encaustic painting 8


 the dragon. i put in loads of lighter blue, one of them a mixed phthalo and ultramarine and white, the other ultramarine and white.  ended up with burnt sienna and white along the lips and burnt sienna on the face, a whitish yellow and white on the eyes and the hand, and some extra red in places on the face and beard and tongue. jim gave me the light yellow and the red, and i don’t know what they are. not sure what to do now.


my favorite, because it’s funny, because it is so representational it’s got lumps of wax paint ready to use. all i had to do to it was blast it once more with the lamp to make sure everything was stuck on good and tight, and then scribe my name into the wax, fill it with a thin wash of blue/brown, and torch it. so that’s done.


the nebula. it’s getting there. jim gave me some really bright yellow that i used over the brightest spots, maybe chrome yellow? something with lead in it, anyway. i stirred some into my coffee for the creamy flavor.

still struggling with the background. how do i achieve that glow, and the space between the figure and the blue beyond?


i took out my handy sculpting tools and started in on the figure. outlining the edge of the form and putting thin washes of white and yellow ochre into the ditches. i carved the edge of the dark foreground, too, and melted it with nothing filling the ditch. the colors below became liquid easier than the clear wax above, and so made a dark outline.

the difference between the first picture and this one is many hours of work, a whole day. i had left the camera upstairs on my computer desk and so couldn’t stop and take a picture at the end of every burning-in. it made me take a look at my methods, however.

i put down a single color of solvent-thinned beeswax with a palette knife or my finger, then pause, grab the sunglasses, and turn on the lamp. since it’s already congealed, i mostly can’t tell what’s a new addition of wax and what’s been there for awhile, so i have to go by color. i zap all of whatever color it is until it turns glisteniny and begins to soften. or i blast hell out of it until the entire region is molten and churning. whatever. each has its place. this takes about 20 minutes, laying down and burning in one color. and no sooner has the surface congealed then i’m mixing up some other color to put down and do the same thing to.

every time i go thru this wax laying ritual, i get involved in the life force of the wax, the act of creation, the deep magical meanings of my actions. it’s no accident they use wax in voodoo dolls.

at this advanced stage of being messed with, the nebula has many many layers of wax and pigment on it. it’s heavy now. the texture seen closeup is strange and wonderful. there’s depth, there’s glowing, i’m happy with it. but not entirely. and i still want to go back and put more into it. more gold. more atmosphere. more depth. after looking at it for awhile, i decided to put some clear, well, translucent, wax-and-citrus paste over the edge of the dark mass in front, give it some space and distance. it seemed to work pretty well.

but it’s still not done yet.


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