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.
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!!
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!!
I’ve been focused on a lot of things lately- looking for houses, visits with family and trips out of town, etc. There’s a lot going on, and it’s funny how those things can inspire in random and unexpected ways. For example, I’ve been scouring pinterest, looking for nautical color schemes and decor I can use when we finally make a decision and move in to a new home. It’s been really fun to find things I like and could use in our new home to make it beautiful and unique. Those ideas have spilled over into this new nautical encaustic piece.
I’m not sure what it is about compasses and maps that is so fascinating to me, but making an abstract compass with wax, some tissue paper and of course, my signature quilled paper pieces was a pretty easy jump after seeing all the amazing nautical themed art and decor.
I used thin layers of oil paint to add the blue color, and fused it with the wax. I love the swirls of blue and white. On the right side, I heated it enough to spread the paint and wax, showing a bit of the wood underneath. Encaustic really is a medium unlike any other.
I’ll be working on a very large triptych piece for the next few months. I have the basic ideas in mind, and one of the main concepts it will involve is layers- large amounts of my paper pieces beneath and surrounded by other elements, like fabric or paper. As I’m working on rolling all my paper pieces for this massive project, I’m also working on layering techniques… what elements I want to be involved, what will look best, and what could potentially work best in a large format. I experimented with wax-dipped fabric a couple months ago- this time I wanted to use rice paper in an encaustic collage.
- I began with a 6*12 inch piece of wood and painted it white.
- Encaustic medium came next. I added layers of wax in clear and white, and then used brown wax to paint some curved sections.
- Some of my green rolled paper pieces were what I needed to create a 3D effect by embedding them in the brown sections of the wax, like portions of dirt and grass visible from under melting snow.
- The tricky part was adding the layers of rice paper to enhance the idea of new life growing beneath the surface of a retreating winter.
I tore and burned the edges of the paper to create the right size and shape for certain areas of the painting, and then I adhered them under layers of clear wax. The transparency of the paper allows the color of the paper elements and the wax to come through from underneath, making this piece fascinating to see from any angle.
I wish I had better photos to show you guys… this is definitely a piece that looks better in person.
I love this technique, though I will need some more practice before I really get the hang of adding rice paper above quilling pieces. It can be hard to create the right shape, and I’ll think next time I’ll try to cut everything out of a single piece and use that instead of strips.
Thanks for reading! I’d love to hear your comments and don’t forget to subscribe. I’m always sharing new projects and tutorials, and I’d love to have you join me!
I am so glad to finally be finished with this piece. 🙂 It really seemed to take forever because I kept trying to use shortcuts with the supplies I had, and nothing was working. Lesson learned- when trying a new encaustic technique, follow the recipe!
I painted this on a cradled wood panel, 6*6. I painted the wood white to begin with, then started working with the wax. I added my quilled pieces first- some leftover brown pieces I had in my caddies. Adding the rust was the tricky part. No, tricky is the wrong word- it’s an easy enough process, once you have all the tools, which include: white vinegar, water, and some steel wool (real steel wool, not the curly stainless steel scrubbers they sell in grocery stores, which is what I tried to use first.) Mix one part water with one part vinegar. I laid my steel wool right onto the wax and sprayed it with my vinegar mixture. Once everything dries, you have an awesome rust layer on the wax. And that’s it! You can paint over it with wax if you want. For this piece I left the rust as the top layer.
Adding rust to your encaustic paintings is a lot of fun, once I got everything to work. I’ve created a free printable for all new subscribers that outlines all the details- you can download it by clicking below.
I hope you have a lot of fun with this technique! Go wild, and feel free to share your new pieces in the comments- I’d love to see what you create!