Sunday, 22 July 2012

Encaustic/Crayon Journal Page - Layer Three

Last week we gave a Melted Crayon/Encaustic Art Class and while it’s fresh in my mind, I decided to write about using wax and crayon on journal pages.  Let me begin by saying that wax and crayons melt so don’t store your journals in your attic if you now what I mean.

I found wax and melted crayon as a medium a couple of years ago.  Using it is just so much fun!!!  I love the feel and look of it.  I understand why it’s been used for art for a few hundred years. When it comes to wax, I have used beeswax and paraffin wax.  Beeswax can be found at art stores and online.  Paraffin can be found at your local grocery store.  The difference I found is that the beeswax is heavier than the paraffin so you can cover an area more quickly with beeswax.  To color the wax the best product I found to use is concentrated liquid dye which I found online but probably is available at art stores as well.

 It is very concentrated and I can imagine that one bottle will last me a few years.  BTW, it can be used on concrete.  I found that out the hard way when I threw the ball for my dog and the ink knocked over and spilled on my patio.  The patio I faux painted stone onto.  Ugh!  I’ll need to figure out how I am going to fix that mess…

Anyways, I put a chunk of wax into a tin pan (wouldn’t use a pot that I cooked with) and heat it at 250 degrees Fahrenheit.  When the wax is melted, add a drop of dye to it.  To mix colors, I suggest you mix them together before adding to the wax.

To paint with the melted wax, use a paint brush designated for wax only, and paint away.  Dip the paint brush into the melted wax and quickly add to your artwork.  The wax will harden pretty quick, so you need to work quickly.  Put down a first layer and then continue to add more layers until you get the opaqueness  that you like. 

Here’s something we found out while working with the wax last week.  You can use the beeswax for the bottom color and then brush over top of it with a layer of another paraffin wax color which will act like a transparent wax.  It was very cool.  Not only that, we scratched wax out of the beeswax with the end of a pencil before adding the paraffin wax.  This allowed the paraffin wax to, not only change the color of the beeswax, but it also filled the areas scratched out.  Great for contrast.
To make 3D flowers, we filled small balloons with water and dipped their bottoms into the beeswax 15 times.  If you are dipping into paraffin wax, you will need to dip the balloon 30 times.  So hold the balloon, dip directly into wax, lift it up right away, wait until the wax dulls, then dip it again, and again, and again, etc.  waiting each time for the wax to dull before dipping it the next time.

Really important, do not let the balloon touch the bottom of the pan or it will burst.  We found that out the hard way….What a mess!!!

After you have dipped it the required amount of times, burst the balloon with a pin, the end of pencil, or something else with a point, and remove the balloon from the flower.  You may need to reshape the wax a little at this point.  Just lightly reshape with your fingers while the wax is still warm.  If you would like, you can rub the edge of the wax flower on the hotplate and dip into glitter or take a hot glue gun and shape the edge in a scallop manner.  Use as is or add a center to the flower of glitter, or rhinestones, buttons, or whatever.  You can use hot glue to attach the center.

Another way to attach items to the center is to heat the center with a glue gun and press objects into the slightly melted wax.

At any time the wax is warm you can stamp objects into it or scratch out layers or designs to give it some texture.

Also, to mix colors and to smooth out the wax, hold a heat gun or hair dryer above the wax and heat until you get the look that you want.

As for crayon…tear off the paper wrapping, heat the end of it on the hotplate and draw.  You will need to reheat the end of it each time the crayon hardens.  I have also heard others put their paper directly onto the hotplate and while the paper is warm, they draw with the crayons.  This allows the crayon to melt while you draw.  Pretty cool!

CAUTION:  Don’t burn yourself on the hotplate or the glue gun.  Ouch!  You may want to wear gloves.



The other day I was walking down a hallway and waved and smiled at someone I knew.  There was no response from the other person.  They just continued to walk by me as if I didn’t exist.  I went home trying to figure out what I had done that would have caused this person to ignore me.  I couldn’t figure it out.

Finally, after a few days of wondering, I sought out this person who snubbed me.  They were confused as to when the event had taken place.  They didn’t remember even seeing me.  So I explained when and where it all happened.  She apologized to me and said that she had been having an awful day and that she must have been absorbed in thought.  I had spent days wondering what I had done wrong instead of lending an ear to another in need.

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in ourselves that we tend to forget or ignore others around us. Dear friends, the truth is that there are so many people struggling around us.  They are dealing with all sorts of issues from troubles in their marriages, their jobs, their friends, their children, their animals, to troubles with self image.

I want to encourage you to get outside yourself and serve and care for others.  When you do this, your own struggles don’t seem so important.  You feel good about helping someone else, and they feel good because you cared for them.  It is a win win situation.

You can change a persons life just by giving them a smile, lending an ear, opening a door, complementing them, encouraging them, or simply by paying for their coffee.  It doesn’t need to be something huge.

People are good at hiding what is going on inside of them.  You may want to give someone a piece of your mind because they have ticked you off.  What if they have just been told that they are fired, or that their spouse is leaving them, or their best friend is moving thousands of miles away.  The truth is most of the time we are not aware of what is going on in others lives.

Do yourself some good.  Think outside yourself and go help others.

Believe it or not, we really do care about you.

In humility count others more significant than yourselves.  Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.        Philippians 2:1-11

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