My Encaustic painting, Station to Station, 18″ x 24″, is an example of the effect achieved by combining pastels (not oil!), used before the Encaustic medium is applied. This mixed media piece shows yet another reason to love Encaustic!
Using Soft Pastels (not oil) before Encaustic medium is applied:
First, apply Encaustic gesso (R&F makes an excellent one) on your substrate, once it is dry, you can draw with pastel (the soft, chalky pastels – NOT oil pastels). Then you can paint with Encaustic medium and add more Encaustic colours!
In addition to using soft pastels, you can also use watercolours, gouache, Conté, charcoal, graphite, and many more media on the awesome R&F gessoed surface before applying the Encaustic medium. One word of caution, be careful not to saturate the surface with water. This matte, chalky gesso is water soluble.
Using Oil Pastels with Encaustic:
I recommend the use of oil pastels only as a final embellishment after all fusing is done. If you are using high-quality artist-grade oil pastels, you can actually use those highly pigmented sticks to create your own Encaustic pigment, in a pinch, for a certain colour. But be aware that oil and paraffin are used as binders, so the smell and feel of the wax will be less like the bees’ wax we know and love. Also, be sure, when mixing any oil based pigments with bees’ wax, that the ratio of oil to wax is no more than 30% oil to 70% wax, otherwise you’ll be compromising the integrity of the wax’s archival strength. Another very cool option is to use R & F or other high-quality oil sticks, made with beeswax, linseed oil and loads of pigment. Again, you can tint your paints with them, but remember that 30 to 70% ratio of oil to wax.
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