Sunday, April 19, 2015

Mixing Media, Shellac and Encaustic

The Spring session has begun at the North Shore Art League and I am teaching encaustic painting twice a week. Both classes are full and I am starting to feel like I am finally finding my niche since moving to the midwest (Chicago)... and it's only taken 2 years!

One of my students had taken a semi-private workshop with me over the winter and was anxious to use a shellac burn in her encaustic painting. Ever since demonstrating the technique, I have been incorporating shellac, reviving older paintings, using this technique.

12" x 12" mixed media on panel

I decided to cover an older work (below) with a light cream toned encaustic paint, knowing the red would bleed through the top layer once fused. I also etched into the wax with a sharp pointed tool the figure of the Buddha, and kept the shellac away from the drawn figure. Once the burn was complete, I added details using transfer foil and oil pastels.

The older piece was part of a series of cave inspired works that were influenced by the Lascaux Cave Paintings. The new work (above) has no connection to the old other than it maintains a primitive feel.

Recently I sold one of my larger cave inspired works that had also been transformed with a similar technique using the shellac burn. 

"Deer and Buffalo Roaming"
24" x 24" mixed media on panel

I plan on reviving more older work using shellac this afternoon as my demo for class. I will be connecting subject and style to Buddha, and to a series of works I have titled "Sacred Spaces".


  1. You are a rolling stone when it comes to changing up your styles and subjects, Robin. Always beautiful end results too!!

  2. what beautiful way to revive an old painting!!! I love the texture as well as the serene mood of the composition!

  3. It is always a challenge when we rework on an old painting giving is a new life, you did wonders here! I look forward to the sacred spaces series, I have seen that the creative times with Buddha are always extra peaceful.

  4. Trying to rework on an old project is a difficult task (in any field)