I find that when teaching encaustic painting, one of the skills that takes the longest for students to develop is creating transparent colors.
Developing a hand at transparency in encaustic painting actually takes a while. It’s easy to get over-exuberant in choosing and applying color, and before you know it, the colors are too dark- well, not too dark, because the hues might be light, but too excessively pigmented.
But transparency is something worth striving for in encaustic painting. After all, you went through all that trouble to paint with wax…and for what purpose? Think about that. By placing layer upon layer of wax on a surface, you are introducing light in the most beautiful way. The colors you choose to embed become luminous as the light strikes the surface. Why kill light with excessive pigment?
Of course heavily pigmented and dark colors have their place. That’s the art form of painting! But by being aware of and then choosing, as a form of expression, the many options you are given within an art form (like encaustic painting), are what its all about when you master that medium.
So next time you are painting or pouring encaustic medium, think about light and transparency.
And, by the way, if you choose to paint or pour with Luminous Encaustic Wax Blox, just know that besides creating delicious palettes for you, I have made the colors transparent for you as well!