Monday 25 June 2018

Experimenting with faux encaustics - DecoArt mediums

This was the panel board I made for the DecoArt Mixed Media blog and it went live in May - see it here. I have since been using this technique a lot and created a number of projects experimenting with different layers and inclusions.

Wanting to find out more about faux encaustics I read a number of articles and watched several videos. I'd really love to try the real thing but it needs space and equipment and I just don't have the room for it, but I love the effects it gives. So I thought I would give the faux method a try and experiment with some of the DecoArt mediums I have. Apparently pouring medium is good but, at the time of writing this I didn't have any. I just love the way the different layers have created real depth you have to hold it in your hands to get the feel of the texture and almost waxy finish.

I took a piece of painty card from my bits box and brushed on thickish layers of DecoArt media matte medium, heavy gel medium and clear modeling paste.

Now as my hubby would say I'm a 'want it yesterday' type of person. Now that's not to say I don't have any patience, because I do but when I'm in the moment I don't want to wait several days for things to dry thoroughly, so me - I get the heat gun out, but even with a little help it still needed to sit awhile so I got on with the project that I was inspired by. This is by Laly Mille and can be found here.

I followed her steps for encaustic inspired layering to see what I could produce, beginning with a media board sealed with gesso and some asemic writing done with a sharpie pen.

Then a grid created with a sketch and wash pencil and rubbed through with some matte medium. Don't forget I'm not exactly sure what Laly uses as she doesn't give a complete list, nor does she explain her techniques - so let's just run with it.

I left the project at this point and came back to it the next morning. The first thing I did was look at my tester sheet of the mediums. You can see from the photo below that the matte medium probably wasn't laid on thick enough and dried perfectly clear. The heavy gel medium dried shiny and doesn't have the look of wax (you can just see the reflection of the flash showing up white) whereas the clear modelling paste has that milky look which might work well for the waxy layer.

The next layer Laly used 'pastel and gel medium' so I interpreted that with my sakura chalk pastels rubbing the colours on in random areas and then 'painted' over them with the matte medium. I am in love with this 'new to me' technique for applying colour. By painting with the matte medium this should now give me a permanent layer.

Next out came the white gesso and I used a brush and my finger to apply this. The aim was to cover up some of the background and leave some exposed.

For the next layer I added some collage text papers with matte medium and sealed the whole board with it. I heat dried it and then tried a bit of an experiment of my own - I added some asemic writing using a white posca pen, blended a little gesso over the collaged areas and gave it a splattering of white gesso. I also blended ground espresso distress inks round the edges.

My intention was to next give it a coat of the clear modeling paste but before doing that I experimented again by trialling a thin coat of clear modelling paste tinted very slightly with titan buff media acrylic on a spare painty piece of card. Again I left this to dry overnight. I'm glad I did this as I think you can see from the photo the finish looks much too creamy and of course I thought afterwards the titan buff is opaque so really I need a translucent colour. (The top left hand corner didn't have any paste added to it).

So I continued with the thin clear coat on my board.


Dry. Oh my gosh I'm in love.

You can't see immediately the differences the modeling paste has made but I think you will see the subtle changes on this next photo. The board on the right has that soft tone to it as if a misty mask has been placed over it. It looks and feels amazing in real life.

I went back to Laly's steps but I'm tweaking them slightly because I am going to add a second coat of paste so I added some tissue paper in the form of an old sewing pattern, some more white asemic writing, a key word and some carving, although that didn't work too well with the circle and crosses I thought I could add some more on top of the next layer. I also highlighted some of the white areas with a little more gesso rubbed over with my finger and more ground espresso distress inks along the edges.

Finally I finished with another quite thick layer of clear modeling paste and left it overnight to fully dry. Oh my gosh I was so pleased with the results.

 I can see the depth this medium has created ......

.... it doesn't have that real waxy feel to it but it didn't self level so it has a rippled textured surface and satin feel in keeping with a wax project.

I hope you like the experiment and what was achieved.

My thanks to Laly Malle for the inspiration and thank you for stopping by.