Community Art Project Info: Update 04/07/2020

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I don’t know about you, but I keep forgetting what day it is. I’m staying busy in the studio, and around the house, so I’ll be sporadic with the Zoom classes. I’m thinking of having one later this week around 6:00pm. I know some are working at home during the day and not able to jump on the earlier ones. Let me know if you have a request for a class time, or day. Of course, you can always watch the YouTube video demonstration:)

Yeah, with each new blog post I’ll update the image with all the pieces sent back to me up to that point. Keep posting those pics! I love it!! RLP

During the class I’ll be there to demonstrate the process or just answer questions. You can work on your piece along with me or just watch me and listen to my tips about the process. Let’s just hang out and enjoy some time not focused on all the craziness of the world.

Next Zoom class will be: Thursday, April, 9th 6:00pm CT.

Link for class is : Zoom now requires I set up a password to enter meetings to, and that is: 501482

If you are on FaceBook and are interested, I have created a group page for this project. Here’s the link: Community Art Project Group This will be a great way for me and you to post some of those finished pieces and share our experiences. So make sure and take video or photos as you create, then drop by the group page and post for all of us to see:)

I also wanted to let you know I’ve created a 20 minute video that shows me sampling several different magazines and the quality of the transfer each of them has on beeswax.

Thank you all for the participation, so far! It’s been amazing hearing from so many and seeing you join in on my Zoom meetings:) I’ll be looking for your photos, so please share what you create and tag me @randylpurcell & hashtag #inkonbeeswax.

For those of you just reading this and interested in my community art project and my process, here’s all the info and what to expect in the classes. If you haven’t done so, email me you address to receive materials to be a part of this project. You will receive two small panels w/beeswax applied, template paper, sandpaper, & magazine paper. You will create two small paintings. One will be returned back to me and you will keep the other. I will take the 100 pieces returned to me and create a larger piece, and display it in one of my future exhibits.

This is a pay what you can project. If you aren’t able to pay, no worries, I still want you to participate. Please just let me send you materials. I’m sending out materials as often as possible, but not every day, so it may take up to a week to get yours. If you are able to pay, you can send funds by check (send when you return one of your panels) or send to @randylpurcell on Venmo, or PayPal

Our next class will be posted here: Let me know time and days that work for you. Also, I can set up more private classes for those that want to keep it between friends or family:) All times posted are CST. Here’s the link you will use: for public classes. We will have another link for private classes and I will send that out to those invited.

My latest, prerecorded, YouTube Class link: If your interested in just watching instructional video, you can do that here:

Randy L Purcell – Digital Class Encaustic Process Breakdown

Hi Everyone!

Randy Purcell here. I am thrilled that you have decided to take my online class to learn more about my encaustic process of transferring magazine ink onto beeswax. This is a unique art process in general, and my method in particular is something that I don’t get to share with a lot of people. Even though we’re sharing this class remotely, this will be a great opportunity for people stuck inside their homes to get to know one another.

Getting Started

Before we begin, you will want to make sure that you’ve done the following:

  1. Make sure to read through this entire document before beginning.
  2. Assemble all of the necessary items and tools needed for this process. Try to lay out all of the items in your mailed kits out so that you can see each one of them immediately. This will prevent you from wasting time to look for them. 
  3. In addition to the materials you received from me, you will need the following items: water (spray bottle if you have it), cotton rag, cutting tool (scissors or craft knife), a spoon to burnish, something to carve into beeswax (nail, screw, toothpick, screwdriver, etc..) I will share more about the carving items in class.
  4. Make sure that you’re working on a clean, well-lit area for your protection that is free from distraction. Remember: While this is not really a dangerous process, safety is always important!
  5. Have Fun! This is a really fun process. It can be engaging so long as you take your time enjoying it. Don’t rush. Instead, take a moment to reflect on every step.

