Frequently Asked Questions about Encaustic art

How to do Encaustic Painting | Frequently Asked Questions

Help for Beginners who want to learn how to do Encaustic Painting

If you want to learn how to do Encaustic Painting you’re in the right place! Welcome. All Things Encaustic is a collaborative blog for artists working with encaustic.  If you’re just beginning to paint with Encaustic medium start here. If your question isn’t covered here, review our blog posts or add a comment at the bottom of the post and we will be happy to respond.

Click on a question below to expand and view the answer.

Encaustic is the name for both a wax painting medium (beeswax and damar resin) and a painting process involving heat to apply and fuse the medium.  The name Encaustic comes from the greek enkaustikos which means “to heat” or “to burn”.  Heat is used throughout the encaustic painting process. Encaustic lends itself to mix media and collage, natural dried collage elements can be layered within the wax.

Here is a blog post offering a more detailed description including the History of Encaustic from The Artist’s Handbook

There are different methods of working with encaustic wax to create art:

  1. In traditional Encaustic painting, encaustic medium is melted in small tins on a griddle. Using a brush the medium is painted on an absorbent substrate such as a wood panel. Each layer is fused with a hot tool such as a blow torch, heat gun, iron or stylus.
  2. Encaustic Monotype printmaking – is painting with solid pigmented encaustic blocks or sticks on a heated plate or palette. Paper is then placed over the hot wax and pressed down with a barren. The artist will then pull a print from the plate.
  3. Three-dimensional encaustic sculptures – To create a 3-D encaustic sculpture the artist will create a skeletal structure using materials such as wire, wire mesh, plaster gauze and modeling paste. Paper, fabric or natural fibers are dipped into molten encaustic medium and applied to the skeletal form and fused.
  4. Iron Wax Painting has recently become popular. It involves melting pigmented blocks of wax directly on an encaustic iron. The iron instead of brushes is used as a tool to paint on cards or cardstock. An encaustic stylus with different nibs may also be used. Additional fusing is not required.

Cold wax painting is not encaustic as it does not use heat.

Proper safety precautions need to be exercised in every artist’s studio to reduce the risk of exposure to toxic substances.

With adequate ventilation and a working temperature that is under 200°F, encaustic is a safe medium to work with. It is important to use a thermometer to keep a check on your temperature. Encaustic fumes, when released at a safe temperature, are not considered dangerous. Yet, all wax mediums, when heated, do release fumes.

Beeswax has a lovely natural smell and, if kept at the correct temperature, the effect of wax fumes is minimal. Only heat encaustic medium to the melting point, never to the point of smoking. Some people are more sensitive to wax fumes than others. If you develop headaches or respiratory irritation, try working outside or improve the ventilation inside your studio.

When making your own encaustic medium, make sure you use damar resin crystals—not damar varnish which is toxic.

Encaustic painting is solvent-free, eliminating the need for turpentine, mineral spirits, or oily rags in the studio.

Microcrystalline is a petroleum-based wax that will give off vapours in the molten stage. If you use microcrystalline medium instead of the traditional beeswax medium, extra consideration should be taken to provide proper ventilation.

Proper ventilation in the encaustic studio will significantly reduce potential hazards in the encaustic studio, open a window, or install a reverse fan or fume hood. Using a Vent-a-Fume which has been designed for use in an encaustic studio is highly recommended.

For more information about encaustic safety please see The Artist’s Complete Health and Safety Guide

Encaustic painting is an ancient practice. Encaustic painting was practiced by Greek artists as far back as the 5th century B.C. Most of our knowledge of this early use comes from the Roman historian Pliny the Elder whose Natural History, written in the 1st century A.D.

Read more about the history of Encaustic art.

Use natural hair brushes for encaustic wax painting, synthetic brushes will melt.

As encaustic medium does not deteriorate the brush and can always be remelted, brushes can be left uncleaned indefinitely.

No solvent is necessary for cleaning encaustic equipment. Should you wish to clean your brushes, you can dip them in melted paraffin or soy wax. Soy wax is non-toxic and burns cleaner than paraffin. Soybeans are a renewable source, unlike paraffin. Soy wax is naturally biodegradable. Soy wax is also easier to remove than paraffin wax, so after the colour has been cleaned out of the brush, the brush can be washed with soap and water and is reusable in other mediums.

