Substrate Selection

One of the fun parts of starting an encaustic project is selecting what surface you will be working on. This selection process combines practical and artistic criteria, in some ways you are already starting the composition by determining the space you will be working with. Let me introduce just some of the myriad of choices…

Surface Preparation

“He who is best prepared can best serve his moment of inspiration.”
—Samuel Taylor Coleridge

One of the things I love about the encaustic medium is the way each piece tells me where it wants to go at some point in its creation. Having said that, there is a certain amount of order that I like to impose, especially at the beginning. In order to get your project off to a great start you will want to consider the variety of ways that you can prepare the surface. This is something that you can do in batches when you are feeling brain-dead or too tired to do the more intensive creative parts of the process.

Edge Preparation

One of the ways that you can save yourself a lot of time is to prepare the edges of your panels in advance. One of your options is to paint the edges of your works in a dark colour to have them visually recede. Other options will be discussed in this video.
Protecting the Edges
Unless your plan for your encaustic work extends onto the sides of the panel you will want to paint and tape the edges prior to starting your waxwork.  This way you can avoid the agony of cleaning off stray wax drips that are otherwise unavoidable.

Creating a Practice Panel

“If art is the bridge between what you see in your mind and what the world sees,
then skill is how you build that bridge.”
—Twyla Tharp

One comment that I’ve heard repeatedly relates to the expense of encaustic medium and therefore the cost of wasted materials while we are practising the all important art of fusing. One way that I’ve found to mitigate this is to have a practise panel; an unprimed wood panel to which you apply your wax, work on your fusing technique, melt the wax back into the pot…and repeat. This way you still have all your encaustic medium at the end, plus you are building up those fusing skills which are essential.

Be sure to check out the video entitled Applying Wax and Fusing in the Bonus Material section. It includes some great footage in raking light that shows both the laying down and fusing of wax. It’s a nice complement to the video below.

© 2017 Personal Renaissance Coaching Inc