After posting a few photos of my process when creating an encaustic painting I got a great response, so I thought I'd try it here on my blog.
One painting can have as many as 20, with others only 10 to 12. The first layer is always the gesso and I like to cover my boards myself. If I'm in a mood to work textured I can easily create a few bumps and dips to make it suit me.
The gesso is a very special porous one made specifically for painting with encaustic medium. The surface must be very porous to absorb the wax. Acrylic gesso WILL NOT work. It has a polymer base which is plastic and works as a sealer. I order mine from RFPaints. Some artists paint directly on the raw wood, this works well, and saves a step, but I like the bright white surface.
Here is my board with 2 layers of gesso, and one of india ink loosely painted with a small brush.
The next two layers are clear encaustic medium with no pigments added. Even if I want a textured piece I scrape the surface with a razor blade on these early layers. I now have 4 layers and haven't really begun to paint.
I don't plan my colors at the beginning. I like to intuitively look at those lovely colors of hot
wax and randomly choose. These first few layers will covered over so any colors will do. It's
a nice surprise sometimes as I'm scraping through layers to find a wild color combo that I
just love. This is the beauty of the encaustic process. After a few more colorful layers it's time
to get serious. I move the colors that I plan to use and put them to one side of my palette.
I really like the way this blue and coral look side by side on my palette. So these will be a good starting point. I'll continue my demo on the next blog post.