Getting Started With Encaustic Painting

Encaustic painting is quite different from conventional painting methods that use watercolours and oil paints: here, heated wax (to which coloured pigments are added) applied on a painting surface is used to create coloured images of just about anything you can imagine. Due to the unusual use of wax for painting purposes, it is quite easy for beginners to encaustic painting to feel a little lost at first. Don’t worry: with the right tools and a good amount of practice, you will be mastering this art in due time!If you have finally decided to make the jump and start painting yourself, the first thing you want to get your hands on are the tools for the job: without them, there is virtually no way to get started, not even draw a test image. Therefore, try to get the following as soon as possible from a shop selling great discount art supplies: 

Painting Medium

The encaustic painting medium (wax) is a mixture composed of natural beeswax and damar resin crystals. You can easily find the beeswax as mechanically filtered beeswax beads Australia at most art supply shops. The fact that it comes in beads makes it easy for you to measure the correct amount of wax to melt with the damar resin. If you have trouble making your own medium, you can always go for pre-made mixtures with all the pigments already added to them. Usually found in metal tins at art supply shops.

Oil Paints (Not Necessary with Pre-Made Pigmented Medium)

If you are making your own paint (or even if you are using a pre-made medium without pigments), you need oil paints to add colour to your wax. When mixing colours, take care to mix them properly: the recommended ratio is usually one part of oil paint to three parts of wax. Take care not to use colours like Prussian blue or zinc white. The former is toxic when heated, while the latter will start to curdle.

Canvas to Paint On

Generally, encaustic paintings are made on a wooden board, but other material like canvas can be used in place of that. Whatever substrate you choose must obviously be heat-resistant as well as have good absorption properties. Make sure to have something to firmly hold the canvas in place to avoid making mistakes while painting.

Other Tools

The other main tools required to start painting are a heat gun (to melt the wax), a palette box (to keep the heated wax) and a bowl in which you can prepare the medium. Heat guns can be exchanged for blow torches or just about anything else that can provide a sustainable amount of heat that is enough to cause the wax to melt.