This is the final panel of the encaustic series. It’s been an interesting journey dipping my toes back into melted wax. I’ve learned a number of new tips and tricks, many of which are best summarised in my recent post on my companion website atelierartisanal.com. I also have understood how important it is to protect my own health. The fumes arising from the melted varnish (which is combined with the beeswax to create the medium) are bad enough but then you also need to avoid oxidizing whatever solvent you may be using – even so called “bio-solvents”. By the end I was wearing a vapour mask from outer space as well as goggles. No gloves or hazmat suit, though. 😉
Thematically this panel was an important one: one-quarter of my face, plus part of the neck and shirt of the lady standing behind me. I had left it for the end, knowing the subtlety that would be required for those precious skin tones. And even though I did have an electrified painting nib, I did not use it(!). Instead I discovered that small bright bristle brushes (held together by a metal ferrule), could be warmed on the palette so that the paint would retain its fluidity a few seconds longer. Of course, this tended to destroy the bristle brushes but it is well known that encaustic eats brushes. So I just buy plenty of cheap bristles and throw them away when death is nigh.
I am pleased with the way the skin tone shaped up. Lots of small strokes which allowed the green underpainting to poke through here and there. That mottling became contrasted to the long strokes of black for my shirt, blue for the lady’s shirt or the waves of the linen jacket. I used my electrified drawing nib for all the fine, linear details. See for example my necklace. In the end it reads well and I am happy to move on the fifth and final series of this overall project: oil.
Are you sure you are not a Chemical Engineer on top of all your other gifts and talents, El?! What an amazing journey this encaustic process has been. I still want to see all the ‘pieces’! Take care and be safe! Love, Kin P.S. When are you coming back to CA? I am moving soon. I purchased a condo 8 minutes up the road closer to Ginny. New address as of November something will be: Ms. Kinney deHamel 686 North Creek Drive Painesville OH 44077
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Well actually, up until maybe the mid 19th century, you had to be a bit of a chemist to practice the craft of making art. Technological advances have meant that artists don’t need to know diddly about the nuts and bolts of their own materials. Yeah, I’m looking forward to the whole picture, too!
CA probably late Jan or early Feb? We’ll see. Your new condo sounds great! Hope you have a little more room for yourself and Daisy. But I know it is important for you to be near Gin and the kid-os. Enjoy your move and the new place!
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