Tuesday, January 15, 2013

How to make an encaustic art beard

Ok so I started this as a fun project on Google plus but there is no way I can feasibly create a *Beardtrit* or beard portrait for everyone sporting facial hair. So I thought I would offer up the next best thing, a tutorial for those that might want to play with making their own.

you can click on any of the photos to enlarge them

So I start by using a panel made of masonite as what I am going to melt my wax on. I do this so the wax does not sink into it and will release when I stamp paper on to it. I am using regular crayons and out of experience I found a small chunk of wax will cover a lot of surface and it is easier to cover it faster if you cut them up. I have a flash dryer for a screen printing setup I am using to melt the wax, I do not expect you to have one of these. This can be done just as easily with a heat gun or hairdryer.
I let them melt completely then tilt the panel to let the wax run as much over the whole surface as I can.
Then I lay  heavy card stock down and use a piece of wood to smooth it over the wax since wax is hot and I do not like burning my fingertips 
I usually end up doing this up to five times until I am happy with the texture and coverage

For the next part I usually print the photo of the beard I am using, in this case Steve Holst and cut it out making a stencil. I then use a pencil to trace around it onto the wax. 

I then take and x-acto knife and use the side of it to scratch the wax back off in the form of hair

From here you can do a few things. I had originally started blacking all the background out with acrylic paint. Lately I have thought it is a better effect if I use the x-acto knife to cut it out and glue it to a white or black piece of card stock depending on what looks best.

Then I scan it and done.