Pre- and Post-Conference Workshop Preview

Back to 11th International Encaustic Conference Home Page

REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN! To register click here.

All one-day workshops cost $240 plus materials fees.
All two-day workshops cost $480 plus materials fees.

Pre-Conference Workshops
May 30 - June 1, 2017

Mop and Mark: A 2 day workshop in Mark-making with a mop or large brushes and Encaustic Monotype
May 30 & 31, Tuesday & Wednesday
10am - 4pm

With this workshop, we will free-up our movements, discover a new language of marks beyond our habituated ones, and develop processes that can inform future works in any media. We begin by engaging the whole body using big brushes and mops with India ink on body-size paper. We expand our vocabulary using unusual tools such as sticks and found objects. Utilizing our “library” of marks, we create encaustic monotypes on the Roland HOTbox. Working freely, we combine encaustic monotypes with ink and wash. Our process will yield many works on paper that can be utilized alone or with other works such as paintings on panels. This evolution will yield a new language of marks and a process that can continue to morph according to one’s personal vision, chosen imagery, and medium. Discussions include: a Zen approach, review of composition, and application of processes learned to future works.

Contemporary Portraiture in Encaustic
May 30 & 31, Tuesday & Wednesday
10am - 4pm

Many people would like to try Portraiture and/or Figurative painting in Encaustic but are unsure of where to start and how to proceed. This Workshop will take the mystery out of it (but not the magic!). Step by step instruction will show you how to approach a portrait or figure, from the initial drawing to the final highlight. Working vertically on either canvas or panel, I will teach you how to use the hot palette to create luminous skin tones, how to accurately draw the head, how to interpret the light, halftone and shadow and how to paint the features. I will demonstrate the use of water based encaustic paint as one of the final steps in a portrait, creating very expressive passages and transitions. 
This is a hands on course and while the focus is on contemporary portraiture, you will get an opportunity to try a variety of techniques. I trained at a traditional art atelier in Florence but I have been working in encaustic for over 10 years and I have adapted the traditional methods, to encaustic work. I am a firm believer in knowing the rules of painting and once you know them, breaking them as you wish! Drawing is key and with step by step instruction you will be able to make sense of the somewhat complicated territory of building a portrait in encaustic; a wonderfully expressive and creative material. 
Other topics covered will include safety, history, properties of pigments and different waxes, making your own supplies , texture and mark making, embedding and transfers, fusing, supports and what you need to do to work on canvas . You will get a wealth of information on what will work with encaustic.

Alternative Methods & Materials in Encaustic: Exploring Line
May 30 & 31, Tuesday & Wednesday
10am - 4pm

Lines lead the eye and communicate information through variation in width, direction, density, length and character. They are as integral to any composition as the composition itself. Despite the incredible versatility of the encaustic medium, there is a limit to the techniques available in which to incorporate line. Open to those with a beginning to advanced level of encaustic experience, this workshop will explore line and linear language far beyond the usual methods and materials to include the use of tjanting tools, drawing with horse and human hair, branding with heated metal and wood burning tools, as well as creating your own grids, laces and lacelike forms using free motion sewing machine embroidery on water soluble stabilizer. The workshop begins with a comprehensive exercise involving composition generation, which will result in several compositions from which to explore these new techniques. Considerations of the use of the grid as a conceptual as well as compositional tool will also be discussed. Most materials and a sewing machine will be included for class use.  

