Sunday, April 29, 2018

Advanced Encaustic Techniques

If you have been following my bog for a while, you probably have noticed that I have several online classes. Here is one for those who can't make it to San Miguel de Allende to take classes with me :

Encaustic lends itself to many different techniques, and is beautiful on its own. Below are just some of the many techniques I have used in encaustic.

Just have fun, experiment, and make sure you do not use any acrylic.
encaustic and oil glazes

encasutic over water color on paper

ink wash, charcoal, encaustic,

collage, pan pastel, encasutic

detail of water spray into encaustic for lava-like texture

countless layers of colored encaustic, drawing with charcoal and hours of scraping

encaustic over tissue paper collage and texture built up with a hot pen

stained support, layers of encaustic, small collage and carved figures into the encaustic.

detail of melting encaustic over encaustic and oil

charcoal dust in between layers of encasutic

detail of encaustic stenciling 

carved encaustic over contrasting painted layers. 

encaustic on paper

encaustic with cold wax stenciling

encaustic, oil paint and shellac burn

Friday, April 20, 2018

Why Do I Keep going Back To Encaustic?

I have been going in several creative directions this year. I haven't settled on a series yet. You can see the variety of work that I have made at:

Finishing a portrait in oil last month, I made some more cold wax paintings, but my favorite, so far has been the "Really Red" encaustic painting. See above, alongside the Tattoo painting. The red painting is really hard to photograph because of the many layers of shiny red encaustic. I did contrast the shine with mat cold wax.

It was over 20 years ago that I fell in love with the encasutic technique when I saw it in a gallery in Portland OR.  The surfaces of the abstract paintings were like nothing I had ever seen. I left that gallery thinking, “I must find out how to do that.” There was little technical information about encaustic available at that time. I went to a Barnes and Noble, bookstore searching the shelves looking for information on encaustic. I realized later that the technical information that I found was wrong. It was the formula for cold wax, lots of stuff that should never be heated. I made mistakes, even using acrylic gesso on the supports and then having whole paintings slide off the surfaces when I returned to my Oregon studio on a sunny day.

Now we are inundated with encaustic info, some of it illuminating and beneficial, and some of it just wrong. I shutter at some of the “how to” encaustic videos I have seen. Anyone can post a YouTube video, or an online class after taking a workshop and become an instant teacher, but some of these people are not making archival work or using true encaustic. Just another reason that I love teaching encaustic workshops.

I am sorry that I can now longer access my workshop blog, so please check out the class workshop on my website, if you are interested:

I meet people on the street and am often greeted by, “You’re Ezshwan the encaustic artist!” I smile and avoid explaining that I can do more than paint in encaustic; however I am also flattered that I have made a name for myself with my exhibitions and classes.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

The Many Lives of An Encaustic Painting

I started this painting some time in early February and it sat leaning on the studio wall for weeks. I did take 9 days off to visit the Yucatan and have been working on other paintings as well.It had many changes. I started off with oil paint that I applied with my gloved hands. That was fun and freeing, but there is not sign of the the original surface anymore.

Can you help me with a name other than "Really Red" ?
First stage. Oil paint on cradled board
Now I am into several days of applying encaustic; going back and forth from this painting, the commissioned portrait and 2 other paintings.
The surface is now covered with many, many layers of encasutic. It can't get much redder!

To break up the beautiful shiny surface, I stenciled oil and cold wax on top of the encaustic. I like the mat texture that contrasts with the bright encaustic