Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Encaustics inspired by flowers

Susan Sorrell-I took a weekend workshop in Encaustics and I have found I love working with wax! So for this month's theme, Flowers, I thought I would use it as my inspiration for my designs. I like taking classes in different mediums, it really makes me think out of the box. If you don't know what Encaustics are, follow this link that explains this unique and ancient medium. But basically Encaustics are pigmented waxes that can be used like paint, you can carve into it, embedded objects into the wax and make really cool collages! (some of my photos might not be the best since I took them with my phone)

Here is the set up with the waxes on a pancake griddle to keep them liquid.

This is a shot of my messy table. 

I like stylized flower designs and used these doodles as part of my inspiration for my work. I love the shape of a leaf and it ended it up in a lot of my pieces I started in that workshop. 

As I played with the wax, I started embedding shear fabrics that I has also painted with the waxes. It is fun to use porous fabrics in the wax to see how that add to the design that is already on the board. (you want to use natural fabrics because the synthetic fabrics will melt.)

I did enjoy carving into the wax and then putting wax into the grooves. When it cools, you can scrap off the wax and you have these really cool lines in your piece. 

I used a dental took to carve into the wax. 

I use the carving technique in this piece with the teal, white and light yellow lines. It makes the designs looks like they are floating on top of the piece. 

I also used flower clip art to get ideas for some monoprinting in wax designs and drawing with oil pastels on top of tissue paper. The tissue paper is laid on the griddle and you can draw on it with wax or oil crayons to get really smooth lines. After you finish your drawing, you can use it as a collage element in one of your encaustic pieces. 

To do a monoprint, an anodized aluminum plate is used to conduct heat and it helps to see the colors you will be using in your print. I was hooked on this method and did a lot of monoprints on fabrics and papers for future projects. 

If you get a chance to try Encaustics, I encourage you to take the leap. It is a lot of fun and can get addicting. For more information on Encaustics check out the R&F Paints  and YouTube. I learned a lot from watching videos on YouTube on different techniques too!


  1. Cool stuff Susan and you got some really great results!

  2. LOVE wax! So glad you're initiated into this fabulous realm! Gorgeous work. THanks for sharing.

  3. Thanks girls! It is fun and I like thinking of ways to incorporate my fiber art. :)

  4. I took my first encaustic class last November, and a weekend class this March. Love encaustics, and what you can do with it - especially adding mixed media!!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.