This week I started and finished my very first new piece in my new studio. I thought I would document the process a bit to give you a peek inside how the building of an encaustic painting works. My inspiration came from this photo I snapped last week of the floor of my studio:

I loved how you could see the various colors the floor had been painted in previous years, and I couldn’t help but think about the artists who came before me and made this same studio their own. So I started by putting down some layers:

This green actually came from all the various colors that have spilled out of their tins and onto the surface of the hot plate. It was full of bits of dirt and dust that had collected, making it all the more appropriate for a painting of the messy floor. Next, I added the grey color that covered it all:

Then I had fun scraping back the grey in patches and scratches to reveal the colors beneath:

I gave it the heat gun treatment to make it look a bit more natural and added the white paint (I decided to use white on the solid swatch because another grey would make the piece as a whole too dark):

This is where I lapsed in my documentation of the process (oops). This is also where I nearly scrapped the whole piece. I wasn’t happy with the colors, and that white patch just wasn’t working. So I looked back at the floor and chose another color (visible elsewhere but not in the photo). Red:

Groundbreaking, encaustic on wood, 11″ x 14″

To finish the piece, I did a light image transfer of a black and white version of the original photo. It added nice texture and gave it an authentically dirty look. Obviously this is not an accurate representation of that patch of ground, and I clearly took liberty with the colors and composition, but I am happy with the outcome.