I’m excited to be participating in the 2019 Art & Soup fundraiser event for the Community Nursing Services. April 3rd and 4th at the Salt Palace in downtown Salt Lake City.
Encaustic is a process of heating beeswax with damar resin (crystalized tree sap) and adding pigments creating a painting. It was used as early as the first century A.D. in Egypt to create funeral paintings and decorate warships. I enjoy its unpredictable nature. When heating the wax the colors tend to bloom and move around unlike oils or watercolor. Also layering wax gives a “ghost” image underneath so you, as the viewer, are not really sure what I used to make the finished product.
Wax medium is added to oil paint while still on the pallet which creates a frosting-like texture. I especially enjoy applying this mixture with pallet knives and large print squeegees. I use this mainly in my more abstract paintings because it gives me freedom to move across the panel in a layering and subtraction technique. I also like to utilize larger panels, such as 48" square panels, because I find myself moving more in the studio to get up close and far away while checking for balance in composition.
It's amazing to me how versatile watercolor can be depending on the water-to-pigment ratio. You can layer light washes to create depth and glow, pool water and drop in paint for a gradation of color, or pull pigment straight out of the tube for an opaque statement. Watercolor never ceases to surprise me.
This can be a very challenging surface to paint on. Yupo paper is actually a polypropylene plastic. Because the surface is smooth and non-absorbent, the watercolor and ink liquid sit on top. It can take hours for the pigment to dry but that is half the fun. If you put it in the sun or a warm place, the color will dry in rings which creates a fun look. Also, if you are unhappy with the way it's turning out, you can run a wet cloth over the top and wipe it clean.
Figure painting is challenging because the human figure is so complicated. The more interesting the lighting, the more fun it is to paint. The human face is interesting and diverse. Depending on which medium I'm using it can be a quick sketch or a complicated commission.