Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Review Encaustic + Paper DVD by Wax Works West

This past week has been intense (my 2 daughters had a charity fashion show this past weekend, the last class of the Artist as an Entrepreneur series was this weekend AND I had 3 paintings finished just in time to submit to the Broward Art Guild juried Summer Show this past weekend)!!! Needless to say, I have been itching to sit down at my computer and write this review of the exciting Encaustic + Paper DVD by Wax Works West that I finished early last week...

Actually, this DVD inspired me to take one of my PaperScapes(tm), where the paper had been deformed during the wet painting process and that had been rained on by a sudden storm while drying outside, and cover the entire dry piece in encaustic wax medium as they demonstrated on the DVD. LOVE the results! I created a unique way to mount the waxed paper painting directly to a clear acrylic sheet and submitted the piece to the juried Summer Show. I'll let you know if it was accepted for the show later in the week... Either way, I will take pictures and explain how I mounted the finished waxed paper when I next see the painting. Here are pictures of the freshly waxed PaperScape coming off the pallet, then I fused the wax into the fibers of the paper with a heat gun:
 Saturating the PaperScape with encaustic wax medium on both the front and back.

 Fully waxed piece is very sturdy. I love the luminescence of the waxed paper!

Fusing the wax to the paper with a heat gun. Was beautifully translucent when done.

OK, on with the DVD review! I purchased the Encaustic + Paper DVD at R&F Paints when I was at a class in their facility in April. The teachers on the instructional video are Wendy Aikin, Judy Stabile and Daniella Woolf of Wax Works West out in Corralitos, California. The DVD was jam packed with loads of creative ways to use encaustic wax on paper with project examples good for the beginner to intermediate wax artist.

One of the first things I learned on the DVD was that Viva brand paper towels are the best for working with wax paintings because they are the most cloth-like and really impart a nice shine when rubbed over a fused wax surface. The Viva paper towels do not throw off little fibers like other paper towels. Another very important studio practice suggested by the gals was to wear Nitrile gloves when working with the wax and any loose pigments. I have been using Nitrile gloves anyway when I work with acrylic and oil paints, so it was easy to immediately add them to my encaustic wax work safety routine.

An important point I found raised on the DVD is that water and wax don't mix, so remember to be sure all paper elements are dry before beginning to saturate with wax. There were many fabulous quick in-studio demonstrations by the instructors, the most intriguiging of which for me were: making impressions using colorful heat sensitive foil on already waxed papers; copy transfers with parchment paper onto waxed papers; batik style wax resist with watercolor on paper; and making scratch patterns in waxed paper, then highlighting the patterns with alcohol ink.

The techniques presented are given in nice short vignettes so that it is easy to stop and start the instruction and still feel like you learned something even though you may have only had 5 minutes to fit in a quick watch. This is one of my favorite features of the film. Another favorite is that there is a segment on studio safety and what to do if something catches fire (complete with hunky firemen!). Something else I found extremely useful was that at the end of the DVD Daniella Woolf shows some of the tricks and methods she uses to compartmentalize her work for ease of  shipping and interesting ways in which she and her fellow teachers frame or present their work.

I am thrilled to have just submitedt my first encaustic and paper painting to the Broward Art Guild juried Summer Show...as a direct result of having been taught and inspired by the ladies in Encaustic + Paper! If you would like to learn more about Wax Works West, simply look them up at WaxWorksWest.com.

Happy Painting! :)


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