encaustic shellac burn technique

Shellac Burn Encaustic Paintings with India Ink and Calligraphy

encaustic mixed media calligraphy painting

mixed media calligraphy encaustic painting

Good day!  It’s been awhile since I’ve shared anything with you- sickness has been visiting my home and sapping all my energy.  But I’m so excited to share these new encaustic paintings, especially since I’m using a technique I’ve never used before, but been dying to try- Shellac Burn.

  • I began with two pieces of craft plywood, both 6*6.
  • I start with white encaustic medium and then began layering clear wax on top- white, clear, white, clear.
  • After each layer of wax, it’s essential to fuse the piece with a heat tool.  It doesn’t take much to fuse each layer- you need to at least make sure a wet sheen begins to appear- this will let you know the heat has done it’s work.  I usually go a lot farther than that.
  • After several initial layers, I added some purple india ink to the cooled surface of the wax.
  • Shellac Burn!  I took everything outside to the cement slab on my back porch, sprayed the pieces with a generous amount of shellac, and lit them on fire.
  • The Shellac on the surface was very sticky after the burn, and to make sure the colors of the ink wouldn’t run or stick to my brush, I dabbed the surface with a paper towel.
  • Then, it was repeat mode.  I added another layer of clear wax, some more india ink in a different color, and did another shellac burn.
  • One more layer of wax, one more color of ink, and one more shellac burn.
  • Once I had all the colors I wanted, I added some trails of white ink, and fused them heavily into the existing layers of wax.
  • After everything cooled, I used my calligraphy pen to add text in different sizes and colors.
  • I’m using PH Martin’s Bombay India Inks here- there are two full sets and I have both for a big range of colors.

Shellac Burn encaustic painting
For my next step, I need to do some more experimenting.  I want to see if I can achieve a floating effect by adding more layers of wax between the colors.  Also, I’d like to use the fluid shellac instead of the spray, and let it dry as well before I light it on fire.  Maybe I’ll use some oil sticks or pastels instead of ink to add some color. We’ll see!!

shellac burn encaustic painting encaustic shellac burn technique

Have any of you done this technique?  I’d love to hear your process!  And if you have any questions, just shoot me a comment.  Thanks so much!!

17 replies
  1. Lamia Holden
    Lamia Holden says:

    Beautiful organic effect! I’ve tried the shellac burn using clear liquid shellac with a little bit of PearlEx mixed in. I have a lot more experimenting to do ..but I love the initial results. Have you continued to explore the technique?

  2. Sheila
    Sheila says:

    I appreciate that you are encouraging many, but the video is to laborious. It is too nice. I hope Yu know what I mean. Too many layers to wait for at the beginning. I might be too impatient! I really know that people want every details for the first time view so this fits the bill.

    But for me I think the video could do with editing. The music is too jumpy and racy… Makes me not want to watch any more. Hope the feedback helps.

  3. Karena
    Karena says:

    I just now got to watch this. (I’m behind the times.) It’s cool to see your process, and I love the finished product.

  4. JackieP Neal
    JackieP Neal says:

    so sorry to hear about the illness – I do hope everyone is on the mend soon!
    I have to tell you that you are constantly amazing me with your unending creativity and beautiful art! this is no exception! Such gorgeous colors and textures and you work so well with encaustics- you inspire me to pull my supplies out and try them! (about time huh?)
    Thank you for sharing your gorgeous art and processes!

  5. Sherry
    Sherry says:

    So beautiful. I loved the video, really made Encaustic less daunting! The colors are lovely but I really loved the writing technique, such a special touch. You are really talented. Thank you for sharing.

    Wild Burr Designs


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *