Acrylic, Oil Pastel and Encaustic: Close-Up

Close-Up: Working with Wax by Kim Flora

Encaustic can be used as both a paint and an adhesive (for collage elements that are primarily paper), as in Starlight and the Harbor (mixed media and encaustic, 24x30). Like many of my pieces, this work combines collage elements, oil paint and oil pastel, as well as encaustic. Each layer visually recedes or comes forward in varying places.

I began Starlight and the Harbor with the idea of creating a work that would abstractly interpret a body of water and the night sky. Additionally, I was interested in creating a piece that would evoke the same energy and spirit as an earlier work, Earthscape with Net Hanging from a Boat (see The Artist’s Magazine, May 2011). To do this, I employed a similar palette—almost all blues in a wide value range from very light to very dark—and dynamic mark making.

A I began the painting by layering scraps of digital paper printouts and R&F opaque encaustic gesso to create a collaged surface as the ground. I then applied both transparent and pigmented encaustic to the collaged layer, using a natural-hair brush and fusing the encaustic layers with a heat gun—creating both depth and density in the background.

B I covered the entire piece with a thin wash of oil paint, Daler-Rowney Georgian Prussian blue.

C Using a dry brush, I applied Prussian blue oil paint in a denser fashion. I also used a ribbon cutter aggressively to scrape away passages to reveal the translucent blue and lavender layers beneath.

D To the surface I applied Sennelier deep-yellow oil pastel, which I smudged with my fingers and further manipulated, using mineral spirits and a brush to soften the edges. The gray line work running throughout the piece was created with oil pastel as well.

Read more about my technique for making and using encaustic in the May 2011 issue of The Artist’s Magazine.

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Related articles

Painting with Encaustic

Mixed Media Encaustics by Kim Flora


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