Paper and encaustic medium make interesting and beautiful partners when combined. There are numerous ways to work with encaustic medium and paper, in this post I will concentrate mainly on applying directly to a finished work on paper, as opposed to adhering to a panel (which is something I also do).
One thing you might be wondering is why do it at all - apply wax to paper? The paper I used in this example is a handmade scroll paper 13.75X53 inches (made in Taiwan), it has a silky soft feel, it is delicate, while still having the strength to hold up to either water based or non-water based inks (I painted this with alcohol inks).
(Click photo for a direct link to the paper)
While it is a strong paper overall, adding encaustic medium increases the paper's strength significantly, which makes working with and displaying it much easier. Once the wax has been applied, the paper is far less likely to tear and it reduces the tendency to wrinkle. The wax also brings out a richness in the colors of the ink, and slightly darkens them as well.
If you plan to create a scroll and not adhere the paper to a panel, apply a very thin layer of clear encaustic medium to each side of the paper.
(Click photo for a direct link to our handmade paper selection)
The process is pretty simple, once the painting is finished and dry, you can apply the wax medium. It is important to apply only a very thin layer of wax, with no drips making sure the application is as even as possible. I use a hot palette, clear bleached encaustic medium (a 6 to 1 ratio) and a 3 inch hake brush to apply the wax to paper. Make sure your palette is really clean, and any residual colored wax has been removed. Use paper towels and some clear medium to clean it off. If you are working with a long piece of paper as I am here, use a paper towel roll to wrap the paper onto and roll-up as you apply the wax.
(Click photo for a direct link to the brush)
I carry a number of beautiful handmade papers, scroll papers and large size sheets (all work well for encaustic monotype printing and more traditional ink or water color applications), as well as 1, 2 and 3 inch Hake Brushes (I am temporarily out of 1 and 2 inch brushes but will have more in stock starting October 29th). These brushes are very good quality, work really well for painting with encaustic medium, they have very soft goat bristles and copper fastenings.
After applying the encaustic medium and allowing it to thoroughly dry (which is a very quick process) you can hang the painting. I hang it in studio for a while before finishing the work by using a product called "Poster Hangers" (you can buy them at posterhanger.com - they work really well, the picture on the right below links directly to their website).
I encourage folks to try working with paper and encaustic medium, there are so many creative ways you can combine and use both and I have found it to be a very exciting way to extend my creative process.
As always, happy creating and thanks for checking out my blog,