Encaustic PaintSmash: Basic Scraping Methods

After my last PaintSmash How-To explaining application of encaustic paint with your flashing brushes, you likely think I’ve gone completely mad, creating hot mess paintings with no rhyme or reason….maybe…but my madness is only temporary. Now I’m going to show you how to reel it back in, gain control of the madness and pull an interesting composition out of those colorful layers using several tools and methods.

After my last PaintSmash How-To explaining application of encaustic paint with your flashing brushes, you likely think I’ve gone completely mad, creating hot mess paintings with no rhyme or reason….maybe…but my madness is only temporary. Now I’m going to show you how to reel it back in, gain control of the madness and pull an interesting composition out of those colorful layers using several tools and methods. For a little review, visit this post for a How-To to making an alternative encaustic brush from flashing material and this post for a How-To and video link on how to use it. Also, visit this post for my favorite tools in which some of the tools I mention in this article are highlighted.

Follow the methods below to pull out, reveal and carve a composition. Use a combination of all of the methods and tools described below. Look for contrasts; solid, quieter areas of color next to busier areas, complimentary color combinations, grays, whites and earth tones next to brighter areas of color. Stay tuned for my next blog post in which I delve into composition a bit further.

What You Need (Visit this post for a comprehensive explanation of the razor blade, clay scraper and double-sided scraper tool)

  • Razor Blade
  • Clay Scraper
  • Double Sided Scraper Tool
  • An Encaustic Painting Preferably on wood with at least 8-15 layers of paint.
  • Iwatani Torch and/or heat gun
  • Time & Patience Yoga breathing, Zen

Methods (Go to my IGTV channel or to my new YouTube Channel to watch me begin to transform a chunky hot mess, PaintSmashed painting using the techniques below) Watch this video to see me demonstrate scraping using all three tools I discuss in the last blog post.

  1. Cold Scrape Best done at the start of your studio day before heating the board and by using the razor blade as your main tool. Scrape slowly without digging or gauging, taking off thin layers, little by little. Observe the subtle changes taking place on the surface of your painting. This method requires lots of patience, do not rush the process, you will be pleasantly surprised at what you find.
  2. Warm Scrape Your surface should be warm, tepid, NOT HOT, which may cause unwanted smearing and smushing. Slightly warm the surface with your heat gun or torch and scrape slowly without digging using the clay scraper or razor blade.
  3. Soft Scrape Self explanatory, but must be mentioned and must be practiced. Most people start scraping way too aggressively and way too hot. Make sure you’re not overheating and if you find you’re taking too much off or gauging, practice lightening up your pressure.
  4. Hard Scrape This method is to be used only in the event that you want to remove lots of layers at once using the loop or Sculpture House tools. I usually do this in only one section of a painting when things get a bit too busy and I want to add a chunk of a solid color. This method can also be used when you want to completely scrape back or ‘murder’ one of your paintings.
  5. Carve Use the double sided scraper tool, needles and other pointy tools to incise and carve shapes into the layers. There is no limit to the fun you will have revealing the layers and shaping a composition by digging out lines, marks and carving shapes. Watch me carve out a form (short version) OR (long version) using the double sided scraper tool.

Author: lorraineglessner

I'm a mixed media artist, workshop instructor and former assistant professor at tyler school of art in Philadelphia, PA.

3 thoughts on “Encaustic PaintSmash: Basic Scraping Methods”

  1. I keep thinking I ned to switch my IG account to a business account. But you have to then have a business page on FB to do it? I ahve a hard enough time keeping up with what I have! Do you have two FB pages?

    Christine

    christine.s.aaron@gmail.com http://www.christineaaron.com http://www.TheMemoryProject.space https://www.instagram.com/christineaaronart/

    914.462.2454

    On Wed, Jul 25, 2018 at 10:23 AM, Christine Aaron wrote:

    > You’ve got videos up! Love the gallery talk and all these videos. At some > point you’ve got to show the starting and end points. Your process is so > complex, and technical…but intuitive and lyrical at the same time. I > think if I tried this I’d get stuck in the hot mess stage! SO much fun to > watch the videos! Wondering if you need some kind of sound though? I was > trying to think about that. Reg. studio sounds(of scraping etc) or > unobtrusive music? Not sure….. > BUT so happy you’re doing video. Any progress on classes yet? > My DIL (Kristen, Harrison’s wife) has been trying to get me to commit to > date to come do a short video for the Memory Project. I hate my voice and > being filmed and she promises not to include too much of me in it(my voice > though has to be…ICK) and I’m thinking of having her take a few videos > and stills of my studio to use going forward. It does seem that on IG > videos get way more attention than images…even if they are compelling(at > least I think so!) images….but so much to keep up with you know?? > XOXO > > Christine > > christine.s.aaron@gmail.com > http://www.christineaaron.com > http://www.TheMemoryProject.space > https://www.instagram.com/christineaaronart/ > > 914.462.2454 > > > > On Wed, Jul 25, 2018 at 4:01 AM, WordPress.com comment-reply@wordpress.com> wrote: > >> lorraineglessner posted: “After my last PaintSmash How-To explaining >> application of encaustic paint with your flashing brushes, you likely think >> I’ve gone completely mad, creating hot mess paintings with no rhyme or >> reason….maybe…but my madness is only temporary. Now I’m going” >>

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