One of the things that I love about encaustic is the dimensionality of the medium. I’ve mentioned before that I photographed my Daily Birds at an angle because I think of the pieces as being ‘objects’, almost sculptures. I often work on these pieces at an angle, looking at the texture of the wax from the side without considering the image or color.
Encaustic can be matte or glossy, flat or gloppy, textured or smooth. The surface can be scraped and scratched and gouged. Unfortunately, none of this can be seen clearly in conventional photograph of the artwork. It takes an angled shot to see the surface, but then the image is lost.
None of this matter when you see the piece in person, because you see both the image and the surface as you move around a piece, perhaps without even realizing that you’re taking it all in.
The piece above has a fairly matte finish, with a flat, scraped surface.`
This one has a gloppy surface, with a flattened area in the middle that has small evenly-spaced scratches across it.
You can see even more of these scratches on this piece, above. I came from a printmaking background, and this texture reminds me of the cross-hatching that is often used in etching or engraving. This image also has gloppy, semi-glossy edges surrounding the center that is flatter, glossier and scratched.
Here is one of my larger encaustic pieces, not part of The Daily Birds, shot at an angle to show the barbed wire attached to the surface as well as the mottled, matte surface finish.