I must be easily influenced! One of my friends mentioned interest in Horseshoe Crabs and off I went to work on Horseshoe crabs. Never would I have thought to do a painting of this particular sea creature. But, it was super fun! And, I learned a little bit about them too. I am going to do a series of 3. One more to do. I actually love their shape and design. These lent themselves to the encaustic medium as a finish…and the addition of white broken shells. Both of them are done on cradled birch panel, using a combination of oil bar, watercolor and casein, encaustic and the found natural shells. Lots of fun! I just have to decide the color scheme for the last one!
Oil Pigment stick and encaustic on wood panel.
I don’t remember where I saw these oil paint sticks…oh, yep I do, one showed up in my Pigment and Palette box awhile back. Just white, and I picked it up to use it on the urchin painting….and it worked great! Then I did a little research and they looked like a lot of fun. One thing led to another and before you know it I have a starter set of colors.
Well, they are fun, but boy are they messy! My first attempt was more mess than anything. After a little more research I became a little more disciplined and set up my space so that I could keep the mess to a minimum. I decided to try them with the encaustic this time. I really like how they work. I added the first layer with my fingers (protecting my skin with gloves) and then fused the layers and used a brush to apply the pigment after that (a tiny brush, as I was working small). This set came from R&F–they are very nice. R&F Pigment Sticks Website
I think I will try a larger painting next. The great thing about this medium is, no solvents needed, no concerns of fat over lean (like oil paint) and quicker drying time. Mixes well with oil paint as well.
Sea Urchin: 4×4 panel, watercolor, encaustic, oil stick
It’s a surprisingly nice feeling when someone appreciates your work enough to actually buy it! The piece was donated to our local library fundraiser–I decided to donate my sale 100% to the library–somehow it seemed the best thing to do considering I don’t sell my work yet. It wasn’t a high ticket sale, but so nice none-the-less to have another person enjoy it.
I am working on a bunch of really tiny pieces…4×4 cradled panels. The square is an interesting challenge–so far the work all seems to go well together–sheerly by accident, but I think that they will look good hanging together. Because I can’t settle down and just keep going with one medium I am also trying out some oil paint on wood panel.
Cone Flower: 4×4 on wood panel, watercolor and colored pencil
Still experimenting with the encaustic–maybe it’s always going to feel that way. This piece I decided to just have fun with. I am starting to get the hang of the layering of color–the main image I scraped out with an old dental instrument–I was pleased with the way that worked out.
Jack-in-the-pulpit: encaustic on wood panel, 11×14
I want to move on and do a series with the cone flowers that are blooming. I have discovered that working plein air is actually pretty wonderful…but they aren’t going to last as long as I need them to!
Afternoon Shadows at Fort Point Lighthouse: SOLD!!!
Encaustic, oil pastel on cradled birch panel. 6″ x 6″
The week is going by so fast! I have so much that I still want to do, but there is plenty of time. I am pretty happy with this piece…I decided to limit myself (working on the discipline) to only using the brush. No drawing! No guidelines, just throwing it down. Trying to keep the spontaneity going. It was a good learning experience. I really like the encaustic and the oil pastel together. Oil pastel is great to work with this way, it melts beautifully on my griddle palate and with just a little beeswax medium added has a nice fluidity going on. The other nice thing about the oil pastel as opposed to the wax pigment is that it doesn’t “dry” as quickly and has some opacity. I like the way the brush stroke can be maintained.
I think that I need to get a few more brushes. The encaustic/oil pastel combination can get muddy if one isn’t careful. Mixing colors is something I would like to get better at. However, keeping the color pure and simple is forcing me to make serious decisions when putting the color down…so that is good.
On to the next project! And, I still need to get to the inktober work!
Encaustic & oil pastel: 5″ x 7″
This is my week to devote just about every day to my Art Projects. This makes me so happy. I am going to have to counsel myself not to be disappointed that I can’t get everything done that I want to. Today started slow…it’s amazing how quickly the morning gets away from you. I took some photos and decided to just play around a little–the result is this little encaustic painting of a dandelion. This afternoon I am going to work on some ink drawings for inktober (I am behind on this) and do some planning for the week. I need to get organized so I can make good use of my time. And, I need to remember to eat and walk the Big dog!
