encaustic + a kit = encaustikits!

 |  December 7, 2010

I have mentioned before that throughout the years I have received many emails asking how one gets started in encaustics. I have my whole spiel I write out, but I also mention to people who have never worked in wax before or who may not want to invest in all the paints and supplies to try this: get a block of beeswax, melt it onto the surface of your substrate and then use oil sticks or oil paints on top. This is not encaustic for the purists, mind you, it’s just a way to introduce yourself to working with wax, pigment and heat. You still need to have on hand either a tacking iron (to help melt the block of beeswax) and a heat gun (to fuse).

Anyway, all this to say that Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch has created a line of products called Encaustikits. It’s kind of like a starter kit for people who are interested in encaustics like I described above. She sent me one to try out and I was really happy to do so especially since she sent me the EncaustiKits Incising Kit. I often use my awl or pintool to write and draw into the surface of my wax, so I was eager to give it a try


encaustikit1
work in progress with the tools that came in the kit
(except the wax-covered spoon, used for burnishing and the razorblade used for scraping)

I have to say that I really liked the incising tool that was included in the kit. I normally use a pintool from back in my ceramics days. Which works fine. But this tool had two ends to it. Each tip ended with a rounded ball, which made for a much cleaner line than my pintool normally left.


encaustikit_rub
work in progress

The hake brushes that came with the kit were a dreeeeaaaam to paint with. Seriously, painting with encaustics you just have got to use one of these brushes. At least for me, that’s been the case. I tried to go cheap once and regretted it. The hairs kept falling into the wax. It was so aggravating that I ended up taking all the brushes (I had bought a big tub of them on clearance) and donated them to the art room at my son’s preschool.

The kit also came with Encausticbords, which I have been curious about since they came out recently. It definitely has a nice surface. But I would have to try painting on a larger surface to seal my opinion on it. I generally like to paint on wood or clayboard. But like I said, I didn’t feel like I got a good grasp on how well I liked the board or not since it was only 4×4 inches.

The kit also came with two painting sticks which I always enjoy using when I paint with encaustics. A tin of yellow encaustic paint came with as well. I don’t normally use that bright of a yellow in my paintings, so I was a little hesitant, but it was nice change of pace for me to play with…and it made me think of sunflowers and so out came this little painting:


sunflower
sunflower
encaustic
4×4 inches

So if you or someone you know is interested in trying out encaustics, this is a good way to test out the waters. According to the site it looks like there is going to be a plaster and encaustic kit coming out next year….mmmhmmm, I just love plaster + wax.

5 Comments

  1. by Seth on December 9, 2010  12:00 am Reply

    What a great idea as a way to get started. Thansk for the review and the cool shots of your WIPs.

  2. by Liz Hampton-Derivan Studio on December 9, 2010  10:23 am Reply

    Good advice. I set up my encaustic studio a little over a year ago and WAY over-invested in supplies. The kit looks like it would be a good way to test the waters.

    Like the sunflower.

  3. by layers on December 9, 2010  11:25 pm Reply

    I took a workshop from Patricia as she does not live too far from me-- she has a wonderful large studio where she teaches her classes-- love your encaustics.

  4. by Julie on December 11, 2010  11:48 am Reply

    So if we get the kit, we will be able to make art as gorgeous as this??

    xo

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