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Accretion - Creating Texture With Encaustic Medium

Elizabeth Schowachert accretion creating texture Encaustic encaustic medium encaustic painting metal dropper

In this blog post I will discuss several different accretion techniques that I use in my work. First, let's start by reviewing the definition of the word accretion.

ac·cre·tion
əˈkrēSH(ə)n/
noun
  1. the process of growth or increase, typically by the gradual accumulation of additional layers or matter.
A perfect word for describing the process of adding layers of wax using encaustic medium to create a textured surface. 
When working with encaustic medium, you can use texture as an element of your painting in many different ways. We will discuss only a few that I typically use. This is certainly not intended to say that are not many, many more...just think of it as a small slice of combining accretion techniques with encaustic medium.
I typically use a combination of accretion and pigment sticks (R&F is my favorite brand) within my paintings. I find that I can create depth, interesting forms and shapes by doing this.
I start by prepping my panel (most typically a plain birch panel, no gesso - or I use an Ampersand Encausticbord) by adding three layers of clear medium. I brush on the medium to create even layers of wax that completely cover the panel. In the YouTube video below I demonstrate how to do this.
I suggest using a 2 or 3 inch hake brush to apply the medium on your panel. Once you have your panel ready, then you can start to work on adding the initial layers of texture. I start by building the first layer of texture using clear medium with the 
2 inch hake brush. I dip the brush into the hot clear medium, cool the brush a bit and then apply the first layer of medium to create some initial texture. I will also add drips of medium, with purposeful movements to ensure my painting achieves fluid motion. In the video below I demonstrate the basic process that I use to create the initial layers of texture.
The following video is a quick demo of the process I described above.
Managing your heat (the surface temp and the temp of applied wax) is key and takes time to figure out. Working too hot is the most common issue I see with new learners.
So experiment and practice.
The following are some of the tools I used in this video (each is linked to the item in my store):
  1. Metal Dropper
  2. Silicone Replacement Bulb
  3. Metal Wax Cutter

Hope you enjoyed this post and happy creating!


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