I was eager to get to work my first week in the AIR Studio. The “Suzie the Baby Yak” story is still being fleshed out, but I decided to jump right into experimenting with the materials to make some yak images from the photo references Seth and Morgan shared with me.
Here’s a picture of some of the work I did last week:
All of this work was done using a technique I call encaustic etching.
Encaustic is a painting medium that is made from beeswax and damar resin.
You can mix pigment into the encaustic medium to make colored encaustic paint, or you can buy pre-made encaustic paints. I like R&F brand.
It is solid at room temperature, so a heated pallette is used to melt the paint. Once it is melted, I use a brush to paint it onto the support. Because the wax cools between the time that you dip the brush in the paint, the surface is not smooth. This is a great way to build up a surface if you are looking for a built up surface. For etching, I want a smooth, lustrous surface, so I use a heat gun not only to fuse the wax to the surface, but also to melt it smooth. Here’s what the prepared surface looks like:
This surface is ready for etching. Here is a 29second video of the etching process:
This video shows the essential steps in the encaustic etching process:
- using the etching needle to etch the surface
- scraping the burs away
Here’s one of me inking Malla: