Intuitive Painting 001 – Acrylics and Beeswax – Ombre Encaustic

Normally, acrylics and beeswax are not combined with traditional encaustic works.  However, this project was all about experimentation, letting go, and exploring color.  I also created a journal page since I had extra color.  😉

Supplies:

Beeswax – I used cosmetic grade non-bleached from Hobby Lobby.  Yes, it has a yellow tint to it, but I knew I would be covering the wax with paint.

Double Boiler – canning jar, pan, water, potholders.

Paint Brush Handle – or another scraping tool to move the wax and cut in the craters/texture.

Latex Paint – Titanium White Paint – I purchased a gallon of this from Home Depot in the paint department for about $15.00.

Substrate – Raw canvas or board panel.  I purchased a sheet of plywood from Home Depot and had them cut it into various sizes.  For now, I am learning and this is a very inexpensive way to have some sort of solid substrate to work on.  I know my hubby can always turn my pieces into cradled boards if I needed him to, which is a more professional finish than just the board.

Acrylic Paints – in colors of choice.

My Thought Process

On my first piece, I used the header image of this blog as my inspiration for color.  I LOVE this picture.  Not only do I think it is beautiful, it also holds special meaning because of where it was taken.

How am I honoring God with this piece?
I thank Him for the beautiful family friendship that has spanned over 14 years.  These sweet friends became grandparents to my children over countless family dinners, laughs, and strolls in this garden.  Now, she has lost her husband to cancer earlier this year.  I’m thankful for the memories and friendships of such a God-fearing couple, married 65 years.  I am in awe of His love and care on many levels.

My artistic intuition wants to explore:

What happens with the wax, just the wax and not true encaustic medium.
– I learned that at a certain point it solidifies like thick whipped cream, sticking and clumping to everything in its path.

How does one create an ombre effect?
– This was the best part, the most fun, I must say.  I learned that you can always paint over/start over.

What did I learn about intuitive painting?
– I was free to try, to play, to experiment, to add my own ideas to the work.  I found it to be way more relaxing than trying to make something that someone else has already made.  I even moved away from the traditional ombre effect and added a dash of light towards the center of the piece to remind me of the beautiful light coming through the window.

Process

  1.  I melted beeswax pellets in a double boiler on my stove top.  I melted enough for two pieces since it’s easier to use the materials when you have them melted and ready to pour.  Moose is very curious about the melting of beeswax.
  2. On my first piece, I randomly poured the wax all over and scraped into it and moved it around as I poured.  After about a minute it started to turn into that thick cream substance where it became a tad bit difficult to move and spread.  This ended up adding more texture than I thought possible.  On my second piece, I tried to make pine trees with the wax.  Turned out pretty cool.  Is still need to finish this one.

  3. Let cool for about two days, depending on how thick you pour it.
  4. I covered with two coats of Titanium white, letting each one dry completely before adding the next.

Ombre Effect

I used a couple of different colors and worked through them from light to dark across the panel.  Start with the light and move to dark so you don’t have to necessarily clean your brush between colors allowing for blending right on your piece.

Hint – be sure to pull each color down the sides as you paint.  I had to go back and do that.  😉

Take away – the acrylics over time have flaked off a bit revealing some of the white underneath.
This was a very fun and enjoyable project.  There is something about working with the wax that adds almost a meditative aspect to the process.   In the coming days, I will be going back to this piece and adding details.  Since this is my first intuitive piece, I want to hang it up for continued inspiration.  My next goal is to actually finish it.

I discovered the process from this video on YouTube.  Enjoy!