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Friday, June 26, 2015

Encaustic Image Transfers on Panel

Artwork by Cynthia Winika
Encaustic Transfers
Encaustic image transfer is the transference of a printed or drawn image onto wax. The adhesive properties of wax allow images to be transferred; a burnisher or spoon is the only tool necessary for transferring onto wax.

Black and white and colored photocopies and some computer ink jet and laser prints (all of which can be enlarged or reduced), carbon and graphite paper, graphite, charcoal, pastel, and oil drawings, colored transfer tape/book embossing tape, press type, and images transferred onto waxed paper can all be transferred onto wax.

The best method for transferring is to place the print or drawing face down onto a smooth, flat waxed surface that has been fused within the last half hour. The wax surface can be either encaustic medium or the pigmented paint. A smooth surface works best, as a textured surface will not pick up all the details of the image. Using the etching burnisher with pressure, rub in an overlapping circular manner the entire back of the image. This makes the image transfer from the paper to the tacky wax. If you are transferring from carbon paper or transfer tape, use a rounded tip (ball point) pen to avoid tearing the paper or tape. Certain copy machines make prints that are harder to transfer than others (the best machines are those in which the heat-setting device is broken or older machines in which the toner is less permanent or does not penetrate into the paper).

If the image does not transfer after the burnishing step, wet the back of the paper and continue to burnish. Pull off the paper, if it sticks, dab on more water and gently rub/roll the paper off. A small amount of paper stuck to the surface will not matter since the next step involves fusing which will transparentize any paper that remains. A light fusing should be done so that the wax encapsulates the transferred image. Allow the surface to cool. Keep in mind that the image will be delicate because it is close to the surface. It can be left this way or, apply a thin layer of medium over it to make it less vulnerable. A heavy fusing will cause the image to break up, and may leave an interesting effect. 

~from the Encaustic Resource Center on R+F Handmade Paints  

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Featured Gallery Artist: Scott David Finch

Scott David Finch
Untitled work by Scott David Finch
Scott David Finch is a member of the Baton Rouge Gallery and regularly exhibits there.  He gained his BFA from Louisiana State and MFA from Tyler School of Art at Temple University.  You can find more of his work here:

All things Ampersand, 
Karyn Meyer-Berthel 
Artist & Social Media Specialist 
Ampersand Art Supply 

Click here to explore the full selection of Ampersand panels and tools.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Featured Artist: Kimberly Anderson

"I've used your products for over 10 years now starting with the black Scratchbord, and then the past 7 1/2 years on the Claybord." ~Kimberly Anderson

North Carolina artist, Kimberly Anderson has been an illustrator, graphic designer, and silk painter for years, starting her artistic journey at a very young age with a No. 2 pencil. She has moved her way through several forms of media, including acrylics, watercolors, ink and colored pencil and scratchart.  Kimberly shares that her drawing background is what drives her art, even the silk painting.  With a strong understanding of many art materials and superb drawing skills, it is no surprise that Kimberly's current artwork is both beautifully designed, exquisitely rendered and nationally recognized.  She shares, "I had a meeting with an art consultant in our area, and she finished looking through all my watercolor pieces. But, when she made it to the two large framed scratch art pieces, she said, 'This is it.  This is what you need to do, you just hit the Fine Art category.' I left the meeting so excited, and I haven't stopped scratching pieces since --nearly 8 years ago."

Kimberly works on Claybord, although she is quite familiar with Scratchbord and had used it prior to finding the Claybord for her scratch art.  The difference between the two is the working surface; Scratchbord has black india ink as a top coat, and the Claybord is a white kaolin clay smooth surface.  

Kimberly prefers to apply her own ink to her drawing, so that she can determine how to develop her composition.  Her technique enhances the brilliant color in her work, which she creates with a combination of watercolor, Claybord Inks and Faber Castell Ink markers.  "I used to ink all my pieces with Speedball or Higgins India Ink, but then I was reading a blog about Faber Castell ink markers and it all came into place.  My life has been wonderful since, I now use the back india ink marker to make my black composition on the Claybord, and it is so much easier to scratch.  Along with my watercolors and Claybord ink, I use some of the markers in coloring the pieces," she explains.

Kimberly has an upcoming exhibition at the Mountain Made Gallery in Asheville, NC for the month of August and a demonstration there on August 8th, 2015.  She also teaches silk painting monthly at the Art MoB Studios in Hendersonville, NC.  You can also find Kimberly's work in the Mountain Nest Gallery in Black Mountain, NC and the Art MoB studios on Hendersonville.  Kimberly also keeps her current work on her website and shares more about her process through her blog.  

All things Ampersand, 
Karyn Meyer-Berthel 
Artist & Social Media Specialist 
Ampersand Art Supply 

Click here to explore the full selection of Ampersand panels and tools.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Featured Gallery Artist: Sylvia Foster

Artist, instructor and avid traveler, Sylvia Foster works in watercolor both on paper and Aquabord, and is a member of several art associations including the Florida Watercolor Society and the New England Watercolor Society.  She will be teaching beginner landscape classes starting on June 13th.  The month of July, Sylvia's work will be on display in the Jasper Rand Art Museum, Westfield, MA.

All things Ampersand, 
Karyn Meyer-Berthel 
Artist & Social Media Specialist 
Ampersand Art Supply 

Click here to explore the full selection of Ampersand panels and tools.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Encaustic Grounds on Panel

Encausticbord from Ampersand
The term ground refers to a prepared surface for painting.  A ground is applied to a substrate, or support, that can be wood, board, stretched canvas, or an alternative.  As a general guideline, grounds for encaustic painting must be absorbent, so acrylic gessoes are not recommended.

If you are already using Encausticbord, you have all the preparation you need.  However, if you want to prepare your surface, these are the best recommendations for working on an uncoated panel.

R&F Encaustic Gesso
A brushable white ground that dries to a ready-to-paint absorbent surface.  This is the easiest, fastest way to prepare a white ground for encaustic painting, (unless you're using Encausticbord.)  R&F Encaustic Ground differs from typical acrylic gessos by having a higher proportion of solid to binder, making it highly absorbent while retaining the adhesive qualities of the acrylic. 

natural wood panel No Ground
You can paint directly on raw wood, such as the Natural Wood Panel.  It will be stained by the encaustic, however, so some artists prefer to create an Encaustic Paint Ground by painting a layer of encaustic directly on the wood, and then working up from it.  Many artists who work this way prefer to make their ground with either clear or white encaustic paint because they show subsequent colors to full advantage. The drawback to this method is that it requires a higher degree of skill in controlling the paint, because the wax ground is susceptible to heat, and has the potential to re-melt and change as you work.

Paper Ground
A white ground can be created by gluing watercolor or printmaking paper onto a supporting panel.  The heavier the paper, the more absorbent the ground.  Bear in mind that lightweight papers will be made translucent by the wax, resulting in the substrate showing through and darkening the tone of the ground.  This can be avoided by first coating the bare panel with white acrylic paint, or R&F Encaustic Gesso. Allow it to dry before gluing the paper down on top of it. White grounds are generally desired to show colors to full advantage, but any absorbent paper can be used.  Braced or cradled substrates are preferable to avoid warping.

Traditional Rabbit Skin Glue Gesso
The most traditional, time-tested ground for encaustic, but it is a time-consuming and elaborate process that does not appeal to everyone.  It does create an incomparably beautiful ground.

~"Encaustic Grounds", R&F Handmade Paints, 

More encaustic resources can be found through the R&F Handmade Paints Encaustic Center.

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