my sewing room 2


this is slow going. mostly because i don’t know what i’m doing. i started with a pencil drawing on rabbit-skin gesso, then followed it with the local colors in watercolor. and then i started adding wax.

when i went to take the picture above i noticed that a lot of my lines were wrong. the window on the left tilts backwards, for example, and the window and door sills aren’t the same height. the corners and angles of the walls are off. things like that.

i’d been putting on transparent pigments over the underpainting, and at this point i decided i wanted to start making things more opaque. and how do you do that? add white. i have elsewhere ranted about how much i detest white as a color. so i won’t go over it here. but it’s useful for making paint opaque as well as graying out colors, so i mixed my chrome green with some white, several shades, in fact, and i put it all over the walls.

i ‘m still using a brush, and still thinning my already modified wax down to the point where i can put it on cold with a brush, and so i’ve got a lot of thinness.

but i noticed when i found some bare patches in myjupiter painting that i must have been putting the wax on pretty thin, else there couldn’t be bare patches. it seemed at the time that i was laying it on with a trowel (okay a palette knife), but maybe that was my illusion. you just can’t tell how thin or thick the wax is getting. maybe i should have weighed the painting before starting so i could tell how much wax i’d put on when i was thru. maybe i’ll do that with the next one.


i’m still noticing slanted lines. the dresser on the right, and somehow i drew in the shelf on the right tilting downwards. don’t know whether to fix it or not. it would require excising and repainting. errr.

today’s session was to put on yellow ochre and burnt sienna, and adjust the lines more. so i filled in the window on the right, where i’d scraped, and then i painted the leaning table top at a different angle so that it would tough the wall instead of burying itself behind it. i held the damn painting up in front of me to check the lines at ceiling and window, and i’m still not entirely satisfied with it. likewise the dresser and the shelf. it’s amazing how you don’t notice these things.

and that’s all i did today. it dries fast, almost as fast as tempera, but it stays tacky, sort of sticky and greasy feeling.

one interesting thing. the heat got up to 82 outside today, the warmest we’ve had it all year. and i noticed that my wax medium had separated a little. that is to say that there was a bit of orange oil floating in the wax. i stirred it up and used it as normal. but it was interesting to see it separate. that must mean that the melting point of wax mixed with orange oil is much lower than just wax alone, which melts at 147F (so i’m told). i had asked about this on the rf handmade paints forum, but i didn’t get any useful answers. maybe i can get more information at the other encaustic forum.

i guess tomorrow i’ll start in with dark glazes, or something. i’m still not sure what i’m doing, and i’ll be damned if i’ll know when to stop.


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