Step 9: Using Encaustic Medium

Okay, so now you've got this, what do you DO with it?

Basically, you:

heat your medium on the skillet
paint on a rigid and porous surface (wood is good)
use natural bristle brushes to paint with it
use various metal and wood implements to drip, scrape and manipulate it
use a heat gun to remelt it on your surface
use an iron to push it around
use different colors to make images
embed paper and objects into it for collage

Outside of painting, it's a great material for model and mold related work. I've used it for casting into an existing mold, then reshaping the cast piece and making a fresh mold from it. Silicones, rubbers and resins rarely stick to it. And by rarely, I mean I've never gotten it to stick to those things, but I haven't tried every single available product. It's harder than normal wax so it doesn't melt or soften in warm weather nearly as quickly. It also stands up to mold making and casting materials that heat up from chemical reactions longer than most other waxes. It's great for some prototyping because as soon as you're done you can re-melt it for something else. It's also pretty easy to carve.
<p>Thanks! I like how you scrape off the debris at the bottom. I've only heard of filtering it out before.</p>
Hi, thank you for offering this instruction. I'm curious, since Damar is actually a form of turpentine can I use that instead of the resin? Thank you, Greta
Are there any type of varnishes that can be used on top of encaustic painting that are premade. i'm really interested in gloss but rock hard finish? what about shellac? thanks .
This is one of the coolest things I have seen in my life. I'm researching encaustics and came across this page in a search engine.This is really inspiring-I'm going to go look for old muffin tins so I can make some color bars this weekend! :) I thought the soda can idea was off the charts. I used your idea to melt beeswax in my linseed oil for painting....WAAAAY better than actually putting the oil and wax directly in the pan.(No chance of overheating or burning!) Thanks for sharing!!! This is my first post...LOL
Hmm; do you happen to know of a plasticizer for pine rosin? Something that will cause it (from an alcohol solution, for example) to dry to nice shiny and durable films instead of crystalizing or something? I understand rosin was used in some old varnishes, and I've got the rosin and assorted other things, but I can't find a formula for an actual rosin-based varnish (which I guess is what I want.)
It's my understanding that 'rosin' is a form of 'resin' (usually just dried out instead of semi-liquid). Linseed oil will dissolve almost any rosin. In fact, linseed oil is one of the best and most archival oil painting materials available. Pine rosin <em>is</em> a really old varnish ingredient and was used on a lot of European furniture. Contemporary violin makers still seem to use quite a bit of it, and here's a link to a recipe and info on how to make pine rosin into varnish:<br/><br/><a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.newviolinfamily.org/forum/showpost.php?s=6a2877ab80678635681e246d51e21652&amp;p=145&amp;postcount=14">http://www.newviolinfamily.org/forum/showpost.php?s=6a2877ab80678635681e246d51e21652&amp;p=145&amp;postcount=14</a><br/><br/>I've never tried that particular formula myself, but being that you're starting with rosin instead of resin it might take a bit more oil to completely dissolve it. There's another (and much more elaborate) recipe available there as well:<br/><br/><a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.newviolinfamily.org/forum/showpost.php?s=6a2877ab80678635681e246d51e21652&amp;p=113&amp;postcount=12">http://www.newviolinfamily.org/forum/showpost.php?s=6a2877ab80678635681e246d51e21652&amp;p=113&amp;postcount=12</a><br/><br/>These will probably give you a place to start - let me know if you've got any questions about any of it, I've made a lot of my own paint and mediums over the years....<br/>
Thanks. Those look promising...<br/><br/><em>&gt; I've made a lot of my own paint and mediums</em><br/>More fodder for Instructables! I've always been intrigued by &quot;the technology of art&quot;<br/>
If there's interest in them I'll keep making them - a few years ago I was in a LIBRARY (what are those again?) and found a few really old books on art making. I've been playing around with it ever since. And let me know how those recipes turn out if you try them!
Yes please! By the way - I was visiting an artist specializing in encaustic art, during a Open Studios tour this weekend. She used miniature cooking pots from the kids section at Ikea to heat her various encaustic colors on a hotplate. :-D
Cool, I'd wanted to know how to do this! Thanks!
No problem, I'm glad you were interested! I'll always take requests for info on obscure art techniques.... ;-)
This is a really neat artform, it is really different and unique. If you want, you can add this iBle to the <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.instructables.com/group/yourart/">Your Art Group</a> <br/>
Joined and added - thanks! I've got a lot of other things in process that I'll probably add to that group eventually, too!
Thanks. I can't wait to see the others.

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