I thought I was done with this piece. Then I lived with it for a few weeks. I swear by this technique to figure out if you are really satisfied with an artwork. I realized that it was too dark. I thought of how smoky fires are and decided to emulate that with encaustic.
I heated up encaustic (bees wax and damar resin), and started to add on swooping strokes. The wax hardens as you apply it to the surface. At first it appears more cloudy. I played the balance of highlighting to bright bits of fire, and obsuring the darker areas. I added bits of charcoal from a forest fire that I collected earlier this year.
I liked this approach of painting first, and then adding encaustic on top. The wood panel surface provides a sturdy surface.