Have you ever heard of the word “encaustic”? Although it is English, many people who are not in the art field may not be familiar with this word. Encaustic is a medium used in painting, and can be made from beeswax, damar crystal, resin, pigment and linseed oil. It’s like a hot wax. Although encaustic paints are sold in art supply stores, a lot of artists prepare their encaustics themselves. I think of it as alchemy in the creative process and it can effect how you can manipulate this wax paint to your artworks. To add color, dry pigments can be used, but they must be dealt with precautions like full body protection. I personally don’t want to risk harming myself. Therefore, when I make my own mixture of the paints, I use other forms of pigment such as oil paints. (The appropriate proportion to manipulate textures is a very detailed process and I may post a blog about it later). I like R&F Handmade Paints and also use Enkaustikos Hot Cakes.
Note: There are slight color differences between brands. You can try and find your favorite.
Encaustic painting has few basic steps.
1) Melt the paint
2) Apply to the surface and paint
3) Fuse the paint (each stroke or each layer)
4) Repeat 2) to 3)
I have always been interested in encaustic, but hadn’t seriously explored it until 2009. When I finally decided to experience, experiment, explore, engage, and express with this medium, I just fell in love. It’s great for collages as well.
To be continued in the next blog post about encaustic…