Hello, I ‘m a creative artist living and working in Middle Tennessee. Since 2009 I have been working on a series of Encaustic paintings using a unique process of transferring ink from recycled magazine pages onto a thin layer of beeswax.
I have a video on Youtube that shows me working and explaining each step, but I’ll give you a quick explanation of how I work with wax.
Here is the video if you’d rather not read the explanation:
- I build my panels and prepare the background using milk paint.
- Now I apply pure beeswax (no added resin) with a paint brush. I try and get a good thick layer of wax, as even as possible.
- I use clay tools to smooth out the rough areas left from the brush. First, I use a wire loop tool and then a metal scrapper. This will get the surface smooth, but will leave some imperfections (which I like).
- I like to have a drawing of my composition on paper and figure out where I need certain colors and the darker areas to be. Then I cut magazine pages for the areas of colors. I’m basically cutting the composition like a puzzle. Small pieces transfer best (1-2″).
- As I cut each piece I place the color face down on the bed of wax and begin burnishing it into the wax. In the video, I use a green cleaning pad, but have now started using a small block of wood.
- After all the pieces are in place I scrape away the wax from the areas not covered with paper.
- Now I use 150-220 grit sandpaper to sand the paper from the back of the ink. Gently removing as much paper as possible before getting to the ink. Once I get close; I wet the paper and gently rub away the paper residue until I see the ink come through. I continue wetting the area and use a t-shirt material to buff the surface until all the paper is gone.
- To finish I remove all the wax from the negative areas and heat the ink (with a heat gun) just enough to set it into the wax. Finally, I apply a wax sealer to help protect the surface.
Thanks for reading about my process. I’m looking forward to reading your comments.