Thursday, February 1, 2018

Journey Faux Encaustic Mixed Media Canvas For A Vintage Journey

Hello everyone, the month of February is upon us (already!) and it's time for a new challenge over at A Vintage Journey blog. This month our host Julia has proposed the theme of 'Melt It!' and here is her brief:

This month we're asking everyone to MELT IT! Get out the UTEE (ultra thick embossing enamel), beeswax, encaustic wax, embossing powders or good old wax crayons and a heat tool and get melting to create something in a vintage; shabby; mixed media; art journaling; industrial, timeworn or steampunk style.

Our sponsor this month is Country View Crafts and they are offering a £20 voucher for their online store to our lucky randomly chosen winner, thank you Country View Crafts!

I was super excited to see this month's challenge as I was hoping to have some of Seth Apter's brand new Baked Texture embossing powders from Emerald Creek Craft Supplies.  Unfortunately they haven't arrived yet so instead I decided to try and create a faux encaustic canvas with lots and lots of UTEE (Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel) and here is the result.

It's so hard to get a good picture to give you an idea of the depth and layers but I have to say I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out.  It would have been even more lovely with some of Seth's Vintage Beeswax Baked Texture, watch his demo at Creativation 2018 below, it's magic!

I did take some in process pics as I created my canvas so read on for the how to.

I started with a 5" x 7" flat artists canvas and did a little asemic writing/journaling with a black gel roll pen.

Next I glued down some torn bit and bobs of ephemera and papers, as you can see the gel pen smeared but I decided to just go with it.

The first 'Melt It!' layer came next, Oil Rubbed Bronze embossing powder added here and there through Tim Holtz's Tracks stencil.

I then added some shading around the ephemera papers with a black Faber-Castell Pitt pen and a water brush, taking the excess off of the top of the ephemera pieces with a damp baby wipe.

Colour came next with dilute washes of DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics in Cobalt Teal Hue and Prussian Blue Hue.  I had decided that I wanted the script fragment with the touches of Frankly Scarlet Infusions scattered over it to be my focal point, so kept the acrylic paints off of that area and used more of the teal hued paint around it so that the green undertone would be a compliment to the red infusions and help to draw the eye to that area.

Time for lots and lots of UTEE!  I inked the entire canvas with embossing ink and then melted the UTEE over the surface, adding more UTEE where needed by heating the area and sprinkling the UTEE on with my fingers.  I over worked the Tracks embossed stenciling on the right side and it melted and moved with the UTEE overtop of it but such is life!  A metal token that I got from Jess Madaglia was coloured with Mushroom alcohol ink and embedded into the hot UTEE in the top right corner.

I added a few grains of Oil Rubbed Bronze and Burnt Copper Leaves embossing powders into the hot UTEE here and there on the canvas.  After the first layer of UTEE cooled, I added some stenciling with brown acrylic paint and the small Rembrandt Words stencil from StencilGirl Products.

I wanted to bring some of the amber colouring of real encaustic beeswax into my canvas so covered the whole surface with Vintage Distress Matte Collage medium.  To draw more attention to my focal point I also adhered some fibers to the canvas with the collage medium, encircling the underlying script fragment with them.

I then added the word Journey to the right upper edge of the canvas and was going to do some more journaling here and there when my white paint pen exploded!  I had to go with the flow so I just took the paint pen apart and added splatters of white paint here and there ... kind of like the way it looks!

And then it was time for the final 'Melt It!' layer, I inked the canvas with embossing ink to adhere another layer of UTEE and then sprinkled it on with my fingers as needed to cover everything and embed the fibers.  The UTEE is quite reflective and I wasn't getting the encaustic appearance I was going for but then remembered a tip Seth had shared in one of his Facebook Live demo's from Creativation.  I covered the entire canvas with a coat of Matte Distress Collage Medium to get rid of the shine and it worked perfectly, the canvas had that lovely matte encaustic appearance that I had hoped for.

A few more finishing touches were added, I rewrote the Journey word on top of the final UTEE coat and added some more droplets of white paint, layering a few of the droplets on top of the ones below to enhance the depth.

