The beauty of encaustics is that you can incorporate organic materials like leaves and flowers, fused in place under layers of wax. The resulting paintings are breathtakingly beautiful!
The encaustic studio setup is quite easy, though there are a few things that you need to be cautious about:
* Make sure you are working in a well-ventiallated area
* Don’t allow children or pets into the room when you’re working with encaustics. Hot wax + curious children/pets = a recipe for disaster!
* Have a mug or small bucket of clean water handy. In case you burn your hand, plunge immediately into water.
Here’s a short encaustic set-up video by Laly Mille.
Making your own encaustic wax
You don’t have to run out and hunt for encuastic wax (it can be really pricey here in India!) – you can make your own at home. Here’s a handy recipe that I found at earthpigments.com
- 10 parts Beeswax
- 1 part Dammar Resin lumps
Dammar Resin has a higher melting point than beeswax, so it should be melted first, then the beeswax added. Neither should be heated over an open flame, or to temperatures above 250 F. Stir to blend while melting, then pour the mixture into aluminum foil muffin pans for cooling. Although the dammar resin will contain some impurities, these will fall to the bottom of the mixture as it hardens. Each contained portion can now be mixed with pigments or stored to be melted again with pigments.
Don’t want to bother with hot wax? Then come back tomorrow for a primer on faux encaustic techniques!