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Calla Lily #3 July 30, 2009

Posted by Beth in Art, Personal.
Tags: ,

This morning I played hooky from packing for a camping trip in order to  to work on my calla lily series.  I really want more time to myself these days–and it was a pleasant treat to squeeze this in.

Yet another technique variation–though this didn’t occur on purpose.  After my first calla lily encaustic, I embedded three other photos as prep to painting over them.  Here is currently what 2 of them look like:

encaustic cala plant 004 encaustic leaf

The third I can’t show you because it is what I painted over.  Yesterday’s painting had no overcoat of clear wax. Instead, once I had pressed the photo onto a bed of wax, I used the encaustic paints directly on the photo. Today, there was a coat of clear wax upon which I put the color. When I went to fuse the layers with the heat gun, the clear wax underneath also melted–and as pigment is denser than the wax, the clear wax has a tendency to float to the top disrupting the color in odd places. I had to do a lot of touch up to the black areas…which made the surface irregular…which required more melting to smooth it out. This made the colors of the flower melt more and loose some of their definition. The end result is irregular, but still rather striking (or at least I think so.)

This time I also tried painting all the white areas first, and them doing a preliminary fusing. This is because white melts at a higher temperature. Yesterday I had trouble with the other colors getting too runny and starting to flow into each other before the white was sufficiently melted.  Getting the right sequence of colors and melting will take some experience.

The other struggle I had was trying to get a good photo of my end result. Because the surface still is not very smooth, the ambient light catches in odd spots and reflecting back to create areas of white where there really are none on the piece.  If I take the photo in  low light, the result is grainy.  Using a flash is a disaster.

Here’s the best I could accomplish–with the original photo on the right for comparison:

encaustic plant c 001 Calla Lily 001

The camera is doing some funny things to the colors because in the actual painting, the leaves are much more green and less yellow which is more pleasing to me.

There are some other tricks in encaustic which I can experiment with–like carving into a ground layer of wax (that’s called intarsia), then filling in the carved areas by painting over them with another color and finally scraping away the excess (see Lisa’s explanation here on Intarsia.) But for now, I will forge ahead on this series, concentrating on color mixing and the sequence of my fusings.

Post series: New Project,   Calla Lily #2,  Calla Lily #3,  Calla Lily #4 Back to Encaustics


1. George Yotov - April 6, 2010

Nice technique! Did you know you could learn an easy trick how to make any photo better looking at http://www.phototouchup.net ?

2. Back to Encaustics « AisA Academy - June 7, 2011

[…] series: New Project,   Calla Lily #2,  Calla Lily #3,  Calla Lily #4,  Back to […]

3. Calla Lily #2 « AisA Academy - June 7, 2011

[…] Calla Lily #3 « AisA Academy – July 30, […]

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