The surfaces of Friedberg's works, created as they are of layers of paint-filled wax, make manifest a tremendously rich translucence, as in the case of the glowing blue field in Embarazada. She also manipulates the strokes to give a surprisingly wide range of textures, from the rough-hewn The Cruise to the consistent and refined, rippled surfaces of Blue Velvet. The latter is typical of the works of that year. Friedberg's encaustic technique involves several steps. She first chooses a color that someone or something could "live in," as she says, thus creating a metaphoric space or "fertile field" of the sort Miro used in the 1920's. After establishing this ground, she then goes back into the work and reveals figures there. When she recognizes the subjects (they often erupt out of personal experiences, interests or concerns), she titles the work. The figures are almost always drawn in cold encaustic on top of the ground, applied in hot wax. This technique allows for greater textures and flexibility in drawing.
It is Friedberg's use of the human figure as a cipher, of course, that directly engages us, especially since the figures so often act on one another, creating dramas with which we are all familiar. Her figure-ciphers are involved in activities that range from boisterous to totally passive and dejected. In the majority of her works, male and female figures are established as gender specific, despite their almost androgynous nature, through differences in social positioning rather than in physical attributes. Even Friedberg's spatial notations are reductive signs. She uses very simple, large geometric shapes to signify enclosure, as well as varied spatial depths. Color shifts from one form to another imply solidity a wall or deep interiors.