted wax as long as your wax and brush are close to your support or maybe do as the ancients did and heat the support (on an electric grill with heat control)

Melt wax in a waterbath ...not on the stove !(wax fires don't go out easily and burns are bad.) I use an electric frypan and stand the wax in a tub in water at about low simmer...you never risk fire then.

Iceblock containers as molds.... the old metal type with permanent divisions are good and the plastic ones if you are making blocks of colors that you will take out and use.

Beeswax is best,purified (white)is recommended but I have used and am happy with pure beeswax straight from the apiary that I boil in water first to get all the sediment out...it goes to the bottom in the water and the wax sets clear on top.It has a slight yellow cast but apart from a slightly creamy titanium white (barely visible) it does not affect the pigments much at all.

------------------
Be True to Yourself !
from Sue in Oz.

kayemme
02-16-2001, 09:19 PM
hey granny!

well, good to know my hotplate wasn't a retarted idea, as i bought an old electric skillet for the job... http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif

i didn't think about putting water in the skillet, though... maybe i'll try that next time

have you mixed it much with oils?

k

timelady
03-20-2001, 12:52 AM
Such cool ideas.... so, if working with oils and wax (and why not, the old masters did it), what about acrylics on top of wax? I've seen lovely watercolours done with wax rubbing too. On heavily waxed surfaces, I'd think acrylic would be good because it's flexible. Any ideas?

And for anyone who does linocuts, I've used wax and encaustic on lino too. You use beeswax mixed with a bit of turps and brush on in places to be "blocked". Then use a mixture with encaustic (caustic?) soda to "burn" away the areas not covered in wax. Very cool way of getting loose marks on lino (which is usually very linear, like woodcutting). I don't remember my exact formulas for the encaustic but could probably dig it up somewhere if anyone wants it.

Just another medium to pick up.... dang (in a good way).
Tina.


------------------
http://www.tina-m.com

paintfool
03-27-2001, 05:55 PM
Tina, sounds interesting! Don't knock yourself out looking for the info 'cause i know you're busy getting set up in your new flat, but when you have the time it would be great!
Cheryl

------------------
paintfool

martin hunting
04-26-2001, 08:05 PM
Originally posted by kellysue:
Don't know much about encaustic art, but I want to try something similar. I love the way wax chips look melted together and want to try it with a canvas support. I also want to use common, household items to heat and melt. I'm thinking of trying holding an iron close to canvas (horizontally)on a table with newspaper underneath to catch drips. Another possibility is steamimg from underneath. A blow dryer would blow the wax bits away, but maybe a heat gun would work. I could use melted and mixed chips in a mosaic fashion, too, with clear or white wax as the grout. Would a large canvas covered with wax crack easily? I think it would. Maybe acrylic background with wax appliques.

Hmmmmm...any comments? I'm off to experiment.

Kellysue



------------------
m hunting

martin hunting
04-26-2001, 08:20 PM
Originally posted by kellysue:
Don't know much about encaustic art, but I want to try something similar. I love the way wax chips look melted together and want to try it with a canvas support. I also want to use common, household items to heat and melt. I'm thinking of trying holding an iron close to canvas (horizontally)on a table with newspaper underneath to catch drips. Another possibility is steamimg from underneath. A blow dryer would blow the wax bits away, but maybe a heat gun would work. I could use melted and mixed chips in a mosaic fashion, too, with clear or white wax as the grout. Would a large canvas covered with wax crack easily? I think it would. Maybe acrylic background with wax appliques.

Hmmmmm...any comments? I'm off to experiment.

Kellysue

Hi!

I have been using encaustic methods for a number of years, painting large canvases. I usually streach the canvas over a wooden panel, which resolves the problems of cracking. I also mix the wax with darmar varnish,which hardens the surface and makes the wax not so brittle. I use a heat gun, but if the weather is very hot I place the work in the sun.
martin hunting

------------------
m hunting

sarkana
06-09-2001, 09:28 AM
yay! i am so glad i found this thread about encaustics.

wanted to just post a couple of general comments:

+ crayons are icky because they are made with parafin instead of beeswax. heating parafin is probably not that healthy since it is made from petroleum distillates. and crayons are usually are colored with dyes rather than pigments. we make "natural" crayons at my store from beeswax and pigment. this is a simple process which is a snap if you are already making encaustics. anyone who wants the recipe, mail me at [email protected] and i will post it.

