nicholeV photography, LLC
# Sunday, October 9, 2011
Sunday, October 9, 2011 10:58:11 PM (Mountain Daylight Time, UTC-06:00) ( )
Well, I'm excited for this second installment of our fine art exploration group. I LOVE having something that forces me to actually get out of my office and realize the ideas in my head.

So for this month, I decided that I wanted to mess with my love of encaustic. Encaustic is an ancient art form (think Egyptian pyramids, yes, it's that old) where basically you use a mixture of beeswax and resin to paint and create luminous works of art. So of course, in recent years, some fine art photographers have taken to incorporating encaustic into their fine art photo printing. I've loved the look for ages and even ordered some encaustic prints, but decided to FINALLY start creating my own.

The process is quite simple. You get a board, glue your photo to it, melt some encaustic medium, add a little pigment to the encaustic, pour the melted encaustic over your mounted print and then use a heat gun to tweak the look of the image.  Easy, peasy, right?!

Hmmm, well, it is simple, but there is a lot of nuance in the process, haha, as I've been realizing. First, it required getting the helpful workers at the local hardware store to cut a HUGE sheet of MDF into tiny little print-size chunks. So worth it, though, as me and table saws have never had a friendly relationship. From there, I needed a good image. I love lighter images for encaustic and I love the look of encaustic with sketched-like images. So I decided to do that to a photo.

So I started with this image of my daughter:

I then edited the image to have a more washed-out look courtesy of my Tints and Textures Action Set:

Then I took the original image and turned it into a black and white line drawing, again in PS:

Then I blended the two edited images together, to create a sketched, pastel look to the image:

Lastly, I layered some textures from my new Texture Palette Pro set (which if you haven't seen it, you need to check it out. It's amazing! . . . . oh and don't miss out on our great newsletter savings too, haha)

Okay, whew, that was the first step. My goal here was to create an image that looked more like a painting or pastel sketch than a photograph. I then printed the photo as a 5x7 print (which allowed me to create a more off-centered composition), glued it to a 5x7 piece of MDF that the poor hardware employees had spent an afternoon cutting for me and then melted and poured my encaustic . . . Here is the final result:

I love how the wax creates a yummy layered texture look to the image and the little tint in the wax warms it even more. Here are a couple detail shots of the sides, so you can see how the wax just runs over the edge:

A final image. I love how you can really see the texture of the encaustic in this image. I wish that everyone could actually handle this print. It's beautiful how the encaustic creates a depth and hazy luminosity to the image:

So there you go! I can't wait to do more encaustic projects . . . . it's so fun to actually take an image from conception and shooting through the actual art of printmaking, creating a one-of-a-kind work.

And if this isn't enough, hop on over to
Maureen Wilson | photographer in McComb Mississippi and see what amazing fine art project she's done this month!
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About Nichole

Nichole Van has repeatedly been labeled as a hot, new, up and coming photographer. As a Utah wedding photographer and a Utah portrait photographer, she specializes in turning everyday life into art. Nichole loves expressing the unique beauty of every client, creating artistic images that make people gasp when they see them.

As an international award-winning photographer, Nichole won the prestigious International 8x10 Portrait of the Year from Wedding and Portrait Photographers International (WPPI) for 2007. Consequently, her international award winning photography was featured in Rangefinder Magazine in June 2008. She has also taken First, Second and Third place honors from WPPI in other international competitions for her child and family photography. Additionally, Nichole has received numerous Accolades of Excellence and currently holds an Accolade of Photographic Mastery from WPPI.

In addition to her love for photography, Nichole loves teaching and enjoyed being English faculty at Brigham Young University for nearly 10 years. As the best of both worlds, teaching photography to others is her passion. Nichole currently offers international photography workshops focusing on helping others enhance creativity and artistry in their photos. Combining her excellence in teaching with her photographic knowledge, Nichole’s Life as Art Workshops are quickly revamping industry standards for photographic workshops.

Nichole lives in southern Utah County with her husband and three children. You can see her work at

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