Linda Womack, What Voices Remain, Encaustic & mixed mediums, 2010

In mid December I received a call for art for Exploring the Triptych: Wax in Three Parts, a show hosted by the International Encaustic Artists. I was interested in entering but the timing was tough so I worked on it a little at a time through the holidays and was finally able to get a good handle on it this week. I’m thrilled to say that it’s finally done, but not without a little help from my friends. I’ll explain.

A few months ago I did an encaustic demo in Eugene and met up with Berni Ward, the co-founder of PanPastels. I had been using these wonderfully soft pastels in my work and classes for almost a year but at the demo Berni showed me some really nice applicators to use with them, along with a bunch of new colors to try out. Well they sure came in handy yesterday while I was finishing up my triptych!

I often rub powdered graphite onto the surface of my wax to darken areas but anyone who has worked with it know that it can get easily away from you and that’s just what happened, naturally when I was just about done. So I got out my ebony PanPastel pot and went to work fixing the damage instead of scraping and repainting the area. It came out even more beautiful than I had hoped. With that success I started experimenting with more of my new colors and the result is a much richer colored painting than I would have had without them. Thanks Berni!

How I Use PanPastels with Wax

For those of you who have never used PanPastels with wax, I encourage you to try it. You just rub the color onto the surface of firm wax with either your finger or one of the foam applicators. They are so soft and powdery I think you could even use a brush. If you need to remove some an alcohol wipe usually does the trick. They are very easy to work with. I’m even experimenting now with a painting using nothing but encaustic medium and PanPastels for color. They have some great videos showing how to use them on paper, and most of it relates directly to how you can apply them to wax. OK, enough web time, now go paint!