Have you ever had that time when you have got it into your head you want to try something new and it’s something you know has been done as you have seen it on the internet but not been convinced it would work? You have the seeds of an idea but you have nothing concrete to work with and you’re really not sure how to set about making a start. Well this happened to me recently. I love the look of encaustic art and have bought bees wax that I have melted in my melt pot and by following some YouTube videos I’ve tried it out but without the other products and tools you seem to need it was totally unsuccessful and very disappointing. I have been thinking about trying it again recently but I don’t have a lot of space to work in and I still don’t have any of the supplies I might need so I got thinking about how to create a faux encaustic effect.
Mmmmm I needed to find out what was already out there in the ether about this idea and whether anyone else had tried it and got successful results. So the fingers typed in Pinterest and Google search and off I went exploring. Well you know how you can get lost in the thoughts and ramblings of other people and I read articles, noted book recommendations and watched YouTube videos to see if I could get some help in starting to find out how I might progress this idea myself.
I did. I found a website by an artist called Laly Mille - look her up, her art is beautiful with a style I really liked – and it was these little beauties (photo below "Items needed") that got me started. Laly had a very short photographic video on her website showcasing these fabulous little canvases and having fallen in love with them I watched it through. She gave some short, almost one word, explanations of the steps she went through to get a faux encaustic effect which set me thinking about how I might be able to recreate something similar using my own DecoArt Media products. What I ended up with has excited me tremendously so with Laly’s permission I have recorded what I did for you.
- DecoArt Media Mediums and Specialty Products - Heavy Gel Medium - Gloss (DMM33-71)
- DecoArt Media Mediums and Specialty Products - Gesso - White (DMM18-71)
- DecoArt Media Mediums and Specialty Products - Clear Matte Medium (DMM20-71)
- Media Board
- Paint Brushes
- Palette Knife
- Black Sharpie Pen
- Water-based Sketch Pencil
- Chalk Pastels
- Collage Papers
- White Drawing Pen
- Brown Distress Ink
Photo by Laly Mille:
I took a piece of painty card from my bits box and brushed on thickish layers of DecoArt Media Matte Medium, Heavy Gel Medium and Clear Modeling Paste. I put it aside to dry.
I followed Laly’s first step by taking a media board sealed it with gesso and added some asemic writing done with a Sharpie pen. This was my practice piece first.
Over the writing I drew a grid created with a sketch and wash pencil and rubbed through with some matte medium.
I left the project at this point and came back to it the next morning. The first thing I did was look at my tester sheet of the mediums. You can see from the photo below that the matte medium probably wasn't laid on thick enough and dried perfectly clear. The heavy gel medium dried shiny and doesn't have the look of wax (you can just see the reflection of the flash showing up white) whereas the clear modelling paste has that milky look which I thought might work well for the waxy layer.
For the next layer Laly used 'pastel and gel medium' so I interpreted that with my chalk pastels rubbing the colours on in random areas and then 'painted' over them with the matte medium. I am in love with this 'new to me' technique for applying colour. By painting with the matte medium this should now give me a permanent layer.
Next out came the white gesso and I used a brush and my finger to apply this. The aim was to cover up some of the background and leave some exposed.
For the next layer I added some collage text papers with matte medium and sealed the whole board with it. I heat dried it and then tried a bit of an experiment of my own - I added some asemic writing using a white posca pen, blended a little gesso over the collaged areas and gave it a splattering of white gesso. I also blended ground espresso distress inks round the edges.
I had intended next to give it a coat of the clear modeling paste but before doing that I experimented again by trialing a thin coat of clear modelling paste tinted very slightly with Titan Buff Fluid Acrylic on a spare painty piece of card. Again I left this to dry overnight. I'm glad I did this as I think you can see from the photo the finish looks much too creamy and of course I thought afterwards - Titan Buff is opaque so really I needed a translucent colour.
So I continued with the thin clear coat on my board. Here it is wet.
Here it is dry. Oh my gosh it looked fabulous and better in real life than in the photo.
I think you will see the subtle changes the clear modeling paste has made on this next photo. The board on the right has that soft tone to it as if a misty mask has been placed over it. It looks and feels amazing in real life.
I went back to Laly's steps but I'm tweaking them slightly - I am going to add a second coat of paste. Before I did so I added some tissue paper in the form of an old sewing pattern, some more white asemic writing, a key word and some carving (the circles and crosses). I also highlighted some of the white areas with a little more gesso rubbed over with my finger and more ground espresso distress inks along the edges.
Finally I finished with another quite thick layer of clear modeling paste and left it overnight to fully dry. Oh my gosh I was so pleased with the results.
I can see the depth this medium has created. It doesn't have that waxy feel to it and it didn't totally self level so it has a beautiful rippled textured surface in keeping with a wax project.
I hope you like the experiment and what was achieved.
My thanks to Laly for her inspiration and her agreement for me to share this with you. I have been so excited about her work and the influence it has already had on me I have signed up for one of her classes.
Don’t forget there are links on my blog at Bumblebees and Butterflies.
Thanks for stopping by.
Hugs Brenda xxx