The challenges – to use drybrush technique for adding background texture and to use eggshells in the collage. I wanted to see what kind of texture I could make by simply applying the encaustic paint on quickly with a brush as it cooled. I knew that I would have to be careful of not to overfuse the paint otherwise it would all bleed together into a puddle. I applied a layer of white encaustic paint, first in one direction (horizontally), did a quick fuse, and then brushed another layer of paint in a different direction (vertical). I did this about four times (2X each direction).
You can see from the close-up picture that the resulting texture resembles a coarse, linen-like texture. The brush strokes are clearly visible, and there is a good sense of depth.
I wanted to highlight the texture even further with colour, so I applied Sap Green oil paint directly to the wax using my fingers. It was a bit tricky to get the paint into all of the grooves.
Next, I removed excess oil paint from the panel using linseed oil and paper towels. This really helped to showcase the texture of the dry brush technique. I applied a thin layer of clear encaustic medium (EM) to seal in the colour.
I felt that the colour was a nice Spring green, so I looked through my stash of printed napkins for something with suitable colours and images. The one I choose also had an ornate border which I thought would be good to use as a border on the painting.
I also wanted to try using eggshells in my work (again, keeping with the Spring theme), so I quickly cracked an egg into a glass (save it for cooking up later), rinsed the ‘goo’ off, and peeled off the membrane. I heated the surface of the wax gently, and then pushed the eggshells along the bottom of the panel to make a second border.
I used my Kandi Hot Wax stylus with the pen nib head attached to write words into the wax. I found a lovely Spring Haiku poem on the web by Anonymous:
I used Quinacridone Magenta and Ultramarine Violet Purple oil paints to smoosh into the carved words and also into the eggshells.
After removing the excess oil paint with linseed oil and paper towels, you can clearly see the words from the Haiku poem written into the surface. I decided to repeat writing in the poem a few times since I wasn’t sure what be left visible to read after I added the other collage elements on top.
Using the flowers from the printed napkin, I added the purple lilacs and yellow daisies to the surface, using clear EM to fuse them into the work. I also added a purple feather to add some more texture and colour to the ‘bouquet’ (a feather seemed appropriate for the eggshells). After a few more layers of clear EM to tie everything together, I used a silver gliding pen to write the words of the Haiku poem directly onto the surface, since by now most the words had almost disappeared beneath the collage pieces. I also used the silver pen to add some ‘bling’ to the pattern in the border as well.