Here’s an example of a beautiful candle created by Thelma Steel.
This year, I decided I’d like to do the same thing for my parish. When I rang Thelma, she gave me some tips on painting a paschal candle. So here I share my exact process of how I did it.
Why paint my candle?
When I was in London last month, the idea of painting the Paschal candle for the Rosary shrine in London first came to me at some point during the year. At first, I should commission a painter to paint the Rosary Shrine coat of arms onto a candle. Looking at the designs in the catalog for religious goods only convinced me that only an original creation would satisfy me.
However, I knew some friends who had painted their designs, and I liked the idea of coming up with my design. The only problem was I hadn’t picked up a brush to draw anything since I left high school almost 30 years ago! So, I bought two Paschal candles to use if I made a mistake when making a cake for Easter.
Materials I used to do paint a paschal candle
After doing some research online and having a few conversations with Facebook friends, I determined that I needed acrylic paints, including gold and silver acrylics, and some wax pens. To these, I’d need to add a water-based acrylic paint binder which allows the water-based acrylic paints to bond with the wax surfaces of the candles. Finally, I needed to trace a design onto the candle. For this, I bought a printer and some inkjet cartridges.
Step 1: Things you need to paint a pascal candle
You will need:
Step 2: Sketch out your design.
It should have a date, a cross, an alpha, an omega, and the current year. Anything else is a bonus! To add the symbols of my two churches, I decided to use shells and lambs. i had already showed a comprehensive sketch guides on my
After measuring the canvas space, I drew a design, adding colors.
Step 3: prepare your candle
Apiece of paper towel that rubbing the alcohol and use it to wipe down any oil or grease from your surface before you start painting.
Step 4: draw your design onto the candle
Check which side of the candle the wicks are on before drawing your design; otherwise, you’ll remove it upside down! Draw your plan onto the candle using the chinagraph pencil like the
. If you make a wrong move, use a ball of black ink to rub it out.
Step 5: mix your paint with candle
Mix acrylic colors with the paint adhesion media/PVA glue (do not panic, the white driers clear). Paint your candles carefully. If you make a typo, don’t worry about it. Just type it again—layer up for a darker color.
Step 6: varnish the candle
Put some water-based varnish or PVA glue on your design. Don’t worry, and it will dry out completely and leave a vibrant color that is sealed.
Step 7: prepare the holes for nails pins
If you’re going to insert five nails into the candle at Easter, here’s a trick my predecessor taught me. Twist a folded paper clip into a candle and heat it until it becomes soft. Insert the hot paper clip into the candle through the hole you just made. It will become soft enough to push out the pin.
Now you’re ready to go. Here are my Easter eggs prepared for the Holy Week and Easter Vigil services:
how to paint a paschal candle: FAQ
What does the artwork mean?
This candle’s overall idea was to express everything Easter means to me in the limited space of work of a pillar candlestick! It was challenging because of very small space! The detailed painting was done in purple, a significant color for Easter.
Except for sealing the candle or mixing the paint with the candle medium first, I applied the paint directly to the candle with acrylic paints without any preparation. With a stylus tool, I drew or inscribed the design onto the wax using freehand drawing or by tracing an existing pattern.
To create a rich color that would show through the thin layers of paint, I underpainted everything in gold paint. The style of artwork was more graphic so that people could see the details of their hands from the back of the Church. Of course, I wanted everyone to be able to see it!