Thursday, July 2, 2015

Encaustic Painting Process, Draw-Through Printing and Tissue Paper

Kiss (detail)
encaustic, paper and ink on birch
Trying old techniques in a new way again - this time a printing technique called draw-through printing.  Keeping things fresh and loose in art can sometimes be a challenge for me.  This little chickadee is a detail from a larger modular painting.  I've been revisiting some techniques I learned a while back and finding it really fun.  Thanks to the wonderful Stephanie Hargrave for being the inspiration. 

The drawings are done on tissue paper and then put into the encaustic painting.  Its a fun process and because of its nature, it keeps the drawings loose and fresh.  The first step is to get together all the things needed
  1. printing ink - I used Akua, but there are other printing inks that work great like Daniel Smith printing inks. 
  2. Glass palette
  3. brayer
  4. bamboo skewer
  5. tissue paper

Step One - roll out the ink with the brayer - can't stress enough that it needs to be a thin layer. Think thin to win!
Step Two - gently place the tissue paper on top of the rolled out ink and weight the edges so it will not move when you do your drawings.
Step Three - Use the bamboo skewer, or end of a paint brush handle or even your finger nail - and draw.  Being careful not to touch the paper to hold it otherwise you will have finger prints which is ok, but just be mindful where they are.  You will see your line showing through the tissue as you draw your shapes. 
Step Four - carefully peel up the tissue from the printing plate and turn it over.  You will see your designs printed on the tissue. 

You can see in this photo the "noise" created in the print where the tissue stuck to the ink other than where the lines were drawn.  I don't mind a little bit of noise in the print.  A lot of noise creates a whole another look to the print.

Step Five - once the prints are dry - burnish the tissue into an encaustic painting and gently heat.  The white tissue will magically disappear into the wax and will leave only the printed lines showing.  Cover with a protective layer of wax and the tissue will totally blend into the artwork
 Noisy print on the left and only just a little noise on the right
As a side note, I did find that the tissue I was using had a shiny or hard side and a matte or soft side.  I found the hard side would stick to the ink in places that I really didn't want it to, thus, creating "noise" in the print like on the left above.  The soft side of the tissue would allow for the fine lines to show through without too much stickage (noise). I would re-brayer the inked area after every print, not necessarily adding more ink until I really needed it.  Its fun to do several when you have everything out - lots of different shapes and designs.  That way when you are ready to put the drawings into your artwork, there are lots of choices to layer and have fun with.  I'm also assuming it would work with a gel medium on an art journal page or other artwork than encaustic. 
Good luck and have fun.  Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Buzz, Honey Bees, Encaustic Painting

Encaustic on panel 6x24
I have a bush in my yard that the bees adore.  Its full of little tiny flowers that dance above the lush green leaves in a cloud of white.  The perfume of these flowers is what draws them in.  When I stand and listen, my ears fill with a buzz and a hum from all the tiny wings beating in a faint rhythm.  The busy bees are gathering pollen to return to their hive.  They are covered in a sweet yellow haze as they fly away.  The bush is beginning to fade now, but the bees will continue until their job is done and they move on to another yard.  They are mostly honey bees, but there are a few bumble bees too which are my favorites for painting.  Happy Friday everyone!
encaustic 6x24

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Inspiration Today, Studio Happenings and Work in Progress: 159

Beauty in the simple and beauty in random pattern
love this mosaic

Here's what I am finding inspiring today -
  1. These paintings by Fay Jones
  2. Gwen Davidson 
  3. The level of creativity of the art by Ruby Silvious
  4. The amazing use of bioengineering by this company and how they are helping to save Rhinos
  5. My new Pandora radio station - based on the music of Twin Forks
What are you finding inspiring today?

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Unexpected Visitor, Chirping and Sparrow

encaustic on birch 6x6
Today I had the most amazing visitor - a little sparrow was hopping around in my living room.  I was in the kitchen and heard a chirping sound.  I came around the corner to find a sweet little sparrow hopping about.  She was chirping away and happy as could be and didn't seem to have a care in the world.  I opened the patio door to help her to find her way back outside.  She was in no hurry to leave and hopped under chairs and around and under the tables.  She never took flight, just hopped and sang.  I followed around and gently talked to her encouraging her to see the open door and her freedom.   She eventually made her way to the door and flew back to her life outside.  So sweet. 
Happy Friday everyone!
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