Sunday 7 February 2016

2016 Topic 3: Wax {Challenge}

 2016 Topic 3: Wax

(Pic credit: Nancy Crawford)

Well hello everyone, Leandra here

I have always loved wax as a medium, it encompases such a wide range of ideas to explore in a crafty sense: decorated candles, wax dipped collages, encaustic art, and the use of pigment crayons within these waxy compositions to add colour, such as Neocolours, Portfolios, Gelatos, and the Crayola Slick Stix I recently learned about. 

This topic might be new to many of you, but i think the skills you already have lend themselves to working with beeswax in ways you might not have thought of before. Tissue paper is key, but so are any vintage papers very useful or even your own painted creations!

Before we start, let's see who won the Topic 2: Hearts...

Hi, Darcy here. wow so many fabulous entries. This challenge really fired you up, I guess love is in the air. It is amazing to see how hearts can be made to all look so different, stamps, cut outs, die cuts, boxes,art dolls, journals and wall hangings. The range of colours was brilliant too, from traditional pinks and reds through to very muted shades. For us designers it is great to see you using so many of the stamp collections too. 

The winner of the 'Hearts' Challenge is: Magia  from Magia Crafts

Email Darcy to claim your prize.

Leandra back with you... 

SO lets jump in and show you some waxy ideas. This encuaustic process doesn't have to be complicated ...sometimes maybe less is more!

Lets talk about encaustic art. From my very limited understanding it seems that you need a base layer (wax medium), and then you build on that with thin layers of wax, fusing layers together with a soft zap. Into these layers you can gouge, scratch and make marks, use pencils, inks, oil colours or liquid-wax pigments all to create so many different effects. You can apply mica powders for shine, and transparent printed layers (tissue) can be invisibly trapped just revealing the words or patterns on the tissue. It must be possible to use stencils too, I am convinced that much of what we do on paper can translate easily.

Here is a fairly basic video showing colour mixing on layers, and the traditional hot palette set up, but I have short cuts for this type of thing (melt pot/ gelatos/ portfolios etc), I certainly don't think you need to go the whole hog, but at least grasp the principle of layering and using colour with Hot Cakes, a wax that is heavily pigmented and you use to 'paint' with. 

It's the textures that fascinate me, and I think you need to look at some wax art pieces to get an idea of composition. For example this Laly Mille did this example below after just  a couple of weeks of experimenting, do go and read her blog post here! She started with abstract watercolour drawings, then added layers of wax!

So check our Laly Mille, she uses a really minimalist colour palette, black white and ochre, to build simple collages on MDF and scratches back into layers in a mark making manner, This style and colour palette I LOVE! here is the whole piece (8x8") . Here is her Pinterest Board too.

If this concept floats your boat, then these articles may be helpful on getting started in encaustic from Mixed media Art website:

Lets run through some other encaustic works that you may find inspirational...

A collage of found elements, including a zip

Pamela Wallace at John Davis Gallery

Judith Kindler seems to work with photos, resin, encuastic and more...
this one caught my eye

I'm not sure if this is a photo transfer, or a printed photo

cannot source the origin of this but it looks like shaved layers to me!

Donna Downey got into encaustic art early last year too, you can read her post here...

And another

Oh go on, one more from Donna!

Closer to home, here is one from Sanda Reynolds
I think she may teach in London, or online anyway...

So lets move onto crayons, the water soluble kind. On the market now are...

Gelatos (Faber Castell) pk 12 about £17
Lipstick like delivery

Portfolio Oil Pastels (Crayola), Pk 24 about £14
Traditional paper-wrapped crayon style

Slick Stix (child friendly, crayola)
Twistable pen with cap Pk 12 about £10

Neocolours (caran D'ache) Pk15 about £18
traditional paper-wrapped crayon style
Distress Crayons (Ranger Industries)
Twistable Pen with cap. Pkt 6 about £13

All these products are watersoluble crayons, they can be melted into paper with a heat tool to make them more permanent once they melt into the sucky surface...

...they can be mixed with glazes to make them more permanent glaze, great for backgrounds like in this tag where they were washed over washi, and used on the tissue paper to colour the Lynne Perrella Stamp. can easily colour images AFTER stamping and heat setting the image, and blend them by smudging together, or wetting with a damp brush to blend and layer...

I find having a white one quite handy as you can use that to soften any other colours, such as softening the yellow area below. Most of these images are from show demos we were doing early 2012 with the portfolios, often with Lynne Perrella stamps as it was she who in 2011 taught us all about them at an ArtsyCrafts event. She particularly liked the portfolios for their great value compared to other brands, and the vivid colours. I had only used Neocolous up until that point.

Of course they are lots of fun through stencils too as you create backgrounds, and if you blend/ smudge them with a glaze instead of water (thanks to Jean, @MusicScrp on twitter for this awesome tip!), you then automatically make them permanent as you work which is so useful if you want them to stay put as you add more layers to your work.

This is a sample of white Portfolio through a stencil, the cool thing I worked out was when you lift the stencil, the white can look a bit meh. But if you zap it with a heat tool  the crayon seems to plump up, and you get an embossed effect, which is very cool...I don;t know if all crayons do that or not!

You can see the effect on the blue stencilling at the bottom of this sample...

