Another, and this one makes me laugh now, is that the best art is always created in one layer. If you couldn't get it right in the first layer- I was certain- it was because you were a bad artist. You should see some of my earliest work. It's not bad, but it's so naive- all simple colors, straight out of the tube.
Working this way was educational, because I had to teach myself how to get depth and texture into my work while never going back into a piece and putting another layer on it. Yeah. Educational. But amusingly naive.
Now I realize that layers are my lifeblood. I need them, crave them, won't stop until I have them. Complex, deliberate, intoxicating layers.
So one of the very first things I worked with as a budding artist was wax. I used not only professional encaustic wax, but also crayons. Box after box of gorgeous, creamy, meltable crayons. I'd create a layer of wax on a sheet of paper or a piece of fabric, set it aside, and call it done.
Today I have a little more experience- not only with layering, but with color mixing and with art theory in general. So I'm revisiting my old friend, wax.
I'm using tissue paper, copy paper, newspaper, and book pages.
Using an electric pancake griddle, I melt encaustic wax and crayons in monotone colors (all blues, all greens, etc.) directly onto the hot plate, and then lay paper down directly into the wax, allowing it to absorb into the paper fibers.
Each paper is set aside to allow it to set up (only takes a few seconds), and then, using the same technique but with another set of colors, I place already-waxed papers on top of the new colors, lift, and set aside to dry.
I had forgotten just how vibrant the crayons really become on the paper.
Even though I go through one crayon very quickly, there are many more in my box to use.
If you try this technique, be sure to get name-brand, quality crayons. Inexpensive, store-brand crayons are usually more wax than pigment.
Next week, I will begin exploring more advanced techniques, as well as using oils and oil pastels to enhance the designs.
Remember what it feels like to be a kid again!