Encaustic. (Ehn-CAHW-stick. Not enquastick, not encowstick, not enquashtick. Ehn-CAHW-stick.)
You’ve seen it around, you’ve sat in awe over some of the effects, the textures, the depth, and now, now you MUST know what this Encaustic Craze THing is. You must know what this magical, mysterious, miraculous art substance that, if Facebook groups are to be believed, can be added to anything to make a sublime piece of art that that will awe people with your amazing arting skills. Or maybe you’ve seen it as a complicated, dangerous, risky, messy, difficult, and only for the brave art-warriors who wish to die a fiery death by their own hands kind of art. Whatever it is, you MUST KNOW NOW.
And this is how you ended up here, isn’t it? You must know. So here is the low down on Encaustic Painting, at it’s most basic: It’s painting with hot, melted wax. (Hello, all you pyro-artists. Welcome home.)
And it can be all of those above, wonderful-sounding things. Of course, and I kinda hate to break it to you, it’s not inherently any of these things, and it’s definitely not an instant-awesome additive for making OMG-AMAZINGS art instantly. (Sorry, there really aren’t any shortcuts there.) As much as I love Encaustic, as much fun and as satisfying as working with it can be – and it actually becomes obsessively enjoyable once you know the basics – it’s not instant easy mode art.
And that is where Encaustic 101 comes in. This is a basic-essentials-crash-course in Encaustic painting. We’ll cover things like what it’s made of, some of the basic tools, things you might want to think twice about doing, what ISN’T encaustic. (And while the last might be more of my own opinionated understanding of encaustic work, I’ll toss it out there much later on in this series.) We’re not going to go into details of techniques in ENC 101 (that is a whole series unto itself), but we’ll cover enough to get you started, comfortable, and ready to paint with Encaustics.
So, just for reference, and because someone once told me that it helped to write an outline first, and that advice has served me well, here is what we’re gonna cover in Welcome to Encaustic, or for fun, ENC 101:
- What Is Encaustic Made Of?
- How Do I Paint With Hard Wax?!
- Tools. Lots and Lots of Tools.
- Things I’d Not Recommend Doing.
- REALLY Cool Stuff You Can Try.
- When It’s Encaustic & When It’s Wax Glue
- Q&A: Other Things Not Covered
- The Best Of Comments: Your Stories & Adventures
Sound good? Have other questions? Have a story you want to tell? Advice you’d like to share? Drop it in the comments on any post as we go along and I’ll include as many as I can in the last two posts!
See you back in class shortly!