What Do Colors Really Do? Applying of Color Theory to the Paint You are Using
May 31 & June 1, Wednesday & Thursday
10am - 4pm

The purpose of this workshop, will be a systematic hands-on exploration of color theory using R&F Pigment Sticks. There will be exercises using color theory principles in the mixing, layering, and juxtaposing of color. This workshop differs from traditional approaches to color theory, which rely on calibrated color sets, like Color-Aid. The limitation to these approaches is that they do not relate to the specific pigments and mediums that you work with in your studio. This class approaches the subject with a practical application of the colors you are already familiar with and expands your knowledge of them. 
You will experiment with the different aspects of pigments – their opacity, temperature, saturation, and value – and see how they play crucial roles in mixing and color composition.  We also look at how different mediums, the absorbent properties of grounds, and the diffusing nature of texture can either radically or subtly affect the characteristics of colors and how they interact with light. The conversation will bring us to the “mechanics” of color – the physical and chemical processes that underlie those characteristics of pigments and mediums and grounds. We will see:

  • What makes pigments translucent or opaque, brighter or deeper, muted or vivid
  • What makes colors influence each other
  • What makes light influence a color 

Overall this knowledge will help you understand how to make more purposeful choices in design including: contrast, balance, movement, and depth.

Cyanotype & Encaustic
May 31 & June 1, Wednesday & Thursday
10am - 4pm

Cyanotype is a direct, hands-on, light-sensitive process producing unique and beautifully blue images. In this 2-day workshop you’ll learn how to integrate cyanotype elements on paper and fabric with encaustic based work.

Beginning Encaustic
June 1, Thursday
10am - 4pm

In this hands-on workshop, participants will explore the luminous beauty and versatility of encaustic painting. The workshop will focus on encaustic painting basics, as well as how to easily and inexpensively incorporate encaustic into a regular studio practice. Equipment and tools, encaustic paint recipes, pigmenting options, painting supports, safety considerations and more will be discussed. Participants will learn how to create image, texture and line using a variety of techniques and how to embed collage elements, found objects and image transfers within translucent layers of wax. Ample time for hands-on work will be provided.

Finding Your Mark
June 1, Thursday
10am - 4pm

Lisa will demonstrate painting with R&F pigments sticks along with blender stick, oil paint, cold wax and her favorite drawing materials. Through guided exercises students will revisit fundamental of art concepts along with experimenting with these materials. Layering, mono printing and mark making will be covered along with the use of tools such as scrapers and brayers. Students will create 10-20 small scale studies on board and paper. (No encaustic included)

Fired Up
June 1, Thursday
10am - 4pm

Who likes to play with fire? Pat Spainhour, assisted by her blacksmith husband Paul Spainhour, will present a one day workshop experimenting with the burned surface and encaustic paint. Students will learn how to scorch paper, use fireworks (sparklers) on paper, brand a wood panel, and even create texture with gunpowder. This is an exciting experience, safety measures will be in place, and the  burning controlled. Beeswax, medium, and encaustic paints will be introduced to the surface for finishing techniques.

Post-Conference Workshops
June 5 - 9, 2017

SHARON LOUDEN (Keynote Speaker)
Artist as Culture Producer
June 5, Monday

Painting Workshop (TBA)
June 5 & 6, Monday & Tuesday

Mixed Media Printmaking
June 5 & 6, Monday & Tuesday
10am - 4pm

This 2-day intensive workshop will explore printmaking with an experimental approach and encourage intuitive thinking and play.  Participants will create imagery using encaustic collagraph processes, chine colle, and hand-drawing applications while exploring the second-generation image that comes off the press.  Multi-plate images will be demonstrated and students will create multicolor prints.  The emphasis of the class is image making and each participant will receive feedback and guidance in creating their personal vision.

Professional Practices
June 6, Tuesday
10am - 4pm

This Workshop will provide extensive hands-on practical information and tools to pursue a career as a fine artist. Emphasis will be on the transition from the academic to the working environment and the development of creating goals and gaining the info and skills to maintain a lifelong active studio practice as a working full or part-time artist. This course will cover a broad spectrum of subjects relating to the practical and business nature of an artist’s life. This includes time management, portfolio development including artist statement, resume, cv; presentation and installation of work; use of digital technology; web presence, social media; marketing; galleries, non-profits, alternative spaces; residencies; grant writing, legal issues; ethical and professional practices; networking and more.  

