How to begin Landscape imagery in encaustic art
using the iron and encaustic wax block colours
… and getting bigger landscape in encaustic art with iron and wax block colours
Step by step photo on how to create a landscape
in encaustic art just using the painting iron …
Use clear wax & tissue to thoroughly clean the iron surface
Put blocks on the card then run the iron across to understand where the colours will need to be loaded.
Cover this area of the iron with a good coating of white wax.
Add Pink (No.24) in the same place and direction as revealed earlier in the block test (step 2).
Add blue in the appropriate place, but not too much unless you want a very dark sky!!!!
Carefully but confidently turn the iron over with the waxed area above the card, ready to place and spread ….
Settle the iron gently down onto the card and slide it LIGHTLY across the sky area. – travel the iron right off the card.
That’s a first effort sky. It can remain like this or be reworked.
Reworking the wax in the sky area – slow strokes give a still calm sky but careful not to drag too much wax off!
It looks softer, but the left side is too bare of wax now, so remember to change the active direction of the iron to avoid losing the wax off the card.
Fast light strokes where the iron “takes off”, will result in more fluidly textured effects …
… like a windy sky. The colours become more blended during this process.
Sometimes the colours get too dark or mixed up …
… simply add more of the light colours (especially white) to the iron face …
… and apply these over the existing colours.
Work the wax into your desired texture – texture is visual noise, and the more of it you get the stormier the sky will look.
A sky with good light is appealing. Attractive colour can help.
Time for the landscape. This will be a rolling hill horizon, using the iron’s natural curved edge. Use No.23 Olive Green and apply as shown (right handed users – for left handed then reverse the image as if in a mirror.
Add a strip of No.14 Yellow Brown down the curved surface parallel to the edge.
Holding the card at the top, place the waxed area of the iron onto the card cutting in over the lower area of the existing sky so that no blank card is left exposed.
Move the iron over to the other edge of the card with a sliding & very light pressure (no pressing) and watch to ensure that the new wax colours form a horizon line that is clean and clear right across the card.
If you don’t travel the iron right across then the sides may lack wax. It should end up something like this after you have slid back and forth working each stroke lower than the previous one.
Holding with fingers supporting behind the card, lightly dab the iron on and off quickly (don’t burn your fingers!). The magical foliage effect will appear. If not then add a little more wax.
Continue dabbing until you are happy with the resulting foreground detail (organic foliage type effect).
To add harmonic colours use darker versions of the sky hues (use No.18 Prussian Blue, No.12 Red Violet, No.14 Yellow Brown) and scribble a little of each onto the iron’s base.
Dab this into the existing green brown in a few strokes so that the colours integrate but do not get lost or over mixed.
The sky colours are now cooperating with those in the foreground to help this landscape illusion feel more believable.
Ooops – missed the photo shot for sliding the iron on its edge to create those grasses from foreground up onto the sky. Then clean the iron carefully with tissue.
Wax can get trapped inside the iron casing and drip out annoyingly just when not required – so clean this back channel too!
Just make a thin strip of tissue and run it through the gap. Do the same at the sharp end of the iron too.
Once the iron tip is cleaned of any wax gently tap that sharp point into a darker colour. A touch or No.23 Olive Green & another of No.14 Yellow Brown will work well.
…then make a spot in the sky area, clean off the iron’s tip again, then replace it on the spot and flick out once to the right, lift off, back to the spot and flick out once to the left.
Next a few flower dots or small splodges. Use No.24 Pink to tie in with the sky and harmonic foreground colours.
Dab this in a random manner into the foreground. Try to create a variety of sized and erratically shaped blobs – this makes for a more natural appearance.
Finally polish the wax surface gently using a folded tissue pad. This will creaqte a beautiful sheen on the encaustic art wax painting now comleted.
And here it is , that basic iron made encaustic art landscape image. A great starting point & one that teaches a lot of skills which can then be employed in evolving work and techniques.