For those who get frustrated that their art doesn’t come together quickly enough I share this.

I have spent the last two hours adding and subtracting the same piece of paper in various ways on my encaustic painting. The first method I tried worked, but I wanted to find the most secure, efficient way so I often experiment like this.

Here’s what I suspected and confirmed: I thought this calligraphy paper might be thick enough to capture air bubbles under that paper which can cause attachment problems later in the life of the painting. Yup, it was even worse than I thought, but I want to use the paper so I just had to find the best way to attach it.

Try this method to test your own papers:

Attached paper in your favorite method then let it cool and use a heat gun to remove it. If you have big craters in the wax under the paper then you’ve trapped air bubbles that can cause trouble later. This is why I was removing the paper after trying several ways to collage it onto the surface. It’s a little time consuming at first, but it will save me time and frustration down the line and ensure that my painting will be stable for years to come. 

Some people might see this as a waste of time, but I’m actually happy that I figured out the best way to attach this paper since I’m planning to use it in a number of new painting for my next series. It’s all in the attitude! And sometimes the beverage. (Note the Rum & Coke in the background.)

What experiments have you done for your art?


Linda Robertson offers encaustic workshops in her Portland, Oregon studio as well as online encaustic classes at RobertsonWorkshops.com.