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Hot Sticks Technique Ideas

Drawing & Painting on Heated Substrates
   Hot Sticks are ideal for painting on heated substrates!  Lay a wood panel or sheet of art paper face up on your heated palette (Your palette should be set between 150 and 175 degrees Fahrenheit.)  Apply your Hot Sticks directly to the heated substrate.  Use your Hot Sticks on it's side to lay down broad strokes of color or use the tip of the Hot Stick for fine details.  Since the surface is heated,  the Hot Stick will flow effortlessly onto your surface. Working on heated substrates really simplifies the application of color as well as mixing colors. 

When you're finished, you can turn off the griddle and allow the substrate to cool before removing it or carefully lift the wood panel or paper from the hot palette and set it aside to cool on a flat surface.  As soon as your painting cools it will be finished, as there is no drying-time.

Image Transfers Using Wax Medium Or XD

Wax Medium and XD Wax Medium are great for making image transfers!  Lay a piece of art paper on your heated palette and using either your Wax Medium or XD Hot Stick, coat your paper with wax medium. Start by holding the stick on its side and swiping it across the hot surface. The heat will melt the stick and allow the wax medium to soak into the paper. This will provide a very smooth layer of medium and depending on the paper it may even become translucent with the absorption of the wax medium.  Now, carefully remove the paper from your hot palette and let it cool. 

Images that are easy to transfer are ones that have been drawn on a smooth paper such as tracing vellum with soft charcoal, graphite, primo pencil, or pastel pencils, pan pastels work nicely as well.  Take the image that you wish to transfer and place it face down onto the coated paper making sure to align it properly.  Apply consistent firm pressure to the back of the paper with a barren to transfer your image onto the Wax Medium coated surface.  Gently peel away the paper to reveal your image. 

To seal your transfer image, melt enough Wax Medium to use a brush application for the top coat.  Apply a thin layer of Wax Medium in one direction to cover the surface.  You can scrape off excess medium with a pottery tool if a smooth surface is desired.  Gently heat with a heat gun to properly bond and to remove scuff marks form the scrapings and your image transfer is complete!

Encaustic Printmaking With An Anodized Aluminum Plate

  Many artists are using our Enkaustikos Anodized Aluminum Plates and Hot Sticks for unique monoprints.  Place an anodized aluminum printing plate on your hot palette - of course, be sure to have already removed the protective film.  Use your Hot Sticks to draw or paint your image directly on the heated anodized aluminum plate.  Setting the hot palette between 150 to 160 degrees F will help maintain the image you create with cleaner edges and still be hot enough to heat your anodized plate. 

When your image is ready, lay a sheet of printmaking paper over the painted surface and with a barren apply gentle pressure to transfer the painted image to the paper. 
Some papers will be more absorbent than others and will yield different effects.  The more absorbent papers are well suited to take multiple lifts for more complex printmaking.  Carefully lift the paper to reveal your one of a kind encaustic print! 

Rubbing Techniques Made Easy
Hot Sticks make rubbing techniques simple and easy.  Lay a thin but strong sheet of smooth paper over any raised surface. Oriental rice papers are very strong and work exceptional well for rubbings.  Using the side of a Hot Stick gently rub across the paper in an outward stroke to transfer and reveal the image. (heat is not required for this step).  Repeat the rubbing process until the desired amount of paint has been transferred to the paper surface.

Gently heat the paper with a heat gun or lay the paper on a heated palette. The heat allows the paint to absorb into the paper and sets your pattern. Many artists will incorporate their rubbings as collage material for mixed media projects.  You can also coat the paper with either Wax Medium or XD Wax Medium to set the transferred image.  This will impart a beautiful, translucent effect to your paper. 

Quick, Simple, and Beautiful Glazes

Hot Sticks are highly pigmented but can very easily be used as a glazing color with the addition of Wax Medium. Use either medium to make rich glazes or to coat artwork and papers.  Our XD Wax Medium has extra damar resin which when added to encaustic paint produces a harder, glossier, more translucent paint film than our standard wax medium.  

The more medium you add, the more translucent your paint will be!  Paints that are made with transparent or semi-transparent pigments work best for creating glazes.  Our website and color chart indicates which paints are transparent or opaque. For small amounts mix directly on your palette, larger amounts can be mixed in tins.  

Custom Color Mixing

If you like to make your own beautiful custom colors, try using Hot Sticks in your next combination.  Hot Sticks make creating custom colors very easy simply place a metal tin on your hot palette to heat and then add your selected Hot Sticks.  You can also melt as much or as little as you want right on your heated palette to create your own favorite mixes as you paint.

If you find yourself often creating custom mixes, don't forget about the Enkaustikos' custom color tins.  Our custom color tins have a unique label on the lid allowing you to write down your formulas and name your custom color creation.  These tins can be purchased from your Enkaustikos dealer, if they are not in stock ask about special orders.

Refilling Your Favorite Hot Cakes

Hot Sticks are the perfect size to fit in your Hot Cakes tins to refill your  Hot Cakes colors if needed.  The formula is exactly the same so you can use the colors interchangeably.  This means if you run of your favorite color and  need just a little more, toss a Hot Stick in your tin and you'll be able to keep painting.

Even better, the Hot Sticks display rack actually features our entire color line - all 86 professional encaustic wax paints - so if your local retailer doesn't carry all of our Hot Cakes colors, you can browse the Hot Sticks collection to try out new colors you've never used before. 

Color Mixing On The Hot Palette

  A great advantage of using Hot Sticks is the fact that you can melt as much or as little encaustic paint as you want.  This comes in handy particularly when you are color mixing on the palette or if you need to melt a little bit of color for your brush to pick up.  Simply apply your Hot Sticks to your pancake griddle or anodized aluminum plate to make a puddle of color and begin creating beautiful mixes.

Hot Sticks melt immediately when they come in contact with heat and cool almost as quickly. So you can enjoy your encaustic colors immediately.

Creating Translucent Effects And Wonderful Basecoats

Place a thin sheet of art paper on your hot palette to heat up.  Then using a Wax Medium or XD Wax Medium Hot Stick, turn the Hot Stick on it's side and cover the sheet of paper in the medium. 

After coating the paper with a thin layer of medium, carefully lift the sheet off of the palette.  There is no drying-time and you will notice that your paper will have a unique translucent look to it since it absorbed the medium.

After your paper is coated with wax medium, Hot Sticks glide nicely on top of the medium.  Keep the coated paper on top of the hot palette and apply your Hot Sticks, mixing colors as you desire.  When you are done, lift the sheet to see your final painting.



Collage and Mixed Media Applications

Hot Sticks also work well in mixed media and collage projects - when  using Hot Sticks you have the ability to melt as much or as little paint as you want. 

Include Hot Sticks colors in your next collage or mixed media piece and you will fall in love with the unique working properties of encaustic.  Utilize Wax Medium in your collaging techniques, create eye-catching glazes, or apply a finishing touch using Hot Sticks.

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