Egg Art: How To Wax and Dye the Design

OK now that you’re all stressed out from getting your lines straight (kidding, of course – and don’t worry, it gets easier with practice) You’ll be glad to know that sketching in the design is much easier and creatively fun.

Draw in your pattern according to my instruction sheets, your egg pictures, your own drawings, or just go freestyle and draw what comes out of your head.

Since the design is usually repeated on two or four sides of the egg, you want to watch your shapes and sizes to be sure that your design is the same on all sides. Turn the egg frequently to check. Your design should be as symmetrical as possible. Sketch lightly, so you can erase if you need to.

Don’t worry if the pencil lines still show a little bit. When you remove the wax, the residual pencil lines will disappear.

So, are you ready for color? Fire your kistka up and get ready for rainbow fingers!

For waxing, you will need your kistka, your beeswax strings, your wire kistka cleaner, and a folded square of kleenex for wicking drippy wax off of your kistka tip.[link to supplies]

Hold the egg in one hand, and hold your kistka like you would hold a pen. Some tutorials show the waxing being done with the egg resting on the table top. I have never been able to do it that way. I hold the egg up close to my face, and I use my pinky finger to steady my drawing hand on the egg. The wax flows best when you pull the pen away from you (just like when you write on paper). Before you start on your egg, you might want to experiment with the angle of the kistka against a discarded egg until you find a comfortable angle. Remember: pull – don’t push. Turn the egg frequently so that you are always pulling the kistka, drawing up and away from your face.

If you start to see a blob of wax forming around the tip of your kistka, blot it with your square of kleenex before it drips down on to your egg. Also, if your wax stops running (even though the reservoir is full), try wicking the tip with the kleenex, or poking the cleaning wire up through the tip into the reservoir bowl. If you push up a clog of dust, pick it off with your fingers.

When it is time for a dye bath, you’ll want to have your Kleenex on hand, along with a jar of rinse water for the spoons. Make a spot at your work area to set the egg (preferably under the light and resting on a square of paper towel) where it can dry after the dye bath.

Spoon the egg gently down into the jar of dye and let it soak for a few minutes. Move it around with the spoon a few times, so you don’t get a void where the egg touches the glass. You can spoon the egg out, and dab a spot dry with a paper towel to see how dark the egg color is. With practice and as you get familiar with the process, you will know how long to leave an egg in the dye without checking it all the time.

Newly mixed dyes color the egg quickly. Older dye can take longer. For now, you have new dye and the colors should take right away.

When you are satisfied with the color, spoon your egg out and be ready to grasp it with a kleenex in your other hand. Press the kleenex gently around the egg to blot off residual dye, and set it on a paper towel under your desk light to dry. Don’t set the damp egg directly on your washcloth work surface – the drying egg could leave dye spots that transfer on to your next clean egg. Hence, the paper towel. When the egg has dried, go ahead to the next wax step.

Put the spoon into the rinse water so it is ready for the next color.

Note: If you are doing several eggs at once, keep in mind that your fingers are multicolored and will make fingerprints on a lighter egg. When you are dyeing, you won’t want to go from a purple dye bath and start drawing on a new white egg.