There is a really informative blog post I did here on Portfolios from January 2012, check it out as I have explained the steps pretty thoroughly. (Funnily enough I had forgotten I used glazes back then to seal the work!)

Lastly I leave you with this gorgeous video from Nancy Crawford. It's a beautiful story, but it also shows a myriad of techniques within encaustic. We are familiar with so many of the techniques she uses, with encaustic wax as the medium that she embeds into. I would love to learn more about this medium, but the basic principles can probably be adapted with tools we have already around us already. For example a melt pot is a great start!

Summary....  Have fun!

Don't forget to follow my Pinterest page if this topic pushes your buttons, you will see plenty more examples to whet your appetite there! 

I am really looking forward to seeing what you create over the next 2 weeks! I hope some of you already have encaustic skills to share with us, or are keen to give it a go!


2016 Topic 3: Wax PaperArtsy Blog Challenge

We'd love you to share your ideas and link up your creative response to our current blog topic. Take a minute to read the challenge guidelines below.

All links go in the draw to win a voucher to spend on products of your choice from the PaperArtsy online store. The WAX link will close 17:00 (London Time) Sunday, Feb 21st, winner will be announced 2 hours later at 19:00.

1. The challenge is a for you to show how you are inspired by the current blog topic.

Your entry should contain:
- a mention of which post inspired you and why, and 
- a link in your blog post to that original post on the PA blog.

The whole concept of this challenge is 'play along with us'. You are encouraged to put your own twist on ideas you see on our blog, do your own thing - whatever grabs you!

2. The link you put on our linky page must lead directly to the specific post on your blog where you have explored the technique/ idea mentioned in point 1 above. Don't link to the home page of your blog.

3. We prefer your challenge blog post is created exclusive to our challenge, but if our topic fits perfectly with another challenge, then you may link to both if appropriate.

4. You are most welcome to use stamps/ products/ substrates you have to hand from a variety of companies, we do not expect you to exclusively use PA products - it's lovely when you do though!

6. You can enter as many times as you like. We don't want to restrict your creativity! 
NB. Link closes at 17:00 Sunday Feb 21st, London Time.

7. The winner of the random draw will receive a £50 credit voucher to be redeemed on the PaperArtsy Website. The credit voucher includes VAT and postage. We request that one of your purchases is an A5 rubber stamp. You can add any other items to your basket, but the final total should not exceed £50.

8. Each fortnight on Sunday, the winner will be announced at 19:00 (London time). In the same post, the link for the next fortnight will be posted. 

9. It's your responsibility to claim your prize coupon from Darcy. 

Good Luck! If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask!


Helen said...

Well done Magia. Interesting topic too. Will watch the videos after dinner

Miriam said...

What a fabulous topic.....I haven't used wax for ages so this will give me a good excuse to get it out and play!

Well done to Magia for being selected as the random winner of the last challenge.

Helen said...

Well done Magia. Interesting topic too. Will watch the videos after dinner

Hazel Agnew said...

Congrats to Magia.....wax.......whirring mind.......can get the melting pot out again! Exciting! Thanks Leandra....missed Periscope tonight! X

Kirsten said...

Congrats to Magia. Very interesting topic for challenge no. 3.

Jo said...

WAX, ahhhhhh, so EXCITED!!!!

Deborah Wainwright said...

Love this topic and love wax. I've been been playing with it a lot in craft so cannot wait to get started. X

Craftyfield said...

I am in 2 minds about this topic! Somewhere between excitement and panic... A good thing the DT's will provide some inspiration!

Ruth said...

Fabulous topic and so many wonderful examples. Ruth x

sally said...

I found this post so interesting, Leandra! Not something I would rush off and do myself, but so fascinating to see all the possibilities and the beautiful examples. . . . . and the introduction to Nancy Crawford was GREAT -- I loved her video and now can't stop looking at others she's made. Gorgeous work, she does! Thanks for the introduction!
Talk to you soon -- and thank you for all the tremendous amount of very hard work over the past days with all the videos and scopes!
Love to you and Mark - Sally xoxoxox

Lin said...

wow what a topic!! love the videos and so hope I get time to join in with this one xx

Anonymous said...

Such a fabulous topic. I haven't dabbled with wax for a wee while, think it could be time to re-acquaint myself once again!
Thank you for such a bounty of inspiration.
Lynne said...

Now this has my creative mototor revving Leandra.

Catie Cuddles said...

A very interesting topic ... got my thoughts buzzing. Interestingly I would never have thought about gelatos as a wax though. Wonder what I will come up with.
Catherine x

Jane said...

Now this really is a different challenge theme...I have never used wax but I do own a set of Gellotos...looking forward to seeing what the DT share x

Etsuko said...

Congrats to Magia. A very interesting topic 3 and great samples. xx

Angelnorth said...

Lots of lovely inspiration! I decided to try walking before running though and kept it small and simple! Thanks for the prompt to try playing with something new.

Suzanne C said...

Leandra I have really been enjoying your posts / challenges it has been very inspiring to see what you pull into the challenge as well as the beautiful art from the DT showcasing the techniques!

Anonymous said...

Hello I just found this but I think it’s awesome and I know a lot of the artist to who you’re referring to. Some of your ideas are awesome. Sometimes you just get stuck in one way and you just need to push and you did it for me. I can’t thank you I hope you keep in touch with me.