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Encaustic Photo Collage

Todd Lengyeltoti mixes melted wax with oil paints to create a photo collage.

Materials and Tools:

paintbrushes
oil paint
2' x 2' wood board 1/4" thick
spray glue adhesive
photocopies of family pictures
wax
muffin tray
hot plate and wok
steel soup ladle
blowtorch
scraping tool (toothpick or knife)
scissors

Steps:

1. Draw the sun on the wood board with a pencil.

2. Cut out photocopied pictures and position around the sun (figure B). Glue with spray adhesive.

3. Warm up the hot plate and wok to 250 degrees.

4. Melt the wax in the wok and place the muffin tray on the hot plate.

5. Pour paints into the muffin tray.

6. After the wax is melted, spoon it into the muffin tray using a soup ladle and mix with the paints (figure C).

7. Brush on a layer of clear wax, then brush on layers of the paint and wax combination onto the board.

8. To create texture (figure E) on the board, melt and blend the wax with the blowtorch in a circular motion. Do this at various stages during the process.

9. Using the blowtorch again and a carving tool, melt and scrape away the wax to reveal the photos.

10. Draw a sun using a template (circle and rays). Paint layers of yellow wax for the sun and outline it with black. Etch in a face and color it in using more wax (figure G).

11. Seal with a two-part epoxy for added shine and depth.

12. Finally, place small beads onto the encaustic photo collage for additional texture and shimmer.

Todd Lengyeltoti of Miami Beach, Fla., has his hands full, as an art teacher, floral designer and furniture maker. His creative juices are always flowing. His specialty is experimenting with one of the oldest forms of painting, the encaustic process, in which he melts wax and mixes it with oil paints to create a spectacular photo collage.

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