Enkaustikos manufactures a Slick Wax specifically for cleaning your encaustic brushes, tools, and even your palette between encaustic color changes. Rinse your brush in the slick wax and wipe off any excess wax with a paper towel, the slick wax will have removed the color.

Encaustic tools can be cleaned of wax and paint by leaving them on a hot surface and wiping them clean when the wax has melted.

No. Beeswax alone is just not durable enough. Damar resin is a tree sap that is added to beeswax to make encaustic medium. The addition of damar resin acts as a hardening agent allowing your painting to cure and will reduce or prevent blooming (a white clouding of the surface).

Yes, you can use a small amount of oil paint to add colour to plain encaustic medium.

When mixing oil paint with encaustic it is important to understand oil and wax relations see this Wax/Oil Ratio diagram from R&F.

wax/oil ratio encaustic pigment sticks

There is a danger (the painting won’t be archival), in making a mixture where the amount of oil and the amount of wax are equal. Do not add more than 25% paint to 75% medium or you will end up with a wax that won’t harden. Some artists put oil paint on paper towel or cloth to absorb some of the oil before adding it to the molten medium.

Glazes of colour can be made using a very small amount of paint to the encaustic medium.

Encaustic wax is applied to a painting in layers, fusing merges the layers together. Fusing as you work simply means to apply heat to allow each layer to soften enough in order to merge with the previous layers.

You need to fuse the first layer of wax to the substrate and then each subsequent layer needs to be fused to the layer below. There are a variety of encaustic fusing tools used by artists working in encaustic.

I’ve been told that as well but that is not acceptable practice.

Encaustic wax is applied to a painting in layers, fusing merges the layers together. Fusing as you work simply means to apply heat to allow each layer to soften enough in order to merge with the previous layers.

You need to fuse the first layer of wax to the substrate and then each subsequent layer needs to be fused to the layer below. There are a variety of encaustic fusing tools used by artists working in encaustic.

In encaustic art the artist will fuse the layers of wax with either a heat gun (not a hair dryer), an encaustic iron or a blow torch. Using different fusing tools will provide the artist with a variety of surface textures.

Read more from the blog: Encaustic Fusing Tools

Indoor environments, even on a very hot Summer day, are not hot enough to melt wax. Beeswax will alone will melt at around145°F. Encaustic medium is made with damar resin which raises the melting point further. By adding damar the melting point of an encaustic painting is 180-200°F.

Don’t leave an Encaustic painting in a car, heat of the sun is intensified through car windows. Still, it is advised not to hang the painting in direct sunlight or very close to a heat source. When hanging or storing any fine art, temperature control and sunlight exposure should be considered.

When using an electric griddle or pallet to melt encaustic medium you want to keep it as low as you can so the medium is just melted between 150°F and 200°F – never above 200°F. You don’t want to get to a point where your wax is starting to smoke. You may want to purchase a griddle thermometer so that you can keep an accurate check on the temperature. You may find that temperature isn’t consistent all over the griddle – some spots may be hotter than others. A griddle thermometer will help you keep a check on that. A temperature regulator may be helpful for use with other fusing tools.

In her book “Encaustic Art the complete guide to creating fine art with wax” Lissa Rankin explains the difference between monoprints and monotypes.

“The meanings of the terms monoprint and monotype are very similar, because each technique yields one image (mono = one). …A monotype is a printed image from a plate containing no incising or matrix. It is therefore a singular image and cannot be replicated. A monoprint, on the other hand, is similar to the monotype with its drawing or painting, but… it has an additional matrix—something that can be replicated multiple times.”

With encaustic printmaking encaustic medium is painted directly on a hotbox or an anodized aluminum plate heated on an electric griddle. A print is then pulled from it. Each monotype is a one of a kind original.

Learn more about encaustic printmaking.

Microcrystalline is a relatively new petroleum-based wax, which will give off vapors in the molten stage. Extra consideration should be taken to provide proper ventilation. Microcrystalline has a higher melting temperature than beeswax so it is more pliable allowing for more time to mold, shape, model, cast, carve and form objects. Microcrystalline is also less expensive than beeswax. Microcrystalline wax will yellow over time from exposure to UV so it is very important to paint over and encapsulate the impasto wax layer.

