Friday, September 27, 2013

Have a Little Sake With Your Hake

Well, no, you might really make a mess!

I recently started exploring with encaustic, which is using beeswax. A serious encaustic artist will use beeswax with color in it to create artwork, by fusing each color in layers. So far I am using it as an experiment on acrylic paint. Hake brushes are the best to use, as they are natural animal hair; brushes made from synthetic hairs will usually loose bristles over time and you will be left with a mess. I love these brushes with the bamboo handles and they were very inexpensive. I bought my brushes at Daniel Smith Artist Supplies. There are several other kinds of Hake brushes with long wooden handles, but I enjoy the artistic look of these brushes.

That's the next piece I will be working on, underneath the brushes. 

I have found that A) if the paint has only been dry for a little while, the wax will stretch it and cause it to move apart, creating a worn look on your piece, and B) if you leave the paint to cure on your piece for a few days (and put a layer of Polymer Medium on it), you can paint with the beeswax and the paint will not come up.

I did this the using the A) technique. It's mixed media/collage piece using the cover of a 1931 French magazine, acrylic paint, part of an antique European playing card, an old photo from my stash and a watch face with a large spinner arrow attached. I also used clay beads on the left top. You can see how the beeswax moved the paint. 

One more thing to share with you, if you are interested in learning about encaustic, I found this book the easiest to understand, even though I am not doing it to this degree yet.

Click on any photo you would like to see closer!
Come see my latest postcards I've received on Postcards Buffet!


  1. I love the look of encaustic, I hope to try it one day. Is it very messy, and what about the fumes? I only ask because of all the cats, as I don't have a workspace they can, ahem, how shall I say, be excluded from.

    1. I don't find it messy, and the only odor is a soft "waxy" smell of the beeswax. Use the organic kind. I am using the natural, which has a soft yellowish color, but I also hope to try the white soon

  2. Thanks Rebecca, I don't feel so intimidated by encaustic now. I love the look so much. Cheers.


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