What is Encaustic painting?
encaustic painting, painting technique in which pigments are mixed with hot liquid wax. Artists can change the paint’s consistency by adding resin or oil (the latter for use on canvas) to the wax. After the paint has been applied to the support, which is usually made of wood, plaster, or canvas, a heating element is passed over the surface until the individual brush or spatula marks fuse into a uniform film. This “burning in” of the colours is an essential element of the true encaustic technique.
Are Encaustic Paintings Permanent? Will My Painting Last Over The Years?
Encaustic paints are perhaps the most durable form of painting. Wax itself is inherently moisture, mildew, and mold resistant as well as unappetizing to insects.
The wax paint film you create on your paintings will successfully seal out moisture, acids, dirt, and even atmospheric gases. The artist grade pigments used within our paints will also not fade over time, nor will the wax yellow.
As with any piece of artwork, encaustic paintings shouldn't be displayed in direct sunlight and to dust the painting, be sure to use a soft cloth. If properly cared for encaustic paintings will last the test of time. Simply look at the 2000-year-old Faiyum Mummy Portaits currently on display in museums. These portraits have strikingly beautiful finishes.
Encaustic is wax, won't it melt in my home?
Enjoy the feeling of security knowing that your encaustic
artwork is safe from becoming a melted mess. Despite what you might think, even
normal household temperatures won't do it - they need to be 150F/65C before any
melting can occur due to the beeswax and damar resin found in this unique art
Are these encaustic paintings one of a kind?
Each painting is an authentic, one-of-a-kind creation.
Do encaustic paintings need to be varnished or sealed?
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.
How do i clean my encaustic brushes?
Encaustic medium does not deteriorate the brush and can always be remelted, brushes can be left uncleared indefinitely.
No solvent is necessary for cleaning encaustic equipment. Should you wish to clean your bruches, you can dip them in melted paraffin or soy wax. Soy wax is easier to remove than paraffin wax, so after the color has been cleaned out of the brush, the brush can be washed with soap and water and is reuseable in other mediums.
How do you paint with encaustic?
Encaustic art provides a unique painterly experience, as the
word 'enkaustikos', derived from Greek, translates to "to burn in". Creating
encaustic works of art requires more than simply paint and brushes; they also
need heat! Natural bristle brushes that react well to high temperatures are
ideal for this technique. After heating up the medium into the liquid form it
is applied onto wood panels before being fused together with each following
layer using either an array of heated tools like torches or heat guns.
How do I take care of encaustic?
Encaustic art is a centuries-old tradition that combines the
timeless properties of beeswax with an Indonesian tree-derived hardening agent.
This unique blend results in artwork that stands strong and vibrant for
generations, providing you peace of mind knowing your masterpiece will last!
Fortunately, looking after encaustic creations isn't complicated - just follow
some simple instructions to keep them shining brightly throughout time.
1. Consistent temperature - the encaustic medium should not
be exposed to extreme heat or cold. The wax will melt at temperatures above
162°F (72°C) and freezing temperatures can cause the medium to crack. Do not
install near fireplaces, wood stoves, or close to the bulbs of lamps or light
fixtures where radiant heat can cause the surface to soften and become
vulnerable to damage.
2. Avoid direct sunlight - extended periods of direct
sunlight can also soften the encaustic surface making it more vulnerable to
3. Packing / Transporting - avoid allowing shipping
materials to directly touch any part of the encaustic surface as these could
leave impressions or scratches. Avoid leaving an encaustic painting in a hot
vehicle where summer temperatures could easily exceed 150°. Always ship
overnight or during cooler months of the year.
4. Storing - encaustic paintings should not be stored in
attics or non-climate-controlled storage facilities where temperatures may
5. Framing - encaustic does not need to be protected under
glass. Encaustic is a natural substance that does best when allowed to breathe.
Floating frames are a recommended option as the frame can protect the edges of
the painting from chips and dents.
6. Curing - encaustic will continue to cure (harden) for
6-12 months after painting. During this time the painting could develop a
'bloom' or white hazy residue. This is a natural occurrence and may even occur in
older works that have been exposed to cold temperatures. The bloom is easily
removed by gently buffing the painting surface with a soft lint-free cloth.
7. Cleaning - encaustic paintings can be easily cleaned by
gently buffing the surface with a lint-free cloth. Avoid buffing or wiping the
surface of the painting is warm. Just like car wax, gently wiping the wax can
bring back a sheen. Note encaustic paintings with mixed media or oil paint
detailing could have a matte finish, as other media may be layered over the
encaustic surface. The sheen will be less pronounced in this work. For highly
textured works a microfiber or feather duster may be needed to whisk away dust
from the crevices.