Read more about microcrystalline

Damar (or Dammar) resin is a tree sap collected from trees in Malaysia. Damar resin is harvested without harming the tree. Damar resin is added to beeswax to make encaustic medium. It acts as a hardening agent allowing your painting to cure and will reduce or prevent blooming (a white clouding of the surface). Beeswax will alone will melt at 145 degrees F, adding damar will raise the melting point to between 180-200 F degrees.

On its own, Damar Resin is not toxicDamar varnish is toxic and should not be used.

Gesso is a white paint mixture consisting of a binder mixed with chalk, gypsum, pigment, or any combination of these. It is used in artwork as a preparation for any number of substrates such as wood panels, canvas, and sculpture as a base for paint and other materials that are applied over it.

A gesso layer is optional. Many artists choose to work on gessoed grounds so that they are starting on a white surface. Artists working in encaustic often paint directly on raw wood and other absorbent substrates without gesso.

You can either purchase pre-gessoed boards or purchase encaustic gesso and apply it to the ground yourself.  As a general guideline, grounds for encaustic painting must be absorbent, so acrylic gessoes are not recommended. Rabbit-skin glue gesso is considered the most traditional, time-tested ground for encaustic.

A gesso layer is optional. Artists working in encaustic often paint directly on raw wood and other absorbent substrates without gesso. If you want to begin work on a white surface,  prepare the substrate with encaustic gesso. Gesso is also available in colours. Alternatives to gesso include venetian plaster or chalk paint.

You can return to a piece any time — just lightly fuse it to warm the wax and then start working on it again.

You may have seen YouTube videos that melt crayons for encaustic medium; this isn’t recommended. Crayons are made with paraffin and a mix of other types of wax. Paraffin is inexpensive but too brittle for encaustic, it tends to crack and chip.

Clear paraffin wax can be used in the encaustic studio to clean your brushes.

If you want to make sure that the method you are using will stand the test of time, use the freezer test. The freezer test is a way to check if a substrate or underpainting method is suitable for encaustic art.

  1. Start with a sample project
  2. Add layers of encaustic medium on top of the substrate you want to test
  3. Properly fuse each layer of encaustic medium
  4. Allow it to cool completely.
  5. Place it in the freezer and leave it overnight
  6. Remove it from the freezer and allow it to get back to room temperature
  7. Drop it on a concrete floor with force, multiple times
  8. You may wish to repeat the freeze thaw cycle multiple times as well
  9. Inspect the painting —dented corners aside, if the encaustic has chipped away and separated from the underpainting or substrate then it isn’t compatible—if it held, then it is acceptable.

Further reading:

Yes, encaustic is an ideal medium for assemblage / mixed media / collage painting. Encaustic wax can both preserve and adhere collage elements to artwork. Read more about encaustic collage here.

Cold wax medium is wax that has been melted with turpentine. Cold wax medium is a paste that is combined with oil paint.  Cold wax speeds up drying time of oil paint and increases the paint’s workability. Cold wax gives the paint a creamy texture that can be spread on a painting like butter.

Unlike encaustic that you heat up and fuse, cold wax does not need to be and should not be heated as it contains solvents. In encaustic painting, the wax medium must be molten to work with and then each layer needs to be fused (reheated).  Cold wax is not molten.

Like encaustic, cold wax can be applied in layers.

Read more…

Encaustic tiles are inlaid ceramic tiles and have nothing to do with encaustic painting. The term encaustic was traditionally used in two ways, to describe both encaustic painting with beeswax and a medieval enameling process.

In the nineteenth century Victorians confused inlaid ceramic tiles with tiles made using the enameling process and in error applied the term encaustic to inlaid tiles. Encaustic is now a commonly accepted name for inlaid tile work.

[source]

The main binder is typically natural beeswax. Encaustic medium is made from beeswax combined with damar resin which acts as a hardening agent.

Encaustic is wax, it doesn’t dry but rather solidifies. That process of heating the wax will liquify the wax. When removed from the heat source the wax will cool and solidify very quickly. Fusing with hot tools will extend the workability of the medium.

