What is Encaustic Painting?
Encaustic is a waxed-based medium, that consists of beeswax and damar resin, a natural tree sap. The encaustic painting process involves heat at every stage of the process to apply and fuse the medium. The name Encaustic comes from the greek enkaustikos which means to burn-in.
Here you’ll learn about encaustic painting techniques & tools. Whether you’re a beginner learning to paint with encaustic or an experienced artist, I invite you to add your comments to share your knowledge and inspiration about art and All Things Encaustic.
Encaustic Wax Painting Tips, Product Reviews, & Tutorials for Beginners and experienced artists alike
It's funny how, once we have seemingly mastered the basics about working in Encaustic, we forget how challenging they were to learn. I'm speaking specifically of using heat guns with encaustic. You experts out there may be smirking to yourselves, knowing, as I do, that 'mastering' a tool/device is an occasionally ephemeral glory, sometimes dematerializing before our very eyes, putting into question our own supposed abilities as artists!! The use of the heat gun can be a fickle, sometimes frustrating, sometimes fantastic thing to grow accustomed to. At my Encaustic workshops, I always introduce its use by ...Read More
Waxing On: Encaustic Exploration Encaustic, by its nature, pulls us–as artists, into new territory. This is one of the aspects of it that I love. There is a sense that the medium is always at least one step ahead of us, gesturing playfully to “Check this out!” or “What would happen if…?” At the beginning of my exploration with encaustic, I was not surprised by this, as with any new medium, the possibilities feel endless. Now, ten years later, I marvel that I’m still being pulled into trying new things. Now I am just as (if not ...Read More
My Encaustic painting, Station to Station, 18" x 24", is an example of the effect achieved by combining pastels (not oil!), used before the Encaustic medium is applied. This mixed media piece shows yet another reason to love Encaustic! Using Soft Pastels (not oil) before Encaustic medium is applied: First, apply Encaustic gesso (R&F makes an excellent one) on your substrate, once it is dry, you can draw with pastel (the soft, chalky pastels - NOT oil pastels). Then you can paint with Encaustic medium and add more Encaustic colours! In addition to using soft pastels, you ...Read More
I've taken five encaustic workshops with Andrea Bird and, in each class, there is always someone who hasn't learned this technique. Everyone has the same wonderful reaction as the paper comes away from the wax and the ink is left behind. Tips for successful encaustic photo transfer: use images with a high level of contrastensure the images you're using are toner based - from a photocopy machine, a laser printer or a magazine. Ink jet printers won't give you good resultsfor a complete transfer make sure the wax surface is smooth - a transfer over texture will ...Read More
The Artist Project Toronto 2011 Two hundred artists fill the Queen Elizabeth Building at Exhibition Place this weekend (March 3-6 2011) for Toronto's annual event, The Artist Project. Now in its fourth year, the Artist Project features a wide range of mediums, including installations and video art, as well as art chats and docent-led tours. I first heard about The Artist Project last year from artist Andrea Bird. Andrea was displaying encaustic art at a booth she was sharing with other artists from the Propeller Gallery. So much art under one roof! Definitely, an event I want ...Read More
Colored Gesso for Encaustic Painting So you think you know and love Holy Grail, the first gesso made for encaustic painting? Well look again - there are over a dozen colors now and artists are having a field day using them straight, tinting them with the white, and mixing them with each other. Colors were introduced in a 6 ounce jar but are now available in 16 ounces at a lower per-ounce cost. If you want a specific color, email Hylla Evans and it can be made for you usually within a day. How to use Encaustic ...Read More
Encaustic painters are often asked if their work is archival. The typical response is that encaustic is an ancient painting technique, examples of early encaustic paintings are on display in museums around the world. The Origins of Encaustic Painting - An Ancient Medium The word encaustic comes from the Greek enkaustikos which means “to burn in” referring to the process of fusing with heat. The process of burning-in is necessary to be classified as encaustic. Pausias, a Greek painter of the first half of the 4th century, is credited with inventing the encaustic painting method [source]. Painted ...Read More