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Drybrush Accretion | Encaustic Texture Technique

drybrush accretion

Creating texture in Encaustic art

Some of my encaustic paintings this past year are very textured. I’ve been playing with building up layer upon layer of encaustic medium using a drybrush accretion technique.

Encaustic Tools used for building up texture

The key to this technique is a very dry brush and fusing gently. I find that the embossing heat tool is essential.

Here’s a description of drybrush accretion process

  1. begin with a base of a few layers of encaustic medium that have been fused (with the blow torch)
  2. with a fork or other sharp tool, gouge some lines into the surface of the wax
  3. take a brush that has been dipped in medium, drag the brush along the edge of the tin of melted medium to remove excess medium. The brush needs to be very dry.
  4. brush the thin amount of medium onto the painting
  5. fuse gently with a low-temperature embossing heat gun. Be careful not to liquefy the medium. Fuse lightly, the encaustic wax will glisten and that is enough.
  6. repeat steps 3 to 5 over and over again as you build up layers of texture.

“Pebbly Beach” I ironed the raised texture flat at the end. “Memory Beneath (a growing drift)”, and “Nest” aren’t ironed.

Give it a try and leave me a comment to let me know how it goes.

About Ruth Maude

Encaustic art is my hobby. I'm a Toronto WordPress web designer and developer. I started All Things Encaustic to document what I learn and to explore encaustic art.

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12 thoughts on “Drybrush Accretion | Encaustic Texture Technique

  1. Hi Ruth, I am Jess. I love your site and advice. I am new to encaustic and am diving in daily following this idea and that, learning every single step of the way. I blog my art and heart journey over at my wordpress site… I found you on twitter. I am there also. @Jesssplatter. Have a great day!

    1. Hi Jess,

      Thanks for stopping by and for the follow. I’m glad you are finding the site helpful.

      ~ Ruth

  2. I also love texture so really like what you are doing. I often use an eye dropper to create texture in patterns.

    1. Oh an eye dropper that sounds interesting. Don’t you just love how versatile encaustic is? There are so many things that you can try!

  3. I love the different tactile textures. Fascinating and beautiful work.

  4. I really appreciate the information on texture!! I accidentally created some lovely texture on a series of pieces a while ago, and have since been trying to re-create the effect. I will try the fork, dry brush, AND the dropper, and let you know how it all goes. I love this blog!!

  5. Encaustic is my new love. Getting a smooth surface is a struggle for me so finding techniques for texture is perfect!
    Love the information. Thank you so much.

  6. My first hobby is wood turning but I got interested in encaustic several years ago. I recently did a textured piece by putting down several layers of encaustic, covering the piece with wood shavings from the lathe, fusing the shavings into the encaustic base and then adding layers of encaustic paint over the textured surface. Its a really fast way to build up texture. Next I want to try the same technique on one of my wood turnings.

    1. Thanks for sharing your technique Roy!

  7. The texture pictures always get me!
    I managed to so a little bit today, took all day!
    I tried the fork trick, no luck. Will try the eyedropper. Im quite pleased with the results I got but ran out of was colour 🙁
    I ended up with ‘bald’ spots, two or three areas that were smooth but was doing it on small square, think I might try a rectangle next weeked

  8. Oh man, love it!! I’ve been wanting to practice building up texture. Thank you for this!

  9. Hi I have been using encuastic wax for about 20yrs. I have never tried layering , but now! i mainly do mystic type art.

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