Saturday, 9 March 2013

My first encaustic canvass

Cast your mind back 15 years...what were you up to? My hair was extremely short and spikey and I lived in black and purple striped tights with teeny tiny demin shorts, purple and green (hand painted) doc martins and a hand painted leather jacket!!!  (no there are no photos!!).

At this time I discovered encaustic painting.  I used to paint with wax, an iron and a paint stripper.  After a couple of years I must admit I wasn't too bad.  I was lucky enough to be awarded a permit by Bath chamber of tourism and commerce to sell them on the streets of Bath.

Wind forward 15 years and after a clearing out session I came across my old kit!  Now, I am not really into this sort of thing any more (they still look great, its my tastes that have changed) but after doing a bit of research (mostly on Cloth Paper Scissors site, SO love that magazine) I realised that I could use the clear wax blocks as a way of finishing off some of my collage work that I have been experimenting with (I have never tried collage before and I must admit I am loving the experimenting!) as an encaustic top layer.

So, a few weeks ago, my mum went to Ecuador for my brothers wedding and I took a day off work and spent it painting with my dad.  It was a fabulous day, we are both reasonably new to acrylics so we are learning things together.

I built up layers on the canvass with acrylic paints, acrylic inks and some dylusion ink sprays through a stencil.  I added some black paint through some sequin waste and distressed the edges with some vintage photo distress ink.

I then added some torn vintage music paper (again dyed with DI) and adhered them with multi medium.

I stamped the heart and the saying onto tissue paper (I am constantly saving tissue paper when I find any...on birthday gifts, wrapped round cosmetics....if its free I try to use it!!) and once again stuck it to the canvass. The tissue paper literally "disappears" into the canvass and you hardly notice the edges at all!

I added some charcoal around the music paper and heart to add a little depth.

I then melted the encaustic wax with my iron and dripped it all over the canvass.  Once covered I then ironed the piece to smooth all the waxed layers and gave it a final buff to bring out the shine.

For a first attempt I am quite pleased I will definitely do it again. My dad painted a fabulous blue canvass which he later added stamped flowers and butterflies onto.  It was a great day and one I hope to be able to do again.



  1. This is gorgeous Kyla, though I am struggling to imagine you with the stripey witches tights and shorts. Do you still have the DMs? If they are a size 4 I will wear them for you. Love mine!!
    So nice that you were able to share your love of art with your Dad.

    1. Sam, no they finally fell apart after years of wear! May see if I can find a photo to show you when we next meet (not promising though!) Lol!


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