Get Smart About Encaustic Art

If you haven’t hopped on the encaustic art wagon yet, it’s time. I’ve been in love with the look of encaustic forever, but just recently created my first piece, and now I’m hooked for life. Encaustic is a unique art form that offers enormous creative opportunities for mixed-media artists. Think about this: Almost every aspect of mixed-media art can incorporate encaustic. How’s that for a ringing endorsement?

We have so many resources to help you get started creating encaustic art and introduce you to new and innovative techniques—this is the source. Every book, video, and download is filled with incredible tips, tricks, and secrets that will help you achieve great results. A great one for getting started is Encaustic Painting Techniques: The Whole Ball of Wax by Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch. She will get you up to speed fast with thorough information on tools, materials, and basic techniques, then take you to the next steps, incorporating metal life, found objects, fabric, and image transfers to create stunning artwork.

Get started on your encaustic adventures with Encaustic Painting Techniques by Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch.

Also from Patricia is Encaustic Revelation: Cutting-Edge Techniques From the Masters of Encausticamp® which includes a wide variety of projects from a number of top artists, including Amanda Jolley, Crystal Neubauer, and Michelle Belto.

Discover tons of ideas for incorporating encaustic art with mixed media in Encaustic Revelation by Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch.

The artists offer distinctive techniques, styles, and aesthetics—they have such a wealth of knowledge to share with you, in addition to their finished artwork. Take, for example, this piece by Seggebruch, which incorporates collage, line work with tjanting pens, dye, and incising.

encaustic art
This piece of encaustic art by Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch from the book Encaustic Revelation incorporates a number of mixed-media techniques, including hand dyeing and incising.

You can incorporate encaustic techniques into jewelry, sculpted fabric pieces, monoprints and collographs, landscape painting, bookbinding, and more. Encaustic adds depth, texture, luminous color, and dimension, and provides the “it” factor that makes you want to look at the artwork again and again.

The learning curve with encaustic is short. Recently Barbara Delaney (managing editor of Cloth Paper Scissors) and I went out to the studio of artist Nancy Tobey, who showed us several amazing techniques and allowed us to try a few ourselves. I was astonished at how quickly we picked up the basics and more advanced methods, incorporating collage, encaustic paint, and pigment sticks. Once I got started, my mind went into warp drive thinking of how I could take it even further.

encaustic art
Artist Nancy Tobey creates stunning encaustic artwork, and she’s a ninja with a torch.

If you love collage, you’ll be amazed at what the addition of encaustic can do. In the video Expressive Collage Workshop: Encaustic with Imagery, artist Crystal Neubauer shows how encaustic enhances collage, then takes it further by adding drawings, embedding objects, and more.

Collage and encaustic art are a match made in heaven, as evidenced in the video Expressive Collage Workshop: Encaustic with Imagery, with Crystal Neubauer.

Crystal takes you step-by-step through setting up encaustic materials and tools, and reveals how accessible and attainable encaustic art truly is.

Crystal Neubaer makes encaustic art accessible in her video, Expressive Collage Workshop: Encaustic with Imagery.

And if you’re not quite ready to take the plunge, that’s okay—we have something for you too! Acrylic Painting for Encaustic Effects: 45 Wax Free Techniques is Sandra Duran Wilson’s guide to achieving encaustic-like effects using mediums, paints, and more. Even if you’re an encaustic pro, you should check this one out and add some great new methods to your repertoire.

Get our your acrylic paints, inks, mediums, and get that dreamy, layered look of encaustic art without wax in Acrylic Painting for Encaustic Effects: 45 Wax Free Techniques.

There’s a reason our readers named encaustic art as the top technique they wanted to learn next—are you among them? Now’s the time to start. And you’ll never want to stop!

See more about spending a day with Nancy Tobey making encaustic art!

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Blog, Mixed-Media Techniques

4 thoughts on “Get Smart About Encaustic Art

  1. I love the effects of encaustic. I invested in all the tools and materials necessary only to find that, no matter what I did to vent the area, even working outside, I was left with an irritated throat from the resin that you melt with the wax. I will suffer for my art, but only so far! I recommend Sandra Duran Wilson’s book. It includes a lot of techniques to get the same effect.

    1. Thanks for your feedback, and sorry that you had a bad reaction to the encaustic wax. Sandra’s book is indeed wonderful, and a great alternative to using encaustics!

    2. I have a mask called a “respirator” that I use for spraying chemicals (even vinegar) in my home and garden. It has a charcoal filter that takes out many irritants. Look online at home improvement stores and see if any make sense for you. You want the “paint” type, not the dust kind.

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