People ask, so here it is: a short explanation of encaustic…
- As with any work of fine art, handle encaustic paintings with care: keep out of direct sunlight, avoid extreme temperatures, and keep away from heat sources.
- When transporting, wrap in waxed paper, photo release paper or glassine.
- If desired, the surface can occasionally be gently buffed to a lustrous finish using a soft, clean, cotton cloth. Bloom—a whitish haze—can occur on the surface of the wax and is removed with gentle buffing using a soft cloth.
- Bloom is a normal chemical reaction within the wax, and will cease over time as the wax cures.
- Protect the surface and edges to prevent chipping and scratching.
- Framing behind glass is not recommended due to potential heat build-up. If you would like to frame your piece, a simple floating frame that protects the edges and extends slightly above the surface of the painting is preferable.
There is so much variety in what artists do with encaustic that I can’t begin to represent it here. There are many books out there showcasing encaustic artists and various techniques, including a beautiful new book by fellow Santa Cruz artist Daniella Woolf, Encaustic with a Textile Sensibility. In the studio, I often find myself referring to the classic, The Art of Encaustic Painting, by Joanne Mattera.
I learned encaustic by taking an intensive workshop put on by R&F Paints, manufacturer of encaustic supplies and the incredible oil paint sticks that I use in both my painting and encaustic practices. Their website is a wealth of information if you are interested in learning more about encaustic.