15 January 2008

Made more paint

Last night and tonight I worked on making some paint for a painting I want to do. The painting is of some exotic birds - unreal birds. I needed some intense colors as well as some additional beak and bill colors. I am trying not to use the toxic, heavy metal-based paints. These encaustic paints are all colored with simple earths and/or synthetic, opalescent dry pigments.

I melted and mixed 10 parts well filtered beeswax, 1 part damar crystals (sticky, messy stuff, that...) and 1-3 parts pigments. You can see the small stainless steel bowls (around 2.5 inches diameter at the top) sitting on an electric griddle. It takes about 3 hours to get the mixture melted and mixed well enough to keep the pigments suspended in the wax/resin medium. I try to heat it very slowly on barely enough heat to get it flowing. Too much heat can release harmful volatile gases into the atmosphere (and my lungs). Not a good thing.

If the bird painting comes out decently I will share it here. I think it was almost as much fun to make the paints as painting the picture will be...


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