What is Encaustic Painting?

 

 

 

Encaustic painting, also known as hot wax painting, involves using heated beeswax to which colored pigments are added. The liquid/paste is then applied to a surface—usually prepared wood, though canvas and other materials are often used. The simplest encaustic mixture can be made from adding pigments to beeswax, but there are several other recipes that can be used — some containing other types of waxes, damar resin, linseed oil, or other ingredients. Pure, powdered pigments can be used, though some mixtures use oil paints or other forms of pigment. - Wikipedia.
 
How I discovered this ancient form of painting happened in 2010.   I went to a Winery in Kelowna, called Ancient Hill Estate Winery, and there on the walls were these magnificent brightly colored paintings of grapes.  I fell in love with the paintings and it was the owner who had done them and she explained the process to me in detail.  Encaustic Painting predates Oil painting and the technique is difficult to work with, but bright and beautiful in its completion.
 
I searched the internet for years and could mostly find paintings that were abstract and free flowing.  This is because when you take the heated wax from the container and apply it to the canvas, it near instantly cools to a solid form.  Then some artists will get a heat gun, or an iron and move the paints around.  This process doesn't  satisfy me because I was a realistic-type artist and I needed definition and the challenge of doing something more difficult.   So, I used my common sense of how the properties react and found a way to manipulate the wax to get my desired results. 
 
With a plan of layering, a heat gun, some carving tools, and a wood burning tool, I have found a way to make realistic human form in the Encaustic medium.  It is a long drawn out process, but one that thrills me to the core while I am doing it. 
 
The 4 Cuban children is my first success at Encaustic Realistic and one that I am very happy about.