Encaustic Painting

Since Antiquity.

Encaustic painting or beeswax painting has been used since antiquity! This painting technique is also called fire painting since it is necessary to heat the medium to make it liquid in order to « paint ».

With beeswax and tree resin

The medium is made of beeswax mixed with dammar resin. To this mixture, the medium therefore, we add a pigment to color each block of medium. This technique is used on porous materials mainly on wood.

A warm technic

Another particularity of this technique, in addition to being used with heating plates, is flat painting. One or two layers of hot medium are applied, then colored medium is added with pigments. Each layer of medium is fused to the previous one with a heat gun or torch. (merged and not melted or typo just have a big mess!) T

Endless possibilities

The advantage of this technique is the endless possibilities of creation. It can be scraped, poured and smoothed, evened out or even sculpted (thanks to a sculptor’s mirette) furrowed and textured with volumes if the last layer is left to cool completely and finally combined with oil. .. you can also add elements that freeze in the wax … you can rub it to make it shine. It can be opaque or transparent depending on the quantity and quality of pigment added. there is no drying time, it freezes immediately but can always be reworked with the blowtorch for example.

Solid and natural

A painting with encaustic paint does not need to be varnished. This is because beeswax is impervious to moisture, which is one of the main causes of paint deterioration. No solvent is needed, heat is used to clean the brushes.

Stable over time

Encaustic painting, from the Greek enkaiein – to burn – was already used by ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman artists. Some Fayoum portraits were painted using this technique. The wax has a hydrophobic power which ensures an exceptional quality of conservation of the works. This technique is therefore very old. Pliny the Elder describes a use for warships: a kind of paint made of « fire-molten waxes » spread with a brush « which, on ships, is not altered by the sun or by salt water. , nor by the winds. ». Because one of the properties of wax is to be a natural and hydrophobic material, and therefore it is water resistant. Once placed on the support to be painted, this medium is extremely stable over time.