Painting on stretched canvas on stretcher bars is not recommended. It is not rigid and when heated and covered with wax it sags. It is also important to note that most canvases from an art supply store has been primed with acrylic gesso, which is not compatible with encaustic.

If you want to paint on canvas or linen, first stretch it over a ridged support. Ideal surfaces for the encaustic artwork are absorbent, rigid and heat resistant.

Candles are made from a variety of waxes. For encaustic painting, use encaustic medium made from beeswax, damar resin and pigment. You can learn about how to make encaustic medium here.

No varnishing is required. Damar resin in encaustic medium acts as a hardening agent so the finished encaustic painting will cure to a hard finish that will repel dust.


If your question about how to do Encaustic Painting wasn’t covered above

  • You can also check out our blog posts for more in-depth answers to many of your questions.
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About Ruth Maude

I enjoy experimenting with a variety of encaustic materials, techniques and tools. Everything I learn pushes my creative journey in new directions. I share what I've learned with other artists through my blog All Things Encaustic.

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95 thoughts on “How to do Encaustic Painting | Frequently Asked Questions”

  1. I was so excited to find your blog. I have been working with encaustics for about 5 years and love the medium. It is so forgiving! Finally..okay to make “mistakes.” Sandi

  2. I discovered the joy of working with beeswax about a year ago and have been experimenting with it ever since. It is such a versatile medium – I particularly like the textural or sculptural qualities of working with wax. I have learned to do ‘cut outs’ (similar to paper artists) and even weave with wax to produce unusual wall art. There seems to be an never ending number of ways to work with wax if you like experimenting like I do.

      1. Hi I was wondering if you can cure encaustic paintings quicker…? I usually buff before they go to little shops but worry that a bloom will come onto the surface and they will look dull when a customer takes them home. I saw a previous post about a top coat from Evan’s but unfortunately they don’t seem to post to Ireland. Much appreciated article full of great information….

  3. If I create a series of monotypes using acrylic paint on thin paper (super thin), can embed the monotype(s) in my encaustic painting? I want to transparentize the paper in the painting with the wax but utilize some of interesting texturing from the monotype.

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Steve,

      Personally, I would only use an encaustic monotype in an encaustic painting. But I suggest you give the freezer test a try. See the question above “How do I check if a substrate is suitable for encaustic using the freezer test?”

  4. Hi. Can you recommend a good book to get me started. I live in England in the south west and can’t find any class to give me an introduction, but this is something I have wanted to do for a while as I love to layer.

  5. Is there a way to thin the wax? It seems that when putting the wax on the painting, it hardens so quickly and therefore difficult to get it to spread in an even manner. I know that you go over it with a heat source but I’m wondering if there’s a way to thinning it down even before applying it.

    1. Carolyn,

      No, you don’t want to thin the encaustic medium. What ratio of beeswax to damar resin are you using? If your substrate is warm before you start to apply that will help. You could also try the pouring technique.

    2. Hi,
      I really have the same question.
      It is almost like the medium is hardening before I have the change to do what I would like to do.
      In all video’s it looks like artists have all the time to work in a relax way and brush the medium in a normal pace on the board. Nothing like me who has to hurry Like crazy to be able to brush some medium on the board at all.
      Hot wax on my wrist because my haste and lumps on the board.
      Am I living in a to cold environment?
      Feeling unmotivated 🙁

      1. Diana, are your brushes warm? Either leave the brushes sitting in the molten wax or rest them on the side of the griddle. Are you using pots to hold your molten wax or are you melting the wax directly on the griddle? I find that leaving brushes sitting in pots of molten wax works well.

        1. Dear Ruth,
          Thanks for the quick reply!
          I have my brushes warm. On the hotplate or in the aluminum cup full of the medium.
          The room is cold, because I read that you have to ventilate.
          So I have a fan on the right of me, blowing fumes who maybe are there, to the open window on the left.
          Could that be the problem?
          I live in Holland so no sunny and warm environment for me.
          It also takes at least two hours before the block of medium is melted
          So what could be the problem do you think?
          Kind regards, Diana

    1. Hi Laurie,

      I save wax scrapings, melt them down and add black paint to make black medium. If you keep your scraps sorted you can create colours other than black. I don’t know of any way to filter out the pigment.

