Encaustic Studio

What is Encaustic?

Encaustic is the very earliest known form of paint that predates oil, fresco, tempera, etc., and was first used by the Greeks over 2000 years ago. After 'Alexander The Great' conquered Egypt in 331 B.C., a large number of Greeks went to Egypt bringing their ideas and customs. The amazing Fayum Mummy Portraits were painted in encaustic by the Greeks in Egypt and still being fresh and vibrant are exhibited today in the world’s greatest galleries.

Encaustic paint is pigment in a beeswax and resin base. The resin raises the melting temperature of the paint, hardens it and resists dust. Encaustic medium is the beeswax and resin base without the pigment and is used to make colour transparent, and gives an optical depth unique to the medium.

Encaustic painting, also known as hot wax painting, involves using heated medium to which coloured raw pigments are added. The molten liquid is then applied to a surface - usually wood, though canvas and other materials are also used. Metal tools and brushes can be used to shape the paint before it cools, or heated metal tools can be used to manipulate the wax once it has cooled onto the surface. Today tools such as heat guns, and other methods of applying heat allows artists to extend the time they have to work with the material. Because wax is used as the pigment binder, encaustics can be sculpted as well as painted. Other materials can be encased or collaged into the surface, or layered, using the encaustic to adhere it to the surface.

The wax surface of an encaustic painting is a protective finish, nothing needs to be added to preserve the paintings; they will not deteriorate, or discolour. Paintings are best when allowed to breathe and should not be varnished or kept under glass.

Paintings on Canvas

Amie uses only professional artist materials to create her paintings. This includes top qualiity materials such as Golden Artist Acrylics, Schmincke Norma Oils and hand made supports.

Amie's paintings are on cotton duck canvas or linen, hand stretched over quality kiln dried wooden stretcher bars creating a three-dimensional appearance with the canvas sitting about 40mm from the wall. With this method no frame is required, although if you prefer your local professional framer will be able to help you with attractive framing options.

Each painting has strong nylon cord fixed to back ready to be hung from picture hooks/nails and brown paper tape is used to cover the back edges to give a clean look and a final touch of professionalism. Most paintings are finished with varnish to ensure that the paint is protected for its lifetime.

Always handle your painting carefully to avoid knocks which can chip the paint. You may lightly dust the painting when it's needed or occasionally give it a very light clean with a soft, clean damp cloth using only water. It is recommended to place artworks out of direct sunlight as fading could occur over many years if constantly subjected to the sun.