Do not expect a perfect piece of art. The process has a lot of little nuances that take time to learn. Our goal here is to make something the best we can, at our current skill level. What’s more, imperfection adds to the idea of the piece, and the mess-ups, scratches, scuffs, etc., actually add to the character. 

If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to ask them. 

Feel free to email me at or through messenger in IG or FB. Also check my blog for any updates on class times and other info:

The Process

Below I have broken down the steps on transferring ink from magazines onto beeswax. I also have several videos on YouTube

If you prefer a more visual explanation. Before starting, try watching one of the videos or joining an early class just to get familiar with how things go and to get a better handle on what you’re going to be doing. I plan to have several online classes live in the next week or so, so take as many as you like. I’ll be sharing the login info for each one in advance, on my blog and social media sites.

1-  Composition
We will start by drawing an abstract image on the paper (template).  I would stress that this drawing needs to be one that’s fairly simple (i.e. “not too busy,” “not too many lines or details,” etc.). The smaller the areas in the composition, the harder it will be to cut. Think of it as dividing the small square up into sections. If you are worried about working really small, just divide the area up into a couple of sections. We can always add details later by carving into the painting after the transfer.

2 – Application of Beeswax

Please note that the panel you have received already has a layer of beeswax applied to it for your convenience, so no application of beeswax will be necessary for this project. 

Here’s how I  apply a layer of pure beeswax to a wood panel. I get my beeswax directly from local beekeepers. This is what will hold the ink in place and create a nice patina to the colors I transfer. To apply the beeswax, I melt it in a CrockPot and brush it on the panel with a 3” natural bristle brush. 

3 – Cutting the Paper

Take a craft knife, or scissors, and cut into the paper, cutting one shape along the lines of the drawing. Once you cut one area, pull off the piece of paper and find the color you want from the magazine paper, ( I only use a few magazines for this process, Veranda, Cigar Aficionado, and Whiskey Advocate. Occasionally I will use Architectural Digest) and then cut that shape from the magazine (upside down). Then replace the template piece with the magazine piece on top of the beeswax. The color you want to transfer is now facing down on the beeswax. Repeat this process until the whole template has been replaced with magazine paper.

4 – Burnish

After all the magazine paper is in place burnish it into the beeswax with a wooden block, or a spoon, to make sure all the pieces are set into place. 

5 – Sanding

Now take some 150-220 grit sandpaper and rough up the backside of the magazine paper. You’re not trying to sand too hard, but hard enough so the gloss goes away. Once the gloss is gone the paper will easily absorb water.

6 – Spraying with Water

Now the fun part. Spray the panel with water and let it soak into the sanded paper. Once it’s good and wet, slowly start rubbing the paper off the panel, but leaving the ink from the pages on the beeswax. It takes a few times of rubbing away the paper and pulp to get the colors to really show.

7 – Buffing and Heating

With the paper removed, carefully buff the surface with a wet cotton cloth.

After it is done, I would typically take my heat gun and heat the surface enough to set the ink into the beeswax. Since not everyone will have a heat gun, we will skip this step and go into the carving of details, or highlighting.

8 – Carving details & Highlighting

On some areas of a painting, you can take tools, or other objects, and remove ink and beeswax to give the subject highlights or to give shape to certain areas. After doing this  heat the surface one more time.

9 – Finishing

To finish, I usually spray a couple of coats of Krylon’s Kamar Varnish over the surface, or brush a coating of Wax sealer (an acrylic medium). This evens the sheen of the ink transfer and takes away the tackiness of the beeswax. We will discuss your options if you don’t have access t either of these products.

Now that you’ve completed both panels, please remember to mail one of them back to me so I can include it in the community art project. I can’t wait to see what you all create:) 

Oh! Don’t forget to hashtag InkTransferOnBeeswax when you share photos of your creations.

Thank you so much!!


Comments 1

  1. Hi! I’m the one who got the private class today. I’m very excited to create with this process. Thanks so much!

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