This week I had big excited plans to use a new set of soft pastelsI had ordered on an encaustic surface . I have enjoyed using Pan Pastels on encaustic for many years , and although I have played around with other soft pastels for accents here and there, I hadn't attempted an entire landscape on an encaustic surface using another brand.
I excitedly ordered a beautiful set of Sennelier soft pastels as this is the other brand of soft pastels I had mostly played around with here and there and loved their vibrancy and softness.
They are super yummy for sure!
However there is an adapting process like no other medium when working with encaustic and different pigments. Every medium has their preferred substrate. The ones they work best with , look best with , the substrate that allows them to show off their best attributes. Encaustic differs from a lot of mediums because it is softer. You can scrape in to it , scratch it . Once applied to the board it "becomes the surface" you are working on . You are not just working on Paper , canvas, board. You are working on wax .
My initial desire was to work with the pastels the way they were intended. The encaustic surface is not the sandpaper like substance that works best with pastels , but a slightly warmed surface would grip a very soft pastel of that I was certain. But how much ?
A fully cured surface would be not as easily scratched by the pastels , but after adding just one layer of pigment it would need to be fused and heated ,
Well, sometimes I see something in my mind so clearly but the application is missing pieces to the puzzle. Such is the case with these pastels. I am still convinced they can be used alone for an entire painting. Perhaps just not how I approached it on this one .
As I began the painting I actually liked how these pastels scratched lightly into the wax surface adding instant texture . However I didn't see the pigment fusing into the wax as well as the PanPastels and perhaps that was my biggest dilemma. To have the beautiful saturated pigments sink and disappear into the surface much more than PanPastels or oil pigment sticks do was a bit discouraging. .
This was proven to me by using the PanPastels directly after a layer of the sticks. The Pan Pastels retained much more of the color that had been laid down after fusing .
Well after a few layers of having the color sink back excessively , I switched over to the Pan Pastel , and oil pigment stick combination that I am used to using in my landscapes but I struggled with the layers. Probably because my original plan had been so far thrown from my original plan. I have found the best thing to do in these situations is to continue to work through this struggle but also allow for a clean break from a steady gaze in favor of some rest periods for the eyes.
I will continue to try to find better ways to apply the Sennelier sticks to the encaustic surface in the future because they are lovely high quality pigments . Perhaps working with them on their intended surface for a while and then coming back to the encaustic surface with a different approach and ideas :).
Supplies I used this week:
Each week I list the supplies I used in the video here on the blog for you so that you can see and easily find the items used for that week's technique .
If you purchase items from the links provided it sometimes generates a few cents in commission which goes right back in to creating videos for you on the youtube channel. It does not raise the cost for you in any way, and is the same link you would find on a regular amazon prime search . Thank you ahead for you support of Wax on Wednesdays in any way ! Also , although the photos here can help you easily find the product . I also recommend that you look at your local art /hobby store to make sure you are getting the lowest price. Sometimes with weekly 40% off coupons basic items can be found at a better price.
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These are my go to colors for landscapes. I also use the "green gold" pigment stick which I could not locate on Amazon this week for some reason.
Encausticology 101 Online workshop !
Jump in and join at any time . Full video tutorials on :
1. Week 1:
Let's Get Started ! Tools, Set up,
Encaustic Fluid Painting ,
Line and Mark Making
2. "Let's Explore with paint
3. Let's explore Shellac Burn
4. Let's Explore Encaustic Collage
5. Let's Explore Aqua Media
6. Let's Explore Embedding and 3D Effects
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Shari Replogle is an artist sharing her encaustic and other artistic adventures each week here on the blog and on Youtube. Her full line of workshops featuring encaustic and metal are on this site under available workshops.