After a discussion in a Facebook group about sealing art with wax instead of varnish, I decided to do a little test. I had an old can of Renaissance Wax that I’ve used for sealing copper in years past, had never tried it on papers and it had never occurred to me to smear it over a painting.
The test subjects, left to right, are 2 acrylic pours on canvas board (one leaning on glass container) that were previously sealed with a gloss varnish – the wax dulled the gloss a bit and they’re no longer tacky. I can stack them now without them trying to stick together. In front of them (lower left) is a pale pencil drawing – think prismacolors (picked a variety of old works that won’t may me cry if destroyed in test). There was slight color lift while applying the wax but overall, the wax did brighten it a bit.
Next to those first three is an alcohol ink abstract on yupo. There was serious color lift applying the wax, but could buff it so as to not leave color streaks. The end result left a smooth plastic feel. It’s a use at risk on alcohol inks.
The next two were a fiasco. The pink one is a Faber-Castell polychromos pencil drawing outlined with a fine line Sharpie and the wax dissolved the black ink. I was able to buff the smears off, leaving the lines just a faded memory of black. The pastel drawing below it was destroyed, as expected.
The last drawing (below the can) was also done in polychromos. There was a slight color lift evident on the buff cloth, but the result was fairly decent.
Waxing the 5×5 acrylic on hard gessobord (shown leaning in back – all others are ACEO size) achieved the best results. There was no color lift and the wax gave the varied dullness a nice, even finish with a soft glow.
In conclusion, I’d wax acrylics again in a heartbeat but think twice before carefully waxing over pencils or alcohol inks.
Since this is the first post on an art blog called mice4mars, I should explain the name… Mice for Mars, who is Mars?
Mars was Mr. Marsberry Cat, who passed in 2016 at the ripe old age of 18. He was a house cat, a studio cat, who thought he was my guardian. He spent many a day curled up at my feet while I was zoned into making art.
After he died, I told myself that’s it, no more cats… I’m too old for pets, don’t have another 18 years left in me to take in another cat. So what am I doing now? Feeding feral cats. The first was KiKi.
Oh, I tried to adopt her after a neighbor gave me a sad-sob story about a poor abandoned and abused little kitty, a female gath ddu (black cat). I agreed to take her, sight unseen… yeah, that poor little kitty turned out to be a 20 pound alpha female, the local Queen of Cats. She absolutely hated being trapped indoors. After a week, I let her go… then we developed a relationship on her terms. All she wants from me is food and fresh water, enough set outside for her and her feral friends. Even when temps dropped below zero, I could not lure her in so my neighbor set her up with an outdoor shelter. I know KiKi’s the alpha female because I watched how other cats behave around her. She controls who eats here and which strays are allowed to cross my yard.
Then came Max, as in Maxwell Storm. I adopted him when a young girl knocked on my door with a gray tiger kitten in her arms. Would I please take her Stormy, their landlord said he had to go… should say that I took him in and KiKi adopted Max as she started coming into the house just to mother on him. I call her Mama now. And Max? He answers to Baby Boo.
So, I officially have ONE cat (Max) and feed the Queen, who allows select feral cats to share her dishes. They come in the night. Most totally avoid humans, so I rarely see them. Ye gads, Mars passed and I’ve become a cat lady.