If you are new to encaustic art, start with this book! It covers all of basics to get you started, but it doesn’t stop there, Encaustic Art The Complete Guide to Creating Fine Art with Wax by Lissa Rankin is a comprehensive reference for experienced artist working with encaustic. It is filled with beautiful photographs of artwork and techniques to inspire you to create encaustic art for yourself
Thanks to Lissa Rankin for kind permission to share this page from her book with the readers of All Things Encaustic. Republished by permission – Page 136.
Drawing on Paper
You can take advantage of the transparency of rice or tissue paper by drawing on the paper and then collaging the drawing into a painting. The edges of the paper will disappear, and the drawing will appear to be floating in the wax. This technique works well if you want to incorporate a drawing as a surface element, because you do not have to worry about heat dispersing the drawing, as you do when drawing on wax and then fusing.
Many artists prefer this method because it allows them to focus on the drawing separately from the painting. If Vietmeier wants a drawing to reside subtly in a painting’s background, she draws directly on the gesso; if she wants it to appear more prominently in the foreground, she draws on transparent paper and collages the drawing into the wax. She also combines drawings on paper with drawings made directly on the gesso ground—the resulting layers of drawings give depth and complexity to the finished work.
Vietmeier paints with very thin layers of encaustic, building the painting up slowly and then scraping away. Of her painting process, which is influenced by traditional oil-painting techniques as well as drawing and collage, she says,
“My motivation is in living, imagining, and connecting. In the process, I use up a lot of paint. The act of painting and sculpting for me is elemental, an intuitive yet deliberate response, a result of being in the world. Through the particulars of my daily life, my work becomes a distillation of my visual and emotional experiences, practice, thought, and influences.”
Want to learn more? View the Encaustic Beginner’s Guide.
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- Artist Conversation with Andrea Bird - May 23, 2021
- An Easier Encaustic Photo Transfer: The Parchment Paper Method - April 5, 2021
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