    1. Hi Nuella,

      You can use Plexiglass – You’ll want to use sandpaper or steel wool first to rough up the surface creating a toothy surface so the encaustic will adhere. I have never seen encaustic on glass. You can try and let me know how it works out. I would be interested to know if it is archivally sound.

  6. Hi,
    I see on Pinterest some artists using encaustic inside little tins…. do you think they had to prime the surface first with encaustic gesso… or went straight to wax? thank you!

    1. Jo,

      Encaustic Gesso is used to prime the substrate before wax is applied. This is an optional step.
      Encaustic Medium (beeswax and damar resin) is heated in little tins and oil paint or pigment is added to the melted medium. Does that answer your question?

  7. Judith Clendenning

    I have 2 questions.

    After applying and fusing a # of layers of pastel,is it okay to use encaustic paint over it?

    Also, I layer down an area of oil stick,and attempted to fuse lightly. Is it okay to paint over this with encaustic paint?

    Thank you for your reply

  8. hi ruth,

    when i apply the encaustic mixed with oil paint onto the board i’m painting on, it starts cracking and flakes off. i thought this might be because i had the wax too hot and the temperature change was too drastic once i put the paint on the board, but i turned down the heat and it still cracks. do you know why this is happening or how to fix it? thanks, madison

    1. Hi Madison,
      I’m not sure what you’re doing

      • are you painting on an unprimed wood substrate? The surface needs to be absorbent (not acrylic).
      • the temperature should be around 150°F – 200°F just until the medium melts and make sure it isn’t smoking.
      • did you make your own encaustic medium? What is the ratio of damar & beeswax?
      • are you fusing each layer of encaustic paint? You need to fuse each layer to the layer before.

      I hope I’ll be able to help you sort out the problem.

  9. I am just starting with encaustics and do not want to spend a lot of money on substrates, we have lots of scraps of plywood, drywall, water color paper around – can I use these just for practice?

  10. Evelyn Wiszinckas

    I don’t like to use gloves when I work encaustics. What’s the best way to remove wax from hands .?

    1. I don’t wear gloves working with beeswax encaustic medium and I don’t find that I need to do more than just wash my hands after painting. I took one workshop where we used microcrystalline wax, I didn’t like the way my hands felt that day and would have prefered using gloves. I would recommend gloves when using products such as shellac, dry pigments and alcohol inks. It is always wise to consult material safety data sheets for any product you use.

  11. Hi there. Thanks for your wonderful site – Im sitting at the other end of the world in South Africa where there is not much encaustic happening, so your advice is heaven sent. Can you please tell me – the photos printed on cardstock – how would you go about hanging this on a wall? Im not sure how to prepare this at all, perhaps framed but without glass like an oil painting?

    1. Hi Cindy,

      It’s so great to know that people all over the world are reading! Yes you can frame without the glass. I have framed my monotype paintings with matboard behind glass.

    1. Hi Tracy,

      Please read this post about making encaustic medium. Medium is made with beeswax and damar resin. I don’t know what ingredients are in your candles. You can try if you want and then run a freezer test described in the question above. If it can withstand the freezer then it should be fine. But I wouldn’t sell these works if you aren’t sure that they will stand the test of time.

  12. Hi, Great blog and posts. I’m curious if you ever mix dry pigments into the wax medium to create your own colors. And if so, what ratio of pigment to medium do you tend to go for? Is it more cost effective to do it this way? I was recently looking at the French Quarry site, the earth tones are so luscious I’m curious about giving it a go; but would not like to invent a wheel, if there’s someone who already has this down pat, would love to know what they’ve discovered. Again, trying to reduce costs as much as possible. Thanks.

  13. Is it okay to use acrylic paints with encaustic Wax? Not mixing them together, but painting on tissue paper and between layers.

    1. Rhonda I don’t know anything about acrylic paints as I don’t use them. My understanding is that encaustic and acrylic won’t bond and it should be avoided. You could always give it a try on a test piece and then do the freezer test.

