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Graphite or Pigment Transfer

Graphite on White Encaustic
There is more than meets the eye with transfers onto wax; however, you can create fine lines, patterns, and detailed drawings with a fair amount of ease. Transfers on encaustic are, pretty much straight forward, and almost like any other graphite or pigment transfer- that is to say with a few recommendations. 

First recommendation, use a soft graphite or pigment (e.g. soft pastel and conte) and generously coat the backside of the area to be transfered. Needless to say: it is not necessary to coat the entire reverse side of the paper, only the area that lies behind the image- you can see the image from the reverse side because transfer paper is inherently transparent.

Second use a dull pencil or other dull pointed object. Almost any smoothly pointed tool (referencing the size and smoothness of a ball point pen) will work, as long as it isn't prone to tear the transfer paper. It isn't as much of a worry that the transfer paper gets torn, that it is the tendency to easily cut into the wax surface (unless this is desired). Cutting into the wax is not going to adversely effect your piece; however, fusing the surface after transfer (which is highly recommended) will cause wax to melt into those lines cut to deeply, diminishing the crisp clean look that may be desired. It is also noted that gentle pressure can also slightly cut into the wax, depending on the hardness of the surface, and the time which was allotted for it to properly cool.

Third, and speaking of surface, your wax surface should be fairly smooth when transferring images. This is not to say you can not or should not transfer onto a textured or rough surfaces, only that smooth surfaces lend better to clearer images.

Remember fusing helps seal the transfer, keeping it from smearing, or worse, from rubbing off. Care should be taken in not fusing excessively, because as the surface becomes more liquified, it will move around. It is purely preference to wait for the wax to completely cool/harden, this only helps in not incising the surface. However, a recently cooled piece is slightly tacky, assisting in transfer, yet also softer under tool. 

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---------------------------------------{ A Note to Readers }---------------------------------------

Revisiting old topics and filling in holes is quite a chore, yet a necessary one, one that will offer more quality information. For example: recent activity and questions surrounding hardboard and/or masonite, has directed our attention to fill in the blanks on that topic (currently under revision/addition), as well as, more about gesso (specifically encaustic gesso) and other topics (search the tabs), all are in the works. 

Prior years were to get as much general information as possible up and available- a starting point. More and more however, new topics are focused and detailed, and old ones will be getting revisiting; removing any possibility of confusion. 

I should point out that this is a one person operation (takes me awhile to get around to everything, ohh yeah, I should make some art), Anyway, where was I?, oh! one person operation..., even though I tend to refer in posts and topics as we, it is to remove the need to revisit things later when it really is we. All of this whilst working, making art, and whatever may be the case.

As always, I welcome any opinions, comments, and questions- simply contact me.

Thank you
Jonathan Parks