Accretion - Creating Texture With Encaustic Medium

Accretion - Creating Texture With Encaustic Medium

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.

  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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