Sunday, December 30, 2012

Stories of Cold Wax Painting

My love affair with cold wax painting continues. The pieces I'm doing now are completely experimental and intuitive, which is amazingly fun and occasionally frustrating. I painted last night and transformed my piece quite a few times before I was satisfied. Here it is:


You'd never know it, but this piece has red, blue, burnt sienna, green, yellow, iridescent gold, ochre, celadon, buff, white, and black in it.

Some things I've learned about cold wax painting:

Use colors  you love for the first couple of layers of wax and oil paint--you will likely want to scrape back to them later on.

I work best with large-ish panels so that I can make bolder strokes or excavations.

Adding texture to the layers as you go will result in interesting texture on the top layer even if the old color doesn't show through.

You can paint wet on wet with a few colors but then it is best (for me, anyway) to let the piece dry before adding more so I don't get mud. I find that translucent colors work best for wet on wet.

I need inspiring music to keep my changes and additions brave enough.  

There are thousands of ways your piece could go at anytime in the process. Just do a lot of pieces and you won't  be overwhelmed.  


I did this piece in the last Art of Life group, my monthly women's art workshop. The group members made me stop at this point and I'm glad they did.

I'll be teaching a class in cold wax called "Baby, It's Cold" at Art and Soul Retreat in Virginia Beach on April 27. I'm looking forward to seeing what the participants come up with.


teri said...

Thank you for your insights on cold wax, Serena. I've been giving cold wax a try recently, but I'm not very good at it. I hope you will teach it in CT this year!

Serena Barton said...

Thanks, Teri. I won't be in CT this coming year,unfortunately :( Hope we will connect somewhere else!

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