So You Want to Do Encaustic Painting? Page 4

Carving and Scraping

You can use your carving tools to carve lines and shapes into a layer of wax on your piece. You can use cookie cutters, stamps, dental tools - all kind of things.

You can carve lines and then use a thin brush ad paint a different color over the line and when it hardens a little, then use a razor blade to scrape away all the extraneous wax so leave a colored line.

You can also use scraping in that you can lay down a layer of blue and then use a razor blade (or other sharp-edged object) to scrape away the color until parts of the layer below it shows through. Then fuse with the heat gun. Lightly.

Other Fusing Tools

There are other fusing tools in use by encaustic artists. You'll just have to play with them to see how you like them and what you might use them for.

  • Iron. This is used for direct contact on the surface, often to make smooth surfaces.

  • Stylus. These are electric pens that have different tips that can be added to it. Some tips look like mini iron surfaces (good for working smaller areas), or round tiny irons, and some are like drawing tips or brush heads. The tips of these pens are VERY hot so be careful where you put these down and that they don't get knocked over and land on something flammable.

  • Torches. These almost go back to the old days, before appliances. But propane and butane torches are a great way to fuse wax layers, if you are careful using them. Something that has become popular lately are the torches one would use to make a creme brulee. Great for working on small areas. And sometimes, with really large encaustic paintings, a propane torch in hand is really the most effective way to fuse wax layers. But of course, these ARE torches so proper handling and care is important.

  • Solar. I don't know why I threw this one in. I guess to underscore that you can experiment. You can figure out what the optimal time would be to leave your painting in direct sunlight to do a light fusing, without making soup out of everything. Or use direct sunlight to intentionally make colored soup and see what designs result.

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