Maintaining Your Edge: The Art of Stenciling
June 5 & 6, Monday & Tuesday
10am - 4pm

This two day workshop will cover advanced stenciling techniques using both encaustic and Pigment Sticks. Participants will explore the various materials and methods they can use to expand their stenciling vocabulary. The majority of time will focus on working. This workshop is geared towards students with a strong working knowledge of the encaustic process.

Advanced Painting Techniques
June 5 & 6, Monday & Tuesday
10am - 4pm

This two day workshop offers a great opportunity to develop, refine and widen the approaches of your painting techniques. During the first day, we will discuss different aspects of encaustic painting. Alexandre will demonstrate his use of the medium by showing different steps of his approach. Presenting the advantages of the double-boilers, he will demonstrate ways to achieve interesting textures, various fusing methods, using drawing tools, indirect drawing, underpainting, the great versatility of fan brushes and so on….  All these techniques can easily be applied both to representation or abstraction. The participants may either work from photos, from objects or in an abstract manner, but the main focus will be geared towards a painterly approach.  Staying away from tricks and gadgets, the goal is to push your own technique and art practice by suggesting new avenues to explore and provide different ways to achieve your vision.
The main focus of the second day is to allow the participants to explore the various notions presented in the first day. Alexandre will talk individually to each participant about their own practice, and how they can further develop their painting ability, control and understanding of the visual language. The objective is to make sure that each participant returns to their practice with new tools and knowledge, having a higher level of understanding of painting and of the encaustic medium and its many subtleties.

Instagram for the Artist
June 7, Wednesday
10am - 4pm

A hands-on workshop from setup to posting and the inner working of Instagram for the Artist. Topics include account set-up, geotagging, business account vs. personal, messaging, Emoji, other apps to use with Instagram, hashtags, and posting strategy, plus photography tips.

June 7, Wednesday
10am - 4pm

You’ve got the fusing thing down…well most of the time.

You know how to mix colors.

In this workshop, participants will learn how to take their work to the next level…

Designed for the artist who wants utilize what they already know in painting with encaustic; who are interested in finding their voice and developing a body of work. Working with Binnie, they will be able to apply the best techniques to achieve their vision in pigmented wax.

Spend studio time together…looking…thinking…talking…working on your art.
What is your work about?
What are you trying to say?
What do you need to know to get there?

Working with Soft Supports
June 7, Wednesday
10am - 4pm

Hard substrates like wood panels, ceramic or metal, limit the ways in which wax and other materials can be applied.  Using soft supports like cotton quilt batting, oil-absorbent sheets used for hazardous waste cleanup, and perhaps canvas and other fabrics, we will expand the possibilities by sewing through these materials after they are soaked through with wax.  These soft materials also provide a direct method of attaching mixed media elements.  And like working with encaustic atop rigid supports, these soft supports can be painted on, image-transferred on, and collaged on.  Students will also learn various innovative methods of mounting, framing and hanging including affixing work to rigid under-supports.  Or by free-hanging the finished pieces, students will compare the results of viewing the work with and without light coming through from behind. This workshop is appropriate for students with beginning through advanced knowledge / experience in encaustic.


Wax, Wire, Fiber: Working with Armature
June 7 & 8, Wednesday and Thursday
10am - 4pm

In this class we will be constructing lightweight sculptures using wire armature, covered in wax dipped papers and fabrics. We will begin with exercises that focus on the physical changes that occur in fabric and paper when they are wax saturated. Then we will introduce wire as a structural element to add complexity and structure to our formal exploration. Soldering will be one of the main a methods for joining metal giving the work permanence and stability. Students will use Encaustic as the finishing surface in these 3 dimensional mixed media works adding color, texture and luminosity to their pieces.

