Watch and Learn: Encaustic Collage

encaustic collage
My first encaustic collage.
Not bad, but I have a lot to learn

cate coulacos pratoIt has been a very fruitful summer at my house: we have enjoyed a bumper crop of family togetherness featuring heavenly vistas; friendly animal encounters; and diversions of the antique, artistic, and culinary kind.

But as much as I've enjoyed this summer, I'm looking forward to fall. I prefer the cooler weather, and we can get back to our regularly scheduled programming: the structure of school and college for my daughters, which makes for more predictable days for me.

I love "back to school" time. Not just because of freshly sharpened pencils and new clothes, but because it heralds the season of learning and possibility. For the past 14 years I've lived that excitement through my children's school days. But this year, I plan to do some structured learning myself.

My initial focus is going to be on encaustic. After starting a few projects this spring, I was on a roll for a while until the summer heat and a dwindling encaustic medium supply put my education on hold.

Now, I'm going to go back-to-school shopping at the local art store and invest in encaustic paints, wax medium, and tools, with a stop at the discount store for an electric skillet I can dedicate to the process. Papers, fabrics, found objects, and pieces of wood I already have in abundance.

encaustic collage
Encaustic collage by Amy Stoner.

As for my lessons, I learn best when someone can show me what to do. So, I'm starting with Amy Stoner's video Cloth Paper Scissors WorkshopTM "Encaustic Collage: Layers with Beeswax."

I've watched her video before, but each time I do, I learn new things.

encaustic collage
Some back-to-school tools I'll need.

For example, the first couple of times I made an encaustic collage, I got so excited that I laid down my papers without gluing them down to the substrate first, the way Amy suggests. You don't have to do this; the wax will "glue" them. But small pieces of paper are apt to float around when you apply the wax if you don't glue them first. This happened to me, and it was frustrating.

Another tip I picked up on a second viewing was not to use coated or glossy papers. Their weight and the coating make it difficultif not impossiblefor the wax to penetrate them. Note to self: next time print those images on tissue or even regular copy paper.

As you can see, I have a lot to learn. And encaustic is just the beginning. I plan to draw more, work on my collage layering skills, and broaden my art journaling technique repertoire. My back-to-school shopping is definitely going to include downloading WorkshopTM videos. They're like instant art school.

P.S. What art skill are you looking forward to learning more about this fall? Leave a comment in the space below.


Blog, Encaustic, Mixed-Media Techniques


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