Encaustic medium versus beeswax

by Jan Sanderson
(Auckland, NZ)

Mixed Media Art Questions for Milliande


Hi Milliande, I'm keen to know the advantages and disadvantages between using straight beeswax (refined or natural?) and encaustic medium for layering and embedding for a mixed media collage.

There's no-one in NZ who sells encaustic medium that I've been able to find but I can buy the beeswax and dammar crystals etc and make my own if I need to ... but if I can use plain beeswax for layering and embedding and get a ripping result why would I bother with making encaustic medium?

Help!
I'd really appreciate anything you can tell me at this point as I'm getting all my info from books.

Mixed Media Art Questions answered by Milliande


Thanks for your question ..but I have to say I have not much experienced with playing with beeswax or encaustic medium ... I have added ordinary beeswax to mixed media collages... but one has to be careful where the canvas is to be displayed as the beeswax itself remains affected by hit and direct sunlight ( a consideration when living in a hotter climate or the artwork is to be sold into a hot country)

Refined beeswax is usually used for mixed media collages as the natural yellow of the beeswax has been removed and it produces a clear glass like finish ...refined beeswax is thought to be better than bleached beeswax which can yellow over age

Encaustic medium I believe contains a mixture of beeswax and resin -- which is thought to increase the luminosit and durability of the beeswax application

Any other ideas welcome...if you know or have experience with beeswax and encaustic medium please share in a comment here

hope this helps
...milliande

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Encaustic painting, too recognized as hot wax painting, involve use animated beeswax to which painted color are additional. Visit Our Website-saleonleather.com


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Mar 30, 2010
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beeswax consideration
by: Nina

I'm just dabbling in beeswax myself, and have only used natural wax (I had a bunch here from a beekeeper I know that I cleaned to make candles). One thing to remember about beeswax (at least regular beeswax) is that over time it will develop what is called a 'flora'. That is when the wax goes a bit white or powdery looking. All you need to do is polish it with a soft cloth or tissue and it will return to it's original luster. However, you may want to keep this in mind if you plan on selling your work- as a customer may not appreciate his/her painting going a cloudy white.

Mar 30, 2010
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Query about dentist's wax
by: Jo

My query doesn't exactly fit into this topic but it is about using wax. I know absolutely nothing about the use of encaustic/wax (I have no formal art training and just pick up things as I go along), although I’ve just ordered a book online (Encaustic Workshop: Artistic Techniques for Working with Wax by Patricia B. Seggebruch) which should arrive next week. My problem is this: I am doing an assemblage-type work and bought a small bin of used and unused dentist's wax at our local recycled garbage outlet hoping that I can paint it onto the work as a background as I love the beautiful pink colour of it. Is it OK to use this type of wax in an artwork and if so, does anyone have any tips for using it? Thanks.

Mar 17, 2010
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encaustic paint supplies
by: Ruth Dailey

Hi Milliande and others who are showing an interest in using encaustics in their creations.

The questions about layering with acrylic, etc. might be answered by the folks at this business. I found them years ago and they seem to be the leading edge here in USA for teaching encaustics - I have bought supplies from them as well.

http://www.rfpaints.com/

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Mar 16, 2010
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Encaustic & acrylic
by: Jan S

I've just bought Ann Baldwin's book "Creative Paint Workshop for Mixed-media Artists" (ISBN-13 978-1-59253-456-2) and she has some great how-to in Chapter 7 for new encaustic painters.
She says on page 103 that acrylic paint and wax is a big no-no because the acrylic is plasticky and the wax will eventually fall off. However, oils can cause problems too if they are not cured properly before the wax goes over the top.
She recommends colouring with an oil stick between wax layers but to check on the drying times as different oil colours take longer than others.
Hope my discovery is helping yours!

Mar 14, 2010
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Damar Resin and Acrylic Paint compatibility
by: milliande

Thanks for your input, much appreciated..

Do you have an experience in using acrylic paint underneath the beeswax application?

When using your mixture of encaustic medium ... does it increase the compatibility of acrylic paints with beeswax / encaustic medium on top ?

Any help you can offer is welcome :-)

Thanks for taking the time to comment
...milliande

Mar 13, 2010
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Encaustic vs. Beeswax
by: Nancy Natale

Hello,
Your post showed up on the Google encaustic link. As an encaustic painter, I can tell you that the addition of damar resin (crystals) to beeswax makes the mixture harder (and less sticky) than beeswax alone. It also makes it less susceptible to "bloom" (clouding) and able to take and hold a shine when totally cooled. When working with the medium in a liquid state, damar will raise the melting point.

The mixture that I use is 1 part damar crystals to 5 parts of beeswax.

Good luck!
Nancy

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