+ heating beeswax in the oven is quite feasible. that's how i make my encaustic blocks. but beeswax should not be heated over 220 degrees fahrenheit or it gives off a poisonous gas (i don't know what its called). so heat carefully!

+ encaustics work best on rigid supports. i've been doing some encaustics with collage on matte board which seems to work fine although they are still a little fragile.

+ hot plates are the way. i use an ancient one i bought at the salvation army. i like the way they heat so gently and evenly. my encaustics are sold in metal tins (like shoe polish tins) so you can just set them on a heated surface and they melt in little individually contained pools.
check out my site! i'm totally proud of our encaustic palette.


------------------
http://store.yahoo.com/sarkana

paintfool
06-09-2001, 10:36 AM
Sarkana, Wow! You have an amazing assortment of colors on your site! Please forgive me for not knowing much about encaustics, but i have to ask... Does heating and reheating not affect the pigment? I would absolutley love to see you post a painting!
Cheryl

------------------
paintfool

msue
06-11-2001, 10:30 PM
Hi there everyone. I watched an encaustic demo about a year ago. The woman (who sales her work and enters shows) used ordinary crayons (which everyone here is advising against)and some other encaustic waxes. She said she liked the crayons better. She put pieces of color on squares of aluminum foil in an old electric skillet and either picked up color with a brush and stroked it on or took the foil and poured color on the paper support and moved it around with brushes or other pointed objects.

She also warned about leaving your work in a hot car http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/biggrin.gif


------------------
msue.artistnation.com

sarkana
06-14-2001, 09:40 AM
hey, thanks for visiting my site! i'm a little sheepish about posting my encaustic work, since i just took up this technique about a year ago and i'm not quite where i want to be with it. but i'll try to post some from the artists who work with my product.

pigments are not affected by heating, reheating, solvents, or any of a number of other chemical processes. that's the great thing about pigments, they are nonreactive, its part of what qualifies them as pigments. you can do almost anything to them short of setting them on fire (not all pigments are flammable, but you'd be surprised which ones are) and they'll stay the same color.

------------------
http://store.yahoo.com/sarkana

sarkana
06-14-2001, 09:48 AM
it's not *wrong* to use crayons. hey, i had a semi-famous installation artist come into my store to buy pigment because he's making paintings with vaseline! you can use anything you want to! i think the reason we are recommending against crayons is 1) paraffin is not very good for you 2) paraffin is not archival and won't stand the test of time 3) most 'ordinary' crayons are made with dyes which are not colorfast and will fade with exposure to light.

so i think its excellent that folks are using alternative mediums and i'm glad she has found a market for her work. but conservators in the future are going to be cursing her name when her paintings start to disappear!

beeswax is remarkably durable and makes oil painting look fugitive! while oil paintings need to be cleaned and restored every 100 years or so if they are going to survive, you can see encaustics that are a couple of millenia old at the met. greeks were painting with wax long before the advent of oils in the renaissance and the only way we know that is because we still have their paintings!

------------------
http://store.yahoo.com/sarkana

Strangeone
09-26-2005, 09:00 AM
Please, don't use acrylics with wax. They are totally incompatible. It may look ok at first, but somewhere down the road they will go their separate ways. Wax can be used on top of a dry watercolor as the pigment just becomes part of the wax layer. But acrylics form a water repellent skin that won't fuse with the wax. Wouldn't want to lose a great chunk of your painting, right? I think a thin layer oil painting can be fused with the wax, but I would avoid putting it over any thick painting as there may be isssues with the impasto oil drying properly with an overlay of wax.

artzazz
08-14-2006, 08:12 PM
how do I download a pic?