“Current Reflection”, encaustic painting of the Shenandoah River by Anne Stine
The Shenandoah River is a favorite subject of mine. My whole life I’ve spent wandering her silent shores in search of beautiful discoveries. As a child, I’d skip rocks along the surface or hunt for little minnows swimming beneath the surface. I find comfort to this day in simply gazing at her silent current.
On a crisp winter’s morning in Loudoun County, Virginia, I headed out to the river running through the now-abandoned golf course formerly known as Virginia National Golf Course. It is now a lovely nature reserve run by the Shenandoah University. I was fascinated by the reflection of the bare trees on the river’s surface. Especially intriguing was how the linear design of the tree reflections were intersected by the rocky shore. The palette of winter in this encaustic painting is subtle – soft grays, blues, and browns. These colors add to the softness of the moment and express a sense of serenity I knew I wanted to capture in wax and oils.
When starting a landscape painting, I do several composition sketches to determine the best design for the encaustic painting. You can see below my thumbnail sketch and small study painting created in gouache. This is a crucial first step to avoid composition pitfalls that would be a big hassle to change once the painting is underway.
Below is a video showing the next step of creating the base painting using pan pastels. After the wood panel is coated with a clear encaustic medium to protect the base painting, many layers of encaustic paint are applied. Other media I used to created the imagery of small rocks included pigmented shellac and wax crayon.
The video below show an up-close details, truer color, and dramatic texture of this painting. Encaustic paintings are best seen in person to truly appreciate the unique qualities of the wax. Contact the studio to make an appointment to view the painting in person or schedule a zoom call.
As you can tell, a lot of thought goes into creating an encaustic landscape painting. I hope you enjoyed reading about my creation process.