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Encaustic Paint

As an Artist, I take great pride in making my own encaustic medium and even some paint. You can also buy premade encaustic paint, I do that also! Each batch I make with this artisanal process that involves three ingredients.

Damar tree resin, 100% organic beeswax and pigments.

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What's Encaustic?


Encaustic paintings are perhaps the most durable of paintings and have outlasted other paintings by thousands of years. Evidence of this can be seen by the Fayum Egypt mummy portraits that are over 2500 years old. Excavation of the ancient encaustic paintings has shown no flaking, cracking, or fading. This is because unlike other mediums, encaustic paintings are resistant to moisture, acid and mold. Encaustic or hot wax painting originated in the 5th century BCE in Greece. It was originally used as a means to caulk and decorate ships and later evolved into a fine art form, most often used in mural painting and funeral portraits.

The technique involves melting damar resin crystals in beeswax and adding dry pigments. The hot wax is applied to a rigid surface and quickly hardens. Heat is then applied to the wax paint, fusing the pigmented wax. The literal meaning of the word encaustic is from the Greek "encaustikos" or burning-in which refers to this step in the process. Once the wax paint cools additional layers can be added to achieve depth and texture. Oil paints, oil pastels, dry pigments, metal leaf and other substances can be worked into or layered onto the wax. Each layer must be fused with the layer below. Once the surface has cooled, the paint hardens to a permanent finish that can be worked to the rich and lustrous patina that is the hallmark of encaustic painting.

Caring for your Encaustic Art

•Treat an encaustic painting as you would any fine art. Use care hanging, transporting or storing a painting.

• Hang and store at normal room temperatures. Avoid freezing and extremely hot temperatures; encaustic medium will begin to soften at 150°F / 65°C.

• Keep all artwork out of direct sunlight.

• Encaustic does not need to be protected by glass. A floater frame is an attractive option that also protects the edges of the painting from scratches, dents and chips.

• During the first 6-12 months, as the wax cures, an encaustic painting may develop bloom. Bloom is a naturally occurring hazy white residue. It may also occur if a painting is exposed to cold. Bloom can easily be removed by buffing the surface of the painting.

• Encaustic paintings can be buffed to a high gloss using a soft, lint-free cloth or pantyhose. If the original sheen has become dull over time, it can be brought back by repeating the buffing process.

• Once an encaustic painting has fully cured and hardened, it will shed dust and dirt more readily.

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