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Working With Ink and Encaustic Medium

Elizabeth Schowachert

One of the most wonderful aspects of encaustic medium is it's versatility. There are so many different kinds of applications and techniques that one can use to make art. In the past, I primarily worked with encaustic medium and pigment sticks. More recently, I have  started to introduce mixed media (paper, fabric and ink) into my work. This transition from "pure" encaustic to mixed media has allowed me expand my creative expression, which I find fulfilling and interesting.

Like many of you, I have been influenced by my life experiences, and because I spend so much time in Asia, I find myself drawn to common cultural images and forms of creative expression. As such, I started working with ink, painting directly onto the wax surface, as well as incorporating my ink paintings directly into my encaustic work. Typically, I will do many ink paintings, find elements that I like and respond to and then collage them into the work. In the following video I demonstrate one of the methods that I use to accomplish this.

(SWIX iron is available on Amazon)

 When working with ink, I use a number of different brushes, types of ink and papers. I tend to like to use larger brushes, both the flat square head (hake type) with soft flexible bristles and traditional Asian calligraphy brushes like the one picture below (which I sell in my store - the picture is linked to the brush shown)

For the work pictured above, I am painting directly onto a 13 X 55 inch piece of rice paper, once dry, I apply a thin layer of wax onto both sides of the the paper.  I also use traditional ink stick (which tends to have a softer gray color) along with the darker liquid india inks.

 A the end of the day, there are far too many ways to incorporate ink and collage into encaustic work to cover them all, but I hope this blog post has given you some new ways to think about it.

Happy creating



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