I spent the last two days working on a 16” X 16” painting of pickerelweeds. I painted the background with two layers of encaustic medium and then just added the wax/oil paint colors for the water. After the water was finished I drew the leaves on white fabric, cut them out, and glued the fabric leaves over the water with an iron. The hard part was keeping the green wax on each leaf and not to bleed the wax from the leaves out onto the water. I did go outside of a few of the leaves and just took a scraper and scraped off the green at the edge of the leaf. I added the stems to each leaf and ironed them down. Then, I took paint/wax and filled in the stems. It was really hard not smearing the water around the leaves. I have to think of a better method of adding the paint/wax so that the areas stay crisp and not smudgy. Also, I have to keep the wax temperature around 170-200 degrees so that it flows from my brush. If the wax is too cool it tends to congeal into lumps and are harder to scrape with the iron.
The iron is a wonderful tool. I love the way I can blend the colors into each other and develop grooves that can be built up with more colors. I could not do this without the iron as my major tool for building up the colored wax surfaces.
Here is the finished example. As my own critic, I see the pickerel weeds appearing a bit stiff so I wonder if I need to add a few more leaves and stems and bend them on an angle on the left side. I will cut some out of paper and try them before waxing them. I plan to do 3 more artworks of different viewpoints of the same scene and also create more movement in those paintings.