Is it Acrylic or Encaustic? An Acrylic Painting Technique You’ll Love

A friend recently asked me if I dye my hair, or if it’s naturally blonde. I smiled; after she complimented me on the color, I admitted that I do get highlights once in a while. It’s one of the little things I do to get the visual results that I want. We have the ability and the choice to make minor alterations, if you will, for beauty. And making art is no different.

Artist Sandra Duran Wilson has come up with ways to create her own desired effects by using acrylic paint to mimic encaustic art. Brilliant! In her new book, Acrylic Painting for Encaustic Effects: 45 Wax Free Techniques, she shares ways to get the same interesting