Graphite sketch in progress
I have never been keen on working on landscapes. But, this sketch changed my mind a bit. I like the perspective…from way down low. I really like the charm of this perspective–but it might just be the mushroom! The Facebook Art Journal group I belong to suggests a little fairy creature under the mushroom is begging to be added. This scares me! I am going to try it, but I don’t do figures and faces so that adds some struggle for me! And, what to do, how to do it! I am looking at resource material and considering how this might be accomplished. It won’t happen fast though. I do think that this little sketch has shown me that I can enjoy a landscape drawing or painting, I just need to make the composition dramatic in some way in order to enjoy it. I will work on finding interesting and dramatic perspectives for landscapes. And, I will broaden my mind and think about magical creatures too!
We had a particularly beautiful weekend here on the coast of Maine. Really more like August weather. John and I took advantage of the sun and warmth, took Big dog and headed out on the boat to Marshall Island for an overnight camping trip. It was awesome. We had a nice hike on the island in the morning and then scooted over to Wheat Island for some shelling. It was especially nice for Big who is always on leash to be able to run around free! He had a great time.
Marshall Island Memories: encaustic, collage on stone
The thing I like most about encaustic painting is that you always have some sort of surprise. Sometimes things work, sometimes they don’t, sometimes you can fix it. I have discovered that casein paint works really nicely on birch panel and that they encaustic works really nice over the paint. Now the experiment is to see where the balance is between ground, underpainting and encaustic painting. I enjoy both of these mediums and I am going to keep trying to find the balance to see how they can work best together. Oh, and in the end, for some reason I decided to scratch into the wax surface, liked the way that turned out! There is so much learning to do!
Here is the casein underpainting with the encaustic ground.
and here is just the casein underpainting
Graphite, tissue, encaustic
I decided to try and draw on tissue and incorporate that over the stone with encaustic. I had a failure, you just can’t overwork it. But, the first one I did actually turned out the way I wanted. I was surprised that I could do the drawing on tissue without any tearing and that the graphite didn’t smear! So, I think this will work for future pieces.
oil pastel and encaustic
I am liking using the encaustic and oil pastels together. The impressionistic look is nice and it keeps me working loose. I think I might need to embrace the fact that I do best working quickly….which might make the encaustic a good fit for me. If I take to long on anything it seems to just get overworked and to tied tight!
casein, colored pencil and encaustic
This last piece I did as a lark, casein painting with colored pencil on stone. I actually worked on this in the vertical, but I like it best in the horizontal.
Now I need to get back to my lobster claw and mussel shell casein painting on panel.
All of the sudden I decided to change it up! I think that I was inspired by this photo that I took of the super moon (I think it was July 7 or 8). The photo itself didn’t turn out, but the scene in person was pretty awesome. We had gone out on the boat with friends to watch the fireworks from the water…when I turned and looked back there was all this water churning up behind the boat and this really big moon with a super reflection. So, in order to keep the memory I did take a photo…which is working as a good reference. I think I will do several of these as paintings and drawings. The encaustic painting was really fun to do. It’s not my usual style…but I found it very liberating!
After that I decided to try a more impressionistic approach using encaustic…and the cone flower is the result. It’s a difficult medium to work with, so this is more of learning experience. I used casein to paint the ground and then worked on top of the wax medium with a combination of oil pastels and encaustic paint. I really like working on the birch panel.
I am keeping up pretty well with my 5 minutes sketches! Good warm ups.
photo encaustic: image printed on light pink tissue
While looking for something to work on for encaustic that would be easy to deal with in terms of finishing and ready to hang I came across cradled birch panel. This seems like it might be perfect for a range of work. Today I worked on some photo encaustic and that turned out pretty well. I think that these will also work for casein and even colored pencil with the right ground. The dandelions seem to be popular–so I am going to work on a bunch of these. I have had several friends respond well to these, so I will be giving some away. This will help me perfect techniques and motivate me to feel good about doing some “repeats”. The nice thing about the encaustic is that each one turns out a little different, so they are all unique.
photo encaustic on stone
Last weekend we took the boat to Isle Au Haut. It was a beautiful day for a hike and such a great spot to visit. I collected stones (some small, some large enough for encaustic) and a few shells. I found one shell that was absolutely fabulous! A rare find up on the cliffs overlooking the water. I will post that soon.
Looking forward to some time off the day job to pursue art projects.