Love how the layered Journey word echoes the artistic journey that this piece took me on, you can catch a glimpse of the suspended UTEE layers in the picture below.

To enhance my focal point, I first added a layer of Wink Of Stella over top the script fragment but for some reason it wouldn't dry on top of the collage medium so I wiped it off and added a coat of gloss varnish.  It added just enough of a reflective difference to that area to capture your attention, perfect!

You can get a sense of the depth and the way that the fibers seem to be floating in the pic below, I think I have a new obsession!

And here are a couple of more close ups, you will note that there are bubbles within the UTEE which I am pretty sure I can attribute to my impatience in not letting everything dry completely before adding more and more layers but I actually like them.

So there you have it, hope that you have enjoyed seeing my Journey Faux Encaustic mixed media canvas, I had a blast making it and am pretty sure I have a new obsession, although as I've noted before my obsessions change on a weekly basis!

Make sure to pop by A Vintage Journey to see what the rest of the Creative Guides have made to inspire you and hope that you will also join in our 'Melt It!' challenge this month.  Can't wait to see what you link up and as always, happy creating!

Deb xo


  1. What a marvelous melt it project Deb - I love your tale of all the trials and tribulations you went through in it's creation but you were undaunted and each trial became a layer of beauty - I can just imagine the depth of layers IRL - you have captured it well in your photos! thank you for joining in my challenge this month! Julia xx

  2. Oh wow Deb this has incredible depth to it and really has taken on the look of an encaustic canvas. I love the asemic writing and all the elements you added to it - brilliant. xxx

  3. oh what fun you had! Deb, in a good way :) . Enjoyed watching the process and seeing the piece develop into a lovely piece . Love the fibres
    have a great weekend
    hugs x

  4. Wow! This is truly such a neat project and looks like a piece of fine art! You've layered color and textures beautifully. Love it! Big hugs, Autumn

  5. What a great collage background you created Deb and adding those fibers really made a difference. I did have to smile about your exploding pen but it looks to me like you intended to splatter that way and I think it looks fantastic. I do hope your Seth EPs arrive soon, I think you will enjoy using them very much!! Hugs, Anne xx

  6. Wow Deb! so many incredible layers! I love how everything shows through and particularly love how you have caught the threads. Wonderful ! Jennie x

  7. Oh Deb, this s so, so cool!! What an amazing effect you have achieved with all those different layers!! A great step out too! Love the metal bit embedded into the wax! With or without Seth's new powders, this is a master piece I absolutely LOVE it!!!

  8. Oh Deb, I love the depth you got here. Your layers are perfect and so effective.
    Hugs, S@ndy xx

  9. Love all your layers Deb. A great idea to add the Vintage Collage medium to create the beeswax effect. Like you I was hoping Seths powders would have arrived but alas we have to wait! I am with you with those fibres - stunning results! xxx

  10. These layers. Gotta love em!

  11. Oooh, Deb, I will take a dozen of these encaustic (faux or not, it looks like the real deal, IMHO) canvases. You have done an amazing job with this challenge theme, and I so enjoyed reading about your process! Embedding the fibers is genius, and I'm pleased you had a few Oops moments that you recovered beautifully from! A real work of art I'd be proud to hang on my wall! Hugs!

  12. Scrumptious! The thick layer of UTEE gives your collaged papers a fabulous depth, and tactile interest too with the fibres embedded. Like you, I'm awaiting the Seth powders with great anticipation, and the Beeswax is the one I'm most excited about... you'll just have to do another variation of this fabulous piece when it does arrive!
    Alison x

  13. very inspiring project Deb x and I love that you shared the details of your faux encaustic techniques...wonderful effect x

    TFS and hugs
    Annie x

  14. ohhh so cool. thanks for sharing your how to. I love it

  15. Beautiful canvas! I enjoyed learning about all the different techniques you used for the Melt It! Theme - perfect 😁. Thanks for the inspiration and wishing you a happy new week! J 😊


Due to an inordinate number of SPAM comments lately I have had to turn on comment moderation. Your comment will be published as soon as it has been reviewed, thanks so much for your interest in my work! Deb xo