Wax Lines

Amy recently posted a video about watercolor resist with beeswax.  I could point you to the video, but it was part of her artfire/newsletter/thing and therefore secret unless you sign up for it.  Which you should.

Anyway, it looked like an awful lot of fun, so I decided to play too.  Only I didn’t have a melting pot.  Or beeswax.  Or the right kind of paper.  Or an awake baby who would let me rush out and acquire these things.  So I figured I’d try with stuff I do have – plain Shabbat candles (presumably made of paraffin wax) and my usual wax setup on the stove.

That’s a baking sheet upside down over a low burner. (I always flip it upside down so that I don’t get wax on the part that will be used for baking.  It probably wouldn’t be a problem, but why take the chance?)  I hold the paper on the tray with a couple of magnets and draw slowly with the candle, so it melts.  Very easy.

I used a painting I found on Pinterest some time ago as my inspiration:

And I just drew designs with the wax.  Then I watercolored it.  The wax resisted the color beautifully, which was quite fun.  I’d gotten the blue blending to green and was considering whether I sould stick with those colors or add more when I remembered that the theme at Butterfly Effect this week is rainbow, so I went with it.

Then I melted wax over the whole thing and crumpled it, to get the batik effect.  But it tore!  I smoothed it out and painted it anyway, but it was rather a failure.  Perhaps the paper was too thick, or the wax too hard, or the heat let the wax penetrate deeper than it should for batik…I don’t know.

Sadness and woe.  I’ll iron the wax out at some point and cut it up for collage or something.  Or just pitch it.

Anyway, I went back and redid the parts that I liked, and this is my final piece:

I quite like it, really.  I might do a couple more, and play around a bit, especially with the lines.  They’re done in fine-tip Sharpie.  Might even be worth putting for sale on zibbet if I use paper that isn’t torn at the top.  The white edge was accidental (a bit of wax fell and melted) and sometimes I like it and sometimes I don’t.  Probably it would work better going all the way around.

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29 Responses to Wax Lines

  1. NatashaMay says:

    Oooh, don’t you just hate it when it doesn’t work out?! I admire your resourcefulness. I would never think of what you have. :) And I’m glad you went back and did another. I love it! :)

  2. It looks great and the torn pieces from your first attempt will love fab in a collage :0)

  3. I love them both!!!! I haven’t tried this yet but it’s on my to do list :0)

  4. Lynn says:

    What made me chuckle is that you used Shabbat candles for the wax! Yofi!!!

  5. Gina says:

    What a wonderful post. I love to watch experiments…even if they go wrong sometimes. The redo is beautiful! :D XXX

  6. katrina says:

    Hello Caitlin what fun experimenting and playing around! Thanks for taking us through all your steps and wishing you more fun with future creations, it’s the process that is so engaging!

  7. I think it really looks like fun and your piece came out beautiful. Looks like you had a lot of fun creating. Thanks for sharing.

  8. giggles says:

    Thanks for sharing your process!! Love the outcome on the final creation! Well done..Great piece, fun and vibrant! Very pretty!!
    Happy ppf!

    Hugs Giggles

  9. I don’t think it was a failure… maybe it was not the result you wanted but I like it! I would use it as textured layer for art journaling or mixed media paintings. :)

  10. marycnasser says:

    So fun to experiment!
    Your work with wax looks great!
    Happy PPF!!

  11. Annette G says:

    Its all about the adventure and not necessarily about big achievements. Enjoyed seeing the outcome. Happy PPF, Annette x

  12. Teri Casper says:

    Very creative with great results!

  13. Faye says:

    Oh, I really learned something here today. I have never done any encaustic for the same reasons you expressed: no beeswax, no melting pot. So I’m going to try your method and try not burn up the kitchen (don’t worry, I have a glass top electric stove). What you wound up with is super gorgeous. Thanks for dropping by. It introduced you to me.

    • Hooray!! Have fun!! It seems to be fairly safe if you take the obvious precautions (don’t leave it unattended, have some ventilation, have a kitchen fire extinguisher on hand just in case). Also really fun is doing the same thing with crayons – the colors melt and flow together and it’s lovely.

  14. Victoria says:

    Gorgeous..I totally love it..it has an “ancient script” feel …very beautiful vibe to it! and I love the second one too..blooming over with color and vibrancy and the spirit of life..fabulous!

  15. Ginny says:

    Thank you so much for showing us the process you went through. I love both pieces and it was fun to see how it all turned out. It is inspiring to see how you work.

    Thank you for sharing what you are grateful for this week. Haing a working digestive system certainly makes life more pleasant and enjoyable. Hope you have a great week.

  16. Very lovely! I agree that the torn one will look wonderful in a collage. The rainbow theme goes well with the design you chose. Kathryn

  17. Rhonda ~ Roban Studio says:

    I like yours better than the Pinterest inspiration! Sometimes accidents are the best discoveries! Happy PPF!

  18. I never tried this technique but it looks like you had a lot of fun!! The final piece is wonderful!

  19. Piarom says:

    wonderful piece that came out! Love the white outlining too :)

  20. Diana Evans says:

    oh this looks amazing…..and like a lot of fun too….I need to work with some different mediums soon!!! Thank you for the inspiration!!!!

  21. Good for you ~ experimenting ~ love your piece and agree ~ use for collage ~ final piece is elegant, colorful and fun ~thanks, namaste, ^_^

  22. carlarey says:

    I really like your second one. It’s great when you try a new technique and find something that really works for you.

  23. Nora Clemens-Gallo says:

    I think your painting came out great! love all the bright colors!

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