Friday, November 4, 2011

Portraits::Getting the Colors Right in Encaustic Wax

 Portraits have become my new thing.  Can't even really explain it.  Among all the way important things that go into portrait painting the one that trips me up the most is the color.
In encaustic painting there are similarities and differences in tinting color.  The first big difference of course it we're talking HOT WAX here.
I'm teaching myself - so I am finding palette color answers in books and from the examples of work I can find on the Internet.
So, I study and create color palettes in wax on my hot griddle.
This is tough - mixing on the griddle is OK but there is a problem with the quantity of paint.  Mixing in tins or some sort of vessel is hard too - I get the quantity - but the color tweaking is really tough.
So, I got this bright idea.  What if I mixed all the colors in oil paint and then used them to tint the wax. 
Using oil paint is one method of tinting wax with pigment.

If you choose this method it is of the utmost importance to let the paint sit on a paper towel at least overnight.  This allows oils in the paint to be absorbed by the paper.  If you don't do this, you run the risk of getting too much oil in the wax which compromises its ability to harden and dry.

After the overnight oil weeping - the paint is ready to add to the hot wax.  Now, there is another rule:  no more than 30% pigment in the wax.  I really honestly have no idea how to measure that.  I totally guessed. 
I decided to err to the less paint side - just in case.
I used a muffin tin - Teflon coated so the wax comes out easily.  Incidentally I used these tins when I make my medium - so they were already full of medium.
On the top of each unheated wax round, I used a palette knife and transferred the paint to the top of the wax.  One color, one wax round.  As the wax melted, the paint slowly heated up and then sunk to the bottom of the tin for easy mixing.
Gave everything a stir so the paint would melt into and incorporate into the wax.

 I popped them out after they were hard. 
I figure from here I can tint on the hot palette to lighten or darken the shades as I need. 

I'm a newbie to this, so I'm not really sure if I mixed the colors I need.  Or, if for goodness sake I've overestimated the paint/wax ratio of 30%.  But, its a start and will see how it goes.
Any encaustic painters out there, please kindly comment.  I would love to hear your thoughts.

1 comment:

  1. wonderful blog , greetings from brussels


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