My first reaction when I heard about cold wax was, “well if it isn’t heated then is it encaustic?”.
Cold wax medium is used at room temperature, whereas traditional encaustic painting uses molten encaustic medium. The name encaustic literally means “to burn”. Painting with cold wax does not use the encaustic painting process. Cold wax is a different medium and a different painting process.
What is Cold Wax?
“Cold wax medium…is a pasty substance made of beeswax, resins, oils and mineral spirits, that is mixed with oil paint and applied directly to a support, without any fusing or heat applied. (For health and safety reasons, heating cold wax is not advised.)” (Source: Rebecca Crowell)
From what I read it shouldn’t be heated because of the solvents it contains. Then I heard about MPO™.
MPO™ – Master Paste Original
MPO™ is a handmade paste composed of premium quality white beeswax mixed with other natural ingredients. MPO™ contains NO toxic content. MPO™ can safely be fused at low temperatures.
MPO™ cold wax medium is ready to be used immediately after opening. Successive layers applied will remain pliable for several hours or until heat exposure. MPO™ dries quickly after each application without a heat source. It is compatible with birch board, plywood, masonite, MDF ampersand board, cardboard, canvas or even glass surfaces.
You don’t ever want to melt the cold medium which means that encaustic irons should not be used with MPO™. Fussing is done by torch or a heat gun on very low temperature. When applying heat always do so while in motion and on a low setting – keeping the temperature below 65°C (149°F).
Over to you…
I haven’t personally tried cold wax. I would like to hear from you. How does working with cold wax compare to encaustic? Please add your comments below.
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