Wax, Yupo, Washi – Encaustic Collagraph on Japanese Papers
June 7 & 8, Wednesday & Thursday
10am - 4pm

Yupo is a synthetic paper available in pads, sheets and rolls of various weights.  It makes the perfect substrate to create hot wax plates called encaustic collagraphs.  The surface holds gestural marks of the brush and objects can be coated with wax and stamped. Layers of wax can be incised or textured to create depth. Tapes and stencils can be employed to block areas for precise, geometric areas and defined edges.  The imaged plates can be printed as relief, intaglio or combined with monotype and drypoint, all using the Yupo.  This method is economical, plates easily cleaned and stored and have the additive benefit of being easily cut with scissors or utility knives. In this two-day workshop, we will make plates, explore various printing strategies such as multiple color plates, transparency and chine colle. Additional encaustic applications of the completed prints and Japanese papers will be part of the learning experience.

Encaustic Still Life, Elegant Play
June 7 & 8, Wednesday & Thursday
10am - 4pm

This workshop will offer a creative approach to the discipline of still life painting using encaustic. During the two-day session through demonstration and personal instruction, the beautiful interaction of the translucent skin of the wax film will be applied to a creative dialogue with observable objects. The character, intrinsic nature and interaction of objects and environment will become the inspiration for the work.
The expressive possibilities of the medium are well suited to the thoughtful consideration of the still life. The objects we surround ourselves with are often a reflection of the visual choices, which most deeply engage and move us. The excitement, which a still life painting session evokes, can translate into powerful and sublime painting.
The class will cover important considerations including composition, theme, focus, texture, spatial interaction, value range, and verisimilitude vs. interpretative aesthetics.

Metal | Metallic
June 8 & 9, Thursday and Friday
10am - 4pm

Metal | Metallic is a two-day encaustic workshop designed to take students beyond the basics involved in working with encaustic.  A hands-on studio course, this workshop will focus on the technical aspects of incorporating small pieces of metal and rust with encaustic medium and paint, as well as the opportunity to work with metal leaf and metallic pigment sticks to create work that shimmers and has depth.  An emphasis will be placed on expressing meaning through an exploration of composition.  Students will have plenty of time to explore and develop their personal ideas and visual vocabulary on multiple panels.  If you love old nails or collect small pieces of found metal and rust, learn how to incorporate these objects into encaustic medium. The application of metallic pigment stick and silver and gold leaf will be demonstrated as ways to finish work, add shine, and enhance metal surfaces.

Composition and Collage
June 9, Friday
10am - 4pm

This workshop takes a lively approach to exploring and mastering composition through layering and image manipulation using Lyn’s hugely successful AB3 System of Composition as a springboard for ideas in mixed media and encaustic work, particularly photocollage.
In the first phase, allows a painter to envision several “right answers” to each composition while creating journal-like collage studies. Participants will veil, conceal and reveal images with loosely applied acrylic paint, stamps, stencils and other collage elements.  The second phase bring these simple composition-mastery exercises into the photocollage process. This will be done through manipulating and arranging non-copyright photographs, veiling them with beeswax and encaustic medium layering, scraping, and applying translucent surface treatments to produce a fail-proof, viewer-engaging encaustic work. Participants can expect to complete at least one or two pieces. Prior work with encaustic materials is suggested but not mandatory.

Encaustic in 3-D
June 8 & 9, Thursday & Friday
10am - 4pm

One of the versatilities of working with encaustic is its use for sculpture. One of those uses is inherent to its ability to give structure to soft materials. It can also be used to add strength, and to seal and finish surfaces, among others uses that will be talked about in class. In this workshop, students will be using wire and plaster gauze to sculpt pieces. They will be also using papers and fibers dipped in wax to create sculptural pieces, by folding, twisting, sewing, and attaching pieces together to build a structure that can be mounted or installed as well.
The plaster pieces will be prepared on day one and left to dry. Day two will be spent finishing up their sculptures, and learning different ways to display them, as well as how to attach them to a panel or support. They will be painting their prep pieces; experiencing the different ways that encaustic can enhance its surfaces. Students will be encouraged to use mixed media elements, combined with other media to develop their concepts and push their limits and possibilities. We will wrap up the workshop with a discussion and critique. By developing an awareness of the sculptural possibilities of the Encaustic medium, this workshop is designed to increase the ability to create, see and respond to a 3-D object, despite your personal style. A materials list will be provided upon registration.