Monday, February 28, 2011

Last week in the Studio - Exploring Beeswax

What a fun week of exploring and learning new things last week was. 

I sourced a supplier for Beeswax, straight from the hive of a local bee keeper. Doesn't it look yummy? It reminds me of fudge. And is smells so nice, like honey!

I got myself a cheap rice cooker from the op shop to melt the wax with. The below photo is of the wax hardened in the cooker.  As you can see it hardens in the brushes as well, but the wax easily melts from the bristles when placed in the hot wax.


I was all ready and very keen to start experimenting with the wax. First though I had to back my board (something I usually do after the image is complete) and then work out a few compositional issues with the under painting.


When I finally finished the under painting (the fish tale was giving me trouble, I ended up painting it about 5 times in various positions before I got something I was happy with), I then coated the image with melted Beeswax and scrapped away some of the wax in the background leaving the bird and fish raised.

I'm happy with how it is coming along so far. The wax is giving another dimension to my paintings. It has an aged look about it, I love the translucent nature of the wax too. It's early days yet for this painting and for using wax. I still want to play around with carving and scrapping into the Beeswax on this image and also work back into the grooves with Acrylic (a technique used by Jenny Keith-Hughes).  Here a few of her beautiful pieces.

 Doubt - Acrylic and beeswax on board - 2008

 Get the Message Out (O No!) - Acrylic and beeswax on board - 2008

 Sloth - Acrylic and beeswax on board - 24x24 - 2007

The Owl and the Pussycat - Acrylic and beeswax on board - 24x24 - 2010

I also worked on the under painting of a few more images last week (you can see a snippet of one of the paintings in the corner of one of the above photos).  I will share more with you in the next studio update.

As promised last week, Here is the resin coated serpent bird painting. If you follow me on Facebook you may have already seen it.


What do you think? I like it all shinny. The resin adds depth to the painting and is an excellent way to finish it off. If you read last weeks studio post you will hear all about my experiments with resin. I'll be looking into the compatibility of them both (wax and resin) this week.

Well it's back to painting for me, wishing you all a productive week this week. 

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  1. Mmm..the beeswax looks fun to play with! I think it gives the art a nice 'sepia' tone. Do you know how it goes over a long time though? Like, in hot weather would it start to peel off? I was just thinking that because it's so hot today! hehe.

    I love the resin. The shinier the better I say! :)

  2. Hi Jaz, Beeswax has a melting point of about 144-147'c. I expect that it will become softer but not liquefy on a very hot summer day here in Australia. I too have images of the painting sliding off the board onto the wall like the clocks in Dali's painting 'The Persistence of Memory'. I'm confident that will not happen, and I will continue researching to make sure as the longevity of my images is a major concern for me. I think if another artist is doing it successfully and showing in galleries (including ones in New York) than it must be something that is viable and will last.