A good substrate for Encaustic Painting is rigid, absorbent, and heat resistant, it bonds well with the layers of wax without fear of cracking or separation. Yes, you can paint on glass with encaustic, but please understand that glass is not an ideal substrate for encaustic. Glass has no natural tooth to hold the paint. And of course, we can’t do a freezer test without breaking the glass. This means that we can’t say for certain if glass is suitable. Be that as it may, artists have created some beautiful encaustic works on glass.
“As the use of encaustic has expanded into the realm of mixed media over the last 60 years, it is being applied to a greater range of surfaces, including glass, plexiglass, metals, papers, fabrics, commercial panels, ceramic, stone, other paint mediums, etc. “The R&F website
In a previous post, I wrote about using plexiglass as a substrate for encaustic painting and many of the same ideas apply to glass.
Creating a Toothy Surface
In order for encaustic to adhere to glass, you need to create a toothy surface. Here are three ways to do that:
- Paint the glass with Liquitex clear gesso
- Use etching cream for glass. For use on clear glass (not on plexiglass), this acid cream will remove a thin layer of glass and frost the surface underneath. Use in a well-ventilated area with plastic gloves and goggles. I haven’t tried this.
- Glue rice paper to the glass
Tips for painting on glass with encaustic
- When painting on a glass substrate, you will need to slow down. The glass will retain the heat and the wax will take longer to cool. And, if you aren’t careful, you can burn yourself by touching the glass surface before it has cooled.
- If you work in thin translucent layers you can take advantage of the glass substrate and let the light shine through.
- You don’t need to fill the entire glass surface. Mask off the glass to leave some areas as clear glass the way Lisa Beth Glassman did (see below).
Encaustic Painting on a Vintage Window
I painted a cottage scene on a window that came out of our old cabin. It can be hung on the wall or suspended in a window. It looks very different when illuminated. I used clear gesso for this piece but now that I know about the etching cream, next time I’ll give it a try.
The finished piece works equally well hung in a window illuminated by sunlight as it does against a wall. Installed in the gallery window, the urban scene and tree outside blend with the rural scene.
Lisa Beth Glassman did a series of encaustic paintings on old windows.
Encaustic Mixed Media Glass Vases
Leslie Davis Fisher repurposes old glass vases. She glues rice paper to the vase to create a receptive surface for the encaustic wax.
Add your comments below and hop over to our Facebook Group to post any photos of your own encaustic art on glass.
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3 thoughts on “Glass As A Substrate For Encaustic Painting!”
Love these! What glue/adhesive is used with the rice paper and vase? Thanks Sharla
Hi! I use Roman PRO-838 heavy duty clear wallpaper adhesive. I don’t add anything else to it.
The windows and the vases are lovely! I didn’t think you could do encaustic on glass ever, but I will give it a try. I have plenty of clear gesso too! Thanks for this article!