Paint making into the wee hours of the night



Above is all the encaustic paint I made before I ran out of supplies. Usually I make paint with pigment in powder form but my growing concerns with health and safety prompted me to search out dispersion pigments. Of course, dispersion pigments are suspended in water which are not compatible with encaustics. Most people use oil paints to make encaustic paint but I did not like the solvent and linseed oil (smell and toxicity) in most oil paints. However, I found out that one of my favorite watercolour paint companies (M. Graham) make an oil based paint using JUST walnut oil as binder. This paint is wonderful; it’s highly pigmented and does not have a strong odor at all!

The paints are cooling above in seamless tins and I still have 6.5 lbs of beeswax to render into paint and medium. It’s good to have encaustic medium pre-made so it’s ready to go. For now, this will have to do until I get more resin soon.


Here’s an update of the piece I started:


Above you can see a few details added onto the background that I had before. Organic motifs were carved out, black and white oil colour was pushed into the grooves of the carvings. Transparent glass beads were pressed into the wax. Which reminds me, another great thing about working in encaustic is that it is very accommodating in regards to mixed media; you can use collage methods as well as embedding things right into the wax. A Blue oil stick was used to smudge colour around the perimeter. A little note about oil sticks just in case you’re interested: oil sticks are oil paint in stick form so they’re drier. They only take 24hrs to dry which is really good if you want to work quickly and put on different layers.

To me, it looks like a wintry scene so far. I don’t know yet if it’s going to stay that way or not. At this point, I’ll just let it dry and breathe for a bit before the next layer goes on.

Below is a detail and a couple of different views of the piece: