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An Introduction to Encaustic Painting

Thank you so much for your interest in my painting techniques! Hope you enjoy this detailed description of my materials and process. 
 

What is Encaustic:

Encaustic is a wax-based painting medium that originated with the ancient Greeks over 3000 years ago. 

 

The primary ingredients of encaustic are beeswax and a tree gum called, Damar Resin.

 

The combination of beeswax and Damar is referred to as Encaustic Medium and it forms the base of encaustic paint. Encaustic Medium is clear and can be used on it own or with pigment. When pigments are added to the encaustic medium it becomes colored wax-based paint. 

Natural honeycomb wax and refined beeswax cakes.

Not Just Wax...

An important ingredient in encaustic is Damar Resin. It is neccesrry to enhance clarity, hardness and to elevate the overall melting temperature of encaustic medium. 

 

Damar makes encaustic paint much more durable than beeswax alone.

Encaustic paint must be liquefied over heat and kept molten at  200°F  /  93°C in order
to manipulate it like a paint.
Artists using encaustic work
HOT to COLD instead of the traditional WET to DRY.
A variety of heated appliances and tools are required to work with encaustic because the wax medium must be repeatedly reheated and reworked. Hot plates, electric cooking appliances, and heated tools such as blowtorches, heat-guns, and irons are used to fuse and manipulate the wax-based paint. 

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Once encaustic has cooled to room temperature it returns to a solid state and the surface can then be carved down into and reworked.
Encaustic can also be sculpted and used as a casting agent when poured into molds.

When working with encaustic it must be applied to a rigid and absorbent substrate such as wood. You cannot apply encaustic to canvas unless the canvas is first glued to a rigid support. The flexibility of canvas will cause the wax to break, crack, and flake off the surface. 

Encaustic is still relatively obscure as an art medium but it continues to rise in popularity among artists due to its translucent properties and versatility as an art material. 

Learn all about encaustic with Alicia Tormey!
Sign up for an Encaustic Workshop:
ONLINE COURSES and LIVE CLASSES 
now open for enrollment.

Start working with this ancient medium and see for yourself why artists all over the world love working with encaustic. 

Enroll in a workshop and learn from a master. Alicia shares her knowledge and experience from over 20 years as an

encaustic painter and instructor.

Check out all the details here:

Encaustic Workshops

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To see examples of Alicia's encaustic paintings, head on over to the Portfolios page.