Glossary

What is Encaustic Painting?

Encaustic painting is a unique and ancient technique that involves the use of hot wax mixed with pigments to create works of art. The word encaustic comes from the Greek word "enkaustikos," which means to "burn in." In encaustic painting, the wax mixture is heated and applied to a surface, where it is then fused and shaped using various tools and techniques. Here is a glossary of key terms associated with encaustic painting:

  1. Beeswax: The primary ingredient used in encaustic painting. Beeswax is heated and mixed with pigments to create the wax mixture used in encaustic painting.

  2. Damar resin: A natural resin that is added to the wax mixture to help harden and stabilize the wax. Damar resin also helps to create a gloss finish on the painting.

  3. Pigments: The colored powders that are mixed with the wax to create the desired colors for the painting.

  4. Fusing: The process of melting and smoothing the wax mixture after it has been applied to the surface. Fusing is often done with a heat gun or torch.

  5. Brushes: Specialized brushes made of natural hair or synthetic fibers are used to apply the wax mixture to the surface.

  6. Scrapers: A variety of tools are used to scrape and shape the wax mixture, including palette knives, razor blades, and sculpting tools.

  7. Supports: The surfaces onto which the encaustic wax mixture is applied. Supports can include panels, canvas, paper, or even found objects.

  8. Layering: The process of building up layers of wax and pigments to create depth and texture in the painting. Each layer is fused to the layer below it to create a cohesive surface.

  9. Collage: The technique of incorporating other materials, such as paper or fabric, into the encaustic painting.

  10. Impasto: The technique of creating thick, raised areas of wax and pigments on the surface of the painting.

  11. Cold wax: A variation of encaustic painting that uses a mixture of beeswax and solvent instead of heat. Cold wax is applied to the surface and then manipulated using various tools.

  12. Encaustic monotype: A printmaking technique that uses the encaustic wax mixture to create unique, one-of-a-kind prints.

Encaustic painting is a unique and versatile art form that offers endless creative possibilities. Key terms associated with encaustic painting include beeswax, damar resin, pigments, fusing, brushes, scrapers, supports, layering, collage, impasto, cold wax, and encaustic monotype. Whether you are an artist looking to explore new techniques or simply interested in learning more about this ancient and fascinating medium, this glossary provides a comprehensive guide to the world of encaustic painting.


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