  14. I am just getting started with Encaustic and trying to set up a workspace in my home. Since I am unable to purchase wax or medium locally I need to order online and have it shipped. How much medium should I order that would last me @6 months? 2lbs? 5 lbs
    Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    1. That’s such a hard question to answer Mary. It depends on how much painting you’re doing and how big and thick the paintings are. I used 2lbs last week!

      1. great, thank you! I looked it up, it looks interesting. I like the fact that they recommend photographing your work before applying the high gloss.

  15. Hi again Ruth,

    do you know if there is a clear encaustic gesso on the market? So that if you want to work on wood, the grain can still show through?

    1. Hi Carter,

      You don’t need any gesso then. Just use encaustic medium and the grain will show through. The reason to use encaustic gesso is to prevent the grain from showing.

  16. When I brush the medium across the substrate, it builds up on the edges. What should I be doing differently? Thank you.

    1. Hi Jean,

      You can tape the edges of the substrate before you start to paint, then use an iron to flatten the drips, pull off the painter’s tape and the edges will be clean.

  17. I am just reading about with art technique for the first time. I am going to pull my inspiration board together an give my first project some thought. I am sure ill have more questions.

    1. I guess this could be a blog post in and of itself! It really is a skill that you develop as you become more experienced fusing. If you fuse too much you’ll create pools and waves of wax. I use an encaustic iron followed by a blow torch or heat gun. You can also scrape with a razor blade from time to time to even out your surface and encourage subsequent layers to go on smoothly. Some artists use a pour method, create a lip along the sides of your panel with masking tape and make sure your panel is level before you pour the hot encaustic medium onto the painting surface.

      1. Ruth, I have a question on a similar note. Tonight, I attempted an abstract landscape using different colors of pigmented wax (I used a very small amount of Shiva Painstik added to medium, and brushed that onto several layers of medium). When I fused this layer, the color ran all over the place! This could have been a cool effect, if that’s what I was going for, but this piece had a specific composition that was ruined by all the running. So, I tested my techniques on a test patch, with light fusing, but the color still ran. I then tried just blending the oilstick directly onto the medium and wiping off most of the excess, then fusing…alas, the color still ran & pooled! Now, I’m wondering what I’m doing wrong, and have turned to videos online, only to find so many people successfully using pigmented wax to create images that stay in place during the fusing process. Do you know what I might be doing wrong?

  18. I’ve looked and looked at so many sites, videos and resources about the shellac techniques, but none of them discuss the material being used. Upon searching, I find shellac at hardware stores, but I also find shellac ink in art supply. Which is being used in encaustic?

  19. Can rustoleum spray paint be used in encaustic painting? I’ve seen blog posts about using spray paints in encaustic and in fact one used liquitex spray paint which i believe is an acrylic, so that has confused me.
    Thank you!

    1. Do you mean the Rustoleum Chalked spay paint? I’ve used chalk paint but not in the spray can form. Acrylic and encaustic don’t work well together but Christian Lovisa uses a lot of different materials under encaustic and then uses Liquitex clear gesso as a bridge to then work with wax on top of the painting

    1. I’ve never worked with wax that doesn’t have damar so I don’t know if it would feel any different. Maybe pop over to one of the many Facebook groups and ask the question there.

        1. This morning I had a light bulb moment. I heated my plate up to a high temperature and tested known pieces of wax. The wax without damar melted and boiled, the one with damar just melted. Problem solved!

  20. Hi Ruth,
    I really appreaciate your site. I took an encaustic class at Herron School or art and Design and loved it.I wanted to learn more, so thanks for the tips.

    Quetion, do you only use bee’s wax? What about soy wax or coconut wax combined with bee’s wax? I know I would have to put resin in them, but I was wondering why only bee’s wax?
    Thanks Cheryl

  21. I plan to print images on paper then paste them in small metal trays – and then apply wax medium and fuse. Am I on the right track? Thank you.

  22. I have applied 4 layers of encaustic medium as my base coat…. i have a surface that is not the smooth surface that I want before applying color….my piece is pretty large… is it possible to get a smooth surface by scraping and ironing at this point before moving forward?
    I hate to scrape everything off.
    Thank you

    1. If you want a smooth surface you need to get it smooth before moving on. An iron is good and a large flat pottery scraper. Heat the scraper up and work on wax that is cold or only slightly warm. That way you will scrape off the bumps and smoosh into the divots without taking off too much.

