I’ve had several people ask me about the medium of encaustic, its properties and more importantly the process and approach I use when it comes to painting. Here I’ve decided to describe (in a somewhat paired down way) my four step process using one of my paintings as an example.
I build my panels out of birch and oak. Sometimes I glue canvas to the panel but in most cases I prepare the panel with 4-6 layers of wax, pigmented with white oil paint. Each layer is fused to the next, often scraping in between to achieve a desirable texture.
I then rough in the sketch using graphite.
I begin mixing colour with oil and melted wax. The percentage of oil to wax can vary depending on the level of opacity I need. Typically I will use 30% oil to 70% wax. The wax I use is microcrystalline because of its plasticity. I lay in the colour based on a rough value plan.
The final stage utilizes different tools to apply large areas of colour, sometimes thin layers, often many thick layers, but all the while I’m fine tuning the image. The final painting does not require a preservative coating.
There really isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ model from concept to completion however, each project does utilize the four steps I’ve outlined (in varying degrees if and when necessary).
To see more of my work, please visit me @ paulgarbett.ca