Honor Thy Father & Mother collection: Part 4

Barb Toland My Stuff


Let's pick up where we left off in the last blog post, where I shared with you my journey while working on my newest watercolor & encaustic collection, Honor Thy Father & Mother.

This collection is meant to honor my Mom & Dad who have both passed in recent years. And with an even wider brushstroke, it's also meant to honor all those who have lifted us up, and supported us over the years.

If there's one thing I hope to do with this collection, is that by reading about memories & recollections I have had of my Mom & Dad, that it rekindle fond  memories of yours.

Mom loved butterflies 🦋🦋🦋 Dad was passionate about the color red 🍅🌹 and they both had big, beautiful hearts ❤🧡💛💚💙💜

So keeping that in mind, let's move onto the next layers & steps of "unfolding" this new butterfly collection...

For these four 12" x 12" pieces that I'm going to share with you today, I decided to choose 4 butterfly brooches from my Mom's collection to use as inspiration while creating each piece.

I was particularly drawn to these probably because they're so colorful and because of their vintage vibe. The blue/periwinkle/cobalt one I specifically picked for its color, since that was Mom's favorite 😍

The next step in the process was to draw my interpretation of each butterfly, and then cut them out & use them as a pattern to transfer the drawings to the canvas:



After that was done, I painted each of the butterflies with watercolor. One of my favorite things to do is to use droplets of alcohol to break up the paint ... I love the way it makes the colors mingle & dance.


And then I used a metallic gold watercolor paint to fill in the circle around each of them, and to add little details here & there...

Once the paintings completely dry, I brush on a coat of transparent encaustic wax & fuse it to create a strong bond between wax & painting. This step also protects the paintings, and adds an illumination to them that they wouldn't have had otherwise. It's a magical process!

Then one of my favorite steps is to go back, and on each butterfly, carve lots of beautiful details into the wax with my awesome bamboo stick ;-)

The next step is to use wax that I had already added pigment to, and paint a pretty "frame" around each one.

It's a 3 step process: First I paint the larger area with my 2" hake brush,  then I use a much smaller brush to get the detail around the circle so it looks clean & crisp. And finally I fuse the wax with a heat gun to smooth it out & create that bond....

I then proceeded to use my delightful rubber stamp that looks like old script (which I love btw) and stamp gold metallic ink onto the colorful frame. This adds another layer of detail to the piece and helps pull it all together.

I did go back & carve a wood-like grain into the gold around the butterfly. I decided it needed to have more dimension than it did initially. There is something so spectacular about the texture of the encaustic wax, so I'm always looking for ways to add more of it!


And for the pièce de résistance, in honor of my Dad who loved red, I imbedded a hand painted red heart into each piece...


That's it in a nutshell. Below are some more close ups of each one to get an idea of how much detail they have, and to see more of the lovely texture the encaustic wax adds to each one:




And here's the finished pieces...


And finally, below is the entire collection thus far.

To complete it, I'm now working on two larger 24" x 24" pieces that I'll be sharing with you soon. First on Instagram & Facebook (keep an eye out on stories to see lots more process vids!) and then right here on the blog.

Thanks for following along, and I would love to hear any of your thoughts on these pieces and/or randomly chat creativity with you in the comments below.

Have a fabulous day just bursting with creativity & joy! #itmatters

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