Lots of Real Estate
Now that I had worked out the dimensions, I had to have the panels made up. Wax, encaustic, needs to be painted on a hard surface, or at least mounted on a hard surface in order to prevent cracking and to keep it stable. I use panels that are made up of 1/2" wood with two French cleats on the back for mounting. This makes it look as if the painting is floating about an inch away from the wall.
The panels were built by Fiorella Woodworking, these guys are awesome. And fast! Quick turnaround, totally a plus, because the amount of work there was to do, omg. Here're a few images of the panels being gessoed.
Now that these are all in the studio, it was easier to envision how they might relate to each other. I had narrowed down the images that I most wanted to use, and had more or less decided the sizes of each one. Now here's the thing, these are being translated from sepia-toned black and white photos to color paintings. I tend to use a pretty quiet palette, and I knew I wanted these to be somewhat desaturated, but still, I had to have some sense of what they might look like as color photos first. So many of the images were actually at the ruins and as much as I wanted to paint temples all the amazing sites that they went to, I didn't want to make a series of sand-colored paintings. So part of what determined the paintings that I chose is what possibility each image offered, color-wise.
So there are nine panels in four sizes - 60"' x 84", 60" x 44", 45" x 30", and 36" x 24". That's going to be a lot of real estate. I'm guessing it'll take around twenty pounds of wax. Will keep track!