Where’s the Beef?

Where’s the Beef Encaustic Wood Panel

Designed and Created By: Anita Houston, The Artful Maven


Step 1 (Photo 001) – Tear parts from a dictionary or encyclopedia that have to do with your theme. Apply Ranger Multi Medium in Matte with a brush randomly where you want the torn pieces to go, and then lay them down. Brush over these with more Multi Medium. Let this dry about 10 minutes.

Step 2 (Photo 002) – Apply Multi Medium to the whole wood panel and lay your tissue paper print over this, pressing it from the middle first and then pressing it outward until the whole print is adhered. Leave the edges hanging off instead of adhering them. Use your finger to rub away some of the tissue revealing the dictionary paper or wood underneath. If you get wrinkles, that is great, and will add more texture and interest to your piece. (Note: You can use any light weight paper for this, and several pieces of images rather than a whole sheet.) Let this dry about an hour, and then lightly use sand paper to rub away the excess tissue hanging from the sides.

Step 3 (Photo 003) – Use a Craft Sheet as your palette. Break off a little bit of a Gelato and add a squirt or two of water. Use a palette knife to crush up the pigment completely while adding a few more squirts of water. You want the consistency of an acrylic paint. Use paintbrushes to begin painting in your image in a splotch looking pattern, taking care to keep in the confines of each part of the image so that it is still recognizable. For example, if you are painting in a face, do the nose one color, the cheeks another, and so forth. Try to use lighter colors of Gelato on the lighter areas of the image, and darker colors where it’s darker to keep everything in contrast. Paint one color at a time, and then clean the brush and palette knife for the new color, crushing and blending with water like before. Paint in the outer areas with solid color so that your main image is the focal point. Let this dry. You can use a grey tone permanent marker to outline and define areas if you wish.

Step 4 (Photo 004) – Slice off another color of Gelato, crush with the palette knife while adding water. Use a Mini Ink Blending Tool with clean foam and sop up the color and pounce it a little on the craft sheet to make sure you don’t have it too wet. Lay your stencil over the place where you want the stenciled image to be, and begin pouncing the pigment through the stencil taking care not to move it. Stencil randomly over the panel. To switch stencils and pigments, clean the used stencil with water as well as the foam from the blending tool, and then begin again with a new color and stencil. Let this dry. You can also paint the sides of the canvas with the pigment.

Step 5 (Photo 005) – Heat the wax in the Melt Pot on about 190 degrees up to the fill line. Once it’s melted insert the Hake Brush completely. Lay your canvas next to the Melt Pot to prevent unnecessary drips. Work top to bottom vertically, and begin brushing on the wax slowly in a rhythmic motion, line by line, each time dipping the brush in the wax completely for each line, until the whole panel is covered.

Step 6 (Photo 006) – Using a heat gun on low setting, work in circles to reheat the wax on the panel so that it is smooth like a sheet of ice, and all the paintbrush marks are gone. Take great care not to push the wax off of the surface. Once an area is glossy and heated, move to a new area all the while moving the heat gun. Do this until the whole panel is smooth. You have just fused the wax . You may add another layer of wax if you wish just like before, and remember to fuse again. The wax will look cloudy until it’s completely set and thoroughly cooled. You may also have some tiny divots in the wax. This is good, especially for the next part, so love your divots.  If you have gotten any wax on the sides of the panel, just scrape it off with the palette knife.

Step 7 (Photo 007) – As mentioned in the last step, if you have any divots, that is a good thing. Take a Gelato stick and directly color on to the cooled wax. Once you’ve colored in a small area, use the warmth of your finger to spread and push in the Gelato pigment into each little divot and crevice. You can even purposely make lines with a craft pick and fill those in with Gelato. Also, now is the time to carve in your name in the corner of the panel, and fill that in with Gelato. Color on the whole panel, making sure to fill in every indention. Once finished, take a clean, soft rag, and apply a few drops of Walnut Oil on it. Begin rubbing away the Gelato with the Walnut Oil, dipping back in the oil about five or six times, until the whole panel is cleaned of. Put the oil away, and use a clean portion of the rag to remove any more oil, pigment, and any residue. Once thoroughly clean, use several sheets of Kleenex Tissue and lightly buff the whole panel in circular motions until the panel is super shiny. Do not press too hard or bits of Kleenex will tear off and stick to the wax. If that happens use more oil to remove it. Keep buffing until super shiny.  It will squeak as you go, and that is good, as it means all oil is removed. This is also how you will clean your piece if it gets dusty…only with Kleenex.

*Note: When hanging or displaying your panel, keep it away from heat sources, like sunny windows, heat vents, fire places, etc., to keep your wax in place.

  • Materials:

    16×20 Inch Wood Panel

    Dictionary or Encyclopedia Pages for Tearing

    Ranger® Multi Medium in Matte

    Wide Bristle Paint Brush

    16×20 Inch Sheet of Tissue Paper with an Image of Your Choice

    Fine Grain Sand Paper

    Craft Sheet

    Water Mister

    Faber-Castell® Gelatos™ in Various Colors

    Palette Knife

    Medium and Detail Paint Brushes

    Cup of Water

    Paper Towels

    Tim Holtz® Collection Layering Stencils in Dot Fade and Bubble

    Ranger® Mini Ink Blending Tool with Clean Foam

    Ranger® Melt It™ Melt Pot

    Clear or Natural Wax Medium (Can be in pellet or block form)

    1 to 2 Inch Hake or Natural Bristle Brush

    Heat Gun

    Craft Pick

    Soft Rag

    Walnut Oil

    Kleenex Tissue

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