What the Heck is Encaustic Painting?

If you’re looking to create something beautiful, dimensional and original, in the same style as the old Renaissance masters, you might want to try your hand at encaustic painting. Encaustic painting involves painting with hot wax. You add pigments to heated beeswax and apply it to a surface like treated wood, canvas or paper. You can also mix up recipes with other types of wax, powdered pigments, oil paints, damar resin, linseed oil and other pigments.
To create an encaustic piece, apply hot wax to the surface and use metal tools or special brushes to manipulate the wax before it cools. You can also heat tooks and manipulate the wax after it has cooled. Wax is an awesome medium to work with because it is so versatile. You can sculpt with it and give your piece real dimension. You can also carve the wax after it has dried. Other materials, like plants, flowers, image transfers and more, can be collaged and layered onto the work surface, using wax as a binder. The possibilities of what you can create with this style truly are endless.
This style dates back to ancient Egypt, where it was used to create the Fayum mummy portraits. Mexican muralists Jean Charlot and Diego Rivera sometimes used the medium. Painter Fritz Faiss and Dr. Hans Schmid rediscovered the Punic wax technique used in ancient Greek writings on encaustic painting. They patented two methods for preparing encaustic waxes. In the 1990s, Encaustic art regained popularity and people begin using modern instruments to enhance the old methods. Artists began to do encaustic painting on cardstock, paper and pottery using tools like electric irons, heated styli and hot plates.
We invite you to check out a rare opportunity to learn this style in our upcoming encaustic painting workshop with artist Stephanie Woolsey. The workshop will take place on April 29, May 6 and May 13, 2017. We will create fun mixed media pieces with texture using image transfers and encaustic painting.