  23. I want to make geometric shapes in my encaustic painting. What is the best material to use to mask with that can handle the heat and wax?

    1. I haven’t personally done that but I think that it would be fine. Maybe ask on one of the encaustic Facebook groups. Some may recommend a different adhesive.

  24. Is there any rule of thumb as to how much medium one can add to opaque encaustic paint WITHOUT making it transparent? For example using R&F titanium white, if I want it opaque should I use it without diluting? It has so much pigment, it seems it should be diluted at least some. It also doesn’t go very far without adding medium. Thank you for any advice!

  25. Desperate, I have created a wax lantern, so the shell is a combination of hardeners, and beeswax. I am using encaustic mediums to decorate my lanterns…for some reason I get this lifting or moisture bubbles that keep appearing after completion…why could this been happening? Do I need to put YES glue down first? The moisture is happening between the layer of the shell and the encaustic medium….

  26. Hi there, my name is Justine, I am currently working on a new product that is made using beeswax, paraffin and stearin powder….my wax lantern..
    I am then designing each side using Encaustic mediums. But I have noticed that air bubbles have started forming between the shell of my wax lantern and the encaustic medium….to the point of almost being able to peel off in one big piece.
    I understand that wax as a substrate could be an issue, but can you suggest anything at all I might be able to try as a binder to help reduce the air or separation from forming. I fuse in between each layer of encaustic, so that is not the issue…..I do warm the surface of the wax shell (lantern) so the encaustic medium does spread nicely and set nicely….the separation starts to appear a couple of hours later. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, thank you in advance…

  27. Ahoj, ako sa dajú použiť alkoholové pigmenty na maľovanie – na encaustický podklad?

    Google Translate:
    Hi, how can alcohol pigments be used for painting – on an encaustic substrate?

    1. Hello Oli, Here’s a blog post about using alcohol inks. Be careful when breathing in the fumes and know that they may fade over time.

      Google Translate:

      Ahoj Oli, tu je blogový príspevok o používaní alkoholových farieb. Pri vdychovaní výparov buďte opatrní a vedzte, že môžu v priebehu času blednúť.

  28. I tried to do a portrait using encaustics on a wood panel. I came out really bad. Can I somehow scrape this off and reuse the panel for something else. What would I need to do to prepare the panel for another project?

    1. Hi Vickie, Sure you can scrape it off and start a new painting. No need to do anything special to the panel. You can just start painting with encaustic on the scraped down panel.

  29. Robin-Lee Clarke

    What a wonderful resource you are!
    I have problems with streaky lines when the wax dries on top of some encaustics gesso, usually dark ones, I’m not sure if it is my fusing, the heat of the wax, or ???
    Even if I fuse back to almost liquid, they return
    I hope you are able to help.
    Thanks
    Robin

      1. Thank you for getting back to me.
        I don’t use Facebook.
        It mostly happens when I use Evans Holy Grail burnt Sienna gesso and pure beeswax.
        I wish I could send you a picture here, it resembles whitish brush strokes, not all over, just in patches, the only thing I can think, is I am doing something wrong with my fusing between layers of wax.

        1. Ah, Robin, I understand now. Thanks for emailing me a picture. What you’re experiencing is bloom. You need to have damar resin in your encaustic medium. Don’t paint with pure beeswax. Damar prevents bloom (the white marks) and acts as a hardening agent to help the painting cure properly.

  30. Ruth, I love encaustics and have been doing workshops for a couple of years. Here’s my question: Can I do an encaustic workshop outdoors? Would the warmed wax, and beeswax aroma attract dust and insects? Owing to Covid-19 and social distancing, I’m being asked to host a workshop outdoors, so we can all spread out, but still play with encaustics. What is your reco? I think the stickiness of the wax, while working with it, may attract pollutants, bugs, or …?

    1. Hi Rea,

      I haven’t taught a workshop outdoors but I have set up a table and worked outside. It was lovely, I wasn’t bothered by insects but I know others who work in a garage with the door open have said that bees and other insects can be a challenge. Weather will be a factor for sure. If you ask on the Facebook group I’m sure there will be a number of people who have tried this.

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