Encaustic Art (Wax Painting).
Wax on, wax off ....
Encaustic wax painting has been around for the last 2, 500 years and was practiced by the Ancient Greeks, Romans and Egyptians.
Museums have many wax portraits painted on wood dating back to these times. Originally wax dolls used in magic for curses or cures were in fact miniature wax portraits containing a few strands of the intended recipient's hair or nail clippings. The effigy was then roasted slowly over a fire. As it melted bit by bit, so the cursed person was supposed to become more and more sick with fever. Or thorns were used to afflict a body with arthritis like pain. Yes, thorns, not pins, for once upon a time pins were considered valuable assets and it is unlikely they would be misused and burnt (as TV would have us believe!) This association with witchcraft may be why the art of rendering with wax fell out of practice with mainstream artists.
(PS to break the spell, you had to break the wax picture. Thought you might want to know.)
True ancient Encaustic painting was a process in which coloured wax was permanently burned into an absorbent backing such as plaster, canvas or some types of wood.
The modern technique of laying wax on a non-absorbent backing is today generally what is meant when Encaustic Art is mentioned. This is painting onto special non-absorbent paper with molten wax using a heated flat iron and sharpened metal scribes. It produces beautiful and unusual works with no two pieces ever the same.
Hills under the sky.
These bookmarks are made using Encaustic wax pictures set in paper frames with a plastic film over them so that the wax doesn't damage the books they are used in. The long tassels are made using metallic thread and look quite opulent!
Little Encaustic pieces make nice front plates on home made cards. Or you can frame your artwork in a glass-fronted frame. Beware, in very hot weather they can melt and stick to the glass fronting, and will crack if you try and remove them later. The wax will not accept a glaze and putting a clear contact over the picture results in air-bubbles that are impossible to remove.
Pictures can be made by carving the wax to reveal the paper underneath. Little birds are easy to do, castles, forests, animal outlines etc are harder but still look good. Heated probes can be used to put on thin lines of coloured wax, or to make marks and indents.
By going over an area with clear wax before smearing on your colours a blank space can be achieved. A picture can later be drawn with a heated probe in that area or decoupaged on - a little of the wax may have to be carefully carved off before you can stick anything on.
Here I have used the computer to place three cartoon
guys is the picture, these little 'chibi' characters are all
about to do the Macaranna!
See the fish in the top right corner?
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