youtube is a source for demos of encaustic. here’s a selection:
you can paint with a little tiny iron you can order.
you can paint with an electric stylus you can order.
using an airgun you can order does drive home the concept that it’s not how you put the wax on that’s important, it’s what happens when you fuse it.
you can use an incredibly tiny pen point if you want to be really exacting, however.
or use a really teensy brush and get one, maybe two strokes in before having to recharge the brush.
torches, electric blades you can order, all sorts of techniques. it’s dizzying.
that’s enough now. what happened in the studio today? first i stuck a layer of quinacridone gold and white on the foreground rocks. it’s got to go sienna tomorrow.
then i decided after looking at it for awhile that most of the rocks were the same size. my reference photo shows strategically placed rocks that are larger than the main size, which is smallish. that’s helpful. so i went in and corrected the strategic rocks, slapping green in an arc over the original black line of the rock. burned in, i mixed up another grayed brown, and took some of my remaining pinkish, and did the other rock colors back over the places that needed it, and then burned in the bigger rocks.
i still need to outline the bigger rocks in black since i covered that over. i went over all the dark spots with black again, applied with a finger, and managed to film some of these finger smears melting. i’ve got a short video of it here and a longer one here. they show the wax going molten and beginning to spread, and then when he heat lamp is withdrawn, the wax snaps back into its original shape.
i seem to be into encaustic for the subtle blending and the in-between states of a slow melt, the evolution of movement. i’m really floored by the effects of heat guns and torches. compared to what they do, using a heat lamp’ s like the moment of beginning to act on the impulse to move, where the results of a torch is like full-blown flight. i wonder what long, slow heating would produce, like a light suspended from 6 inches for 10 minutes or so.
in silk dyeing, using sugar syrup resist, it’s possible to extend the curling blending effect of bleeding dye, keep it developing for hours. slow heating might allow the paint to find new channels really slowly and avoid blending and churning…my arm would fall off, i’d have to suspend it. i saw contraptions above peoples’ electric skillets in their studios. oh duh, those were jury rigged vent hoods so they don’t inhale fumes. anyway, it wouldn’t be hard to rig a light at whatever height i’d need. it would take a week to burn in a large painting, i’d guess.
i can see what i need to do tomorrow. one more day of working under water, and then i can put on the water itself, painting in the surface details, the reflections. but the bottom has to be real, and it’s not yet. for instance, can you look at it and believe that the bottom is about eight feet away, at least six feet? that’s why it has no color. those rocks are as red as the dry rocks, but the water blocks all the warmer colors, so even tho the water is clear as a bell, it’s also much deeper than it looks even when you’re standing there. and so cool. sugar hollow is my favorite place on earth, one of them.