Friday, June 24, 2011

wax and tea bags

solstice butterfly ~ gouache, watercolors, wax & casein paint on tea bag, 4" x 6"

veering back to wax and tea bags briefly (not that i would ever bounce around from one thing to another) so that i can post a basic step-by-step of what i'm doing with them. several people have asked, so in case it's helpful to others, here it is...

i'm using purified beeswax from R&F encaustics - i melt in in my Ranger 'melting pot' (a very handy thing).

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make tea and let soak until you like the amount of staining on the bag

dry the bag and take the tea out (but leave the back seam of the bag closed - just open up the ends). leave all of the little flaps folded when you're done.

iron it

draw and/or paint on the front of the bag with the usual stuff - watercolors, oil pastels, colored pencils, and/or gouache

when the paint is dry, open up the back seam of the tea bag so it's now almost 4" x 6"

brush matte gel medium lightly on the book page and press the tea bag onto it - let dry

heat up the wax and brush it on (all over the page)

take a quilting iron and move the wax around 'til you like the distribution

with an awl draw designs in the wax and rub gouache or casein paint (or oil pastels) into the dug out areas (wipe off the excess, but maybe not all!)

paint with gouache, casein paint, or oil pastels on the wax

* * *


one thing to remember about gouache, casein paint, and tubes of high quality watercolors, is that while they're water soluble, when you use them without adding water they stick beautifully to wax (or to oil pastels). it's only when you add water that they're not so compatible. so i use all of these mediums straight out of the tube a lot. amazingly they still go a long way when you use them like this.

XO

19 comments:

  1. Thanks, Lynne! Yes, I tried watercolor straight out of the tube on my encaustic surfaces, and it does sort of marry well. Thanks for this tip. I will try your process when I return to the studio on Monday. Cheers!

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  2. ooooh, this sounds like a fun thing to try..... thanks sooooo much for sharing. Your butterfly is so pretty. My Pogo arrived yesterday, so let the playing begin! xo Enjoy your weekend!

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  3. Oh yes thanks for sharing your process. I have some fabric tea bags that would be neat to use. Love your butterfly.

    Solstice Greetings Lynne

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  4. Very intriguing process, Lynne. I have not done any wax-work for YEARS but your beautiful results may spur me back there. Butterfly kisses, sus

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  5. I love this! Thanks so much for sharing your technique. Years ago, I painted and drew on tea bags and have many (many!) still waiting to be painted on. Coffee filters, too, poor neglected things! :0) The way you combine them with the wax looks really, really terrific.

    Faboo, dear friend, simply faboo!
    xo

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  6. aw, thanks.....i see my future! :-)

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  7. I was most interested in the teabag post the other day, and looked at your friend's work too. I will definitely keep this in mind to try soon!

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  8. I love what you have done with the tea bags! I have never used wax before I bought some so will have to give it a try, but right now I am up to my elbows in plaster!
    xo
    Kim

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  9. Love this, thanks so much for sharing. I've never used wax but like acrylic wax from ArtVanGo. May I ask what a Ranger melting pot is (cooking utensil or specialist piece of equipment?) Perhaps you could email me: annsomersetmiles@mac.com - I would be so grateful.

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  10. you are so awesome to give us step by step directions/suggestions! I might have to give it a go! love your piece.....

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  11. Are u asking me to do ironing ? !

    O no ;)

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  12. I love the textures. They are beautiful and intriguing. Your people are very haunting and mysterious. All the work you do is superb.

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  13. how did I miss this post? this is awesome- thank you so much for the step-by-steps!

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  14. What Sharmon said! This is cool. I have some new oil pastels and this could be major fun time!

    I just wish I hadn't lost my quilting iron in a tragic hair-straightening debacle.

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  15. Thanks very much for such a clear and straightforward step by step to do this technique, I have heard about it and have been unable to recreate it as well as I would like. So thank you very much. And especially thank you for the note about the water soluble paint I just bought new watercolors and have been dying to try them out, so thank you for the tip of using them straight out of the tube. The butterfly is beautiful by the way.

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  16. hi sarah, i don't know how to reach you so i'll reply here and hope you come back to read it. : )

    you're welcome for the tutorial, and yes, do paint right out of the tube! i've never tried da vinci paints and am wondering how they are. i'd love to hear what you think.

    xoxo

    lynne

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  17. I love this! I'm just getting back into watercolor after a long hiatus. Thanks for inspiring me. I mentioned you on my blog today: http://whatnotshop.blogspot.com/2013/01/haiku-and-watercolor.html

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  18. Hi Lynne,

    I've already started drying my tea bags. I have a question. Why can't you open up the tea bag to the 4X6" to paint on it first? I'm not sure I understand why you keep it closed and just the ends opened.. is there a specific reason for this? Thanks so much. This is going to be fun?

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    Replies
    1. hi juju,

      the reason i leave the bag closed is because the paint will bleed through, and when you open it, you'll have wonderful unplanned 'designs' on the sides (which used to be the back of the bag). does that make any sense?!

      but it's fine to open the bag up right away too... i've done that so i can start right off with a bigger painting surface.

      xoxo

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