Using Acrylic Medium over the Winter

Winter is approaching and next week I will be closing my studio space for the next five months.  This time of year is depressing because I hate leaving.  I love the solitude, the stillness of the lake, the changing colors of the leaves, the sunrises and sunsets, etc.  Once the leaves are off the tress,  the snow arrives and the atmosphere at the lake is frigid.  So, it is time to move back to my warm condo.

In my condo I created a small  workspace in my utility room.  I added a piece of plywood on the top of my washing machine and dryer so now have an area to paint artworks.  Last year I tried painting in encaustic but had no way of diverting the fumes because that room has no windows.    Painting over the winter months with wax did not work so last week I decided to try my interlaced encaustic ideas in acrylic paint.

I decided to take a work that I did in encaustic and use that work as my starting point.  So, instead of using encaustic processes I would use acrylic paint.  I have not painted in acrylic for over three  years so it was a strange feeling going back to that medium.  I felt like a traitor leaving my wax for acrylic.  Using acrylic paint is so different.  The wax melts instantly and I can build up the surfaces to get a raised line.  I can take the surface down by scraping the surface or melting the wax with a heat gun.  Encaustic is so sculptural.  Using acrylic paint,  I discovered that I could paint wonderful flowing lines but then would accidentally smudge those lines so I need to be very careful when painting lines.  The surface is much flatter, not as translucent.  It is a different medium and not at all similar to using heated pigmented wax.

The following encaustic painting became my muse for the first acrylic painting on canvas.


The background sky was painted first.  I used very thin coats of acrylic paint and applied the paint in washes so that the layers became transparent.   Then I applied the lacing over the sky.



The gauze fabric did not have the movement that I was after so I decided to disrupt the bottom edge and add flowing lines.   I then  changed the colors from lighter to darker from the top to the bottom.  I really do like this acrylic version , 30″ X 30″, acrylic on canvas.






Author: Anna

I am a painter and sculptor and have a studio beside a beautiful lake. For the past 40 years, I designed and built puppets, masks and sculptures and had solo exhibitions of these works. In 2013, I went back to painting and started working in encaustic. I am interested in issues of identity in terms of weavings as coverings to protect or to hide. The intersecting lines that I create over landscapes create an internal conversation versus the external between nature vs. nurture. Or how actual or psychological barriers erected in an environment can disrupt a cherished place. My engagement with woven structures speak to complex dialogues between identity and psychological barriers. My second passion is teaching. I try to encompass more than teaching my students art techniques. I encourage students to, not only learn the language of art, but to also engage in critiquing art. Additionally, we continually explore ways to enhance one's voice through art in relation to contemporary and historical issues. Encaustic adventures is a blog where not only processes and techniques are taught, but hopefully this sites will engage in a dialogue about the making of art, notions of voice, identity, themes, and ways to establish a body of work within an historical contexts.

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