Encaustic painting is also known as “molten wax painting.” I use hot liquid beeswax, usually mixed with color pigment, and Damar resin as the painting medium. The medium is applied with a variety of tools, and dries very quickly. The painting surface should not be flexible, and often the preferred painting surface is a wood panel. Each layer of medium is reheated to fuse it to the previous layer of wax, as well as the wood panel. I am working on an encaustic composition containing many linear multistoried buildings. 

My work in progress.

My work in progress.

I use a variety of hot wax painting processes on each painting. Fusing (use of the fusing torch flame to burn in wax colors in the encaustic art process) creates many positive outcomes, but the intensity of the applied heat can produce unwanted surprises. 

Too much heat can distort straight lines, as shown in this portion of the painting above.

Too much heat can distort straight lines, as shown in this portion of the painting above.

Use of fusing heat too long in one area causes the top layers of the wax to melt, mix together, create puddles, or swirl round shapes of mixed colors. Many times this is a great outcome in compositions, but not when painting areas in representational scenes involving lines in multistoried buildings! The wax paint dries quickly fortunately. Necessity requires evaluation and innovation to move through the unwanted effects...

This is a small part of the work in progress.

This is a small part of the work in progress.

I mix my paint(s) to match the exact color(s), and I use brushes to repaint the dry surface of the unwanted effects area with a thin coat, or I may scrape the area first, and then repaint the area. I prefer to let the repainted wax cool down, and fuse the repainted area later. I use propane or butane fueled torches, and the fusing process requires practice. I fuse with the torch flame in the direction of the shape or line (i.e. vertically for vertical lines, etc.); torch heat and distance from the area to be fused are crucial considerations.

There are many fusing techniques and tools for different situations; this is my approach.

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