Making Waves

I’m making waves on fabric, with Caran d’Ache Neocolor ll wax pastels that is! I use these wax pastels a lot and really like what can be created with them.

I was using them to make landscape background elements but I wasn’t using them alone… under my fabric I placed a piece of very course sand paper. As I was working it occurred to me this technique could work for frothy waves!

So I played around, liked the results, and published a very short demo video –

After the video I made a couple more pieces. These are tiny (4″ x 5″) but I’m sure the same technique could be used on a larger scale. The wax does require heat setting, and depending on the amount of wax rubbed onto the fabric, may still rub off.
Caran d’Ache does/did make a fixative (most likely not intended for wax pastels used on fabric), but it is pricey, due in part to extra shipping as it is considered hazardous.

On the piece below I gently foam brushed a little regular gel medium over it. It did smear/blend the pastel a bit as I brushed and lightened the intensity of the white but I’m okay with that. Once dry it did work and the pastel no longer smeared. I think a little hand stitching to add white highlights would work but it may leave holes if machine stitched.

This one is wrapped around a small panel canvas. I think set on a little picture stand/easel it could be a neat display for someone who love the beach! Shells, charms, or beads would be nice additions too. As usual – endless ideas!

About Ann Scott

Working with fabric and fiber for over forty years. Design, instruction, and sales. Certified teacher online at Curious.com/fiberdesignsbyann.
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2 Responses to Making Waves

  1. Joanna says:

    Intriguing use of wax pastels and sandpaper. Could you heat set it by ironing it? Could you use paint sticks? Thanks for carrying through on all those “what if I” thoughts, and sharing them.

    • Ann Scott says:

      Thanks. I have not tried paint sticks but that’s a good idea. I did attempt to heat set a couple pieces with the iron but there was too much pastel and it still smeared. Maybe to approach it like encaustic and do a thin layer, heat set and another layer, and so one so each layer is fused. I think the wax pastels just can’t bond to the fabric as they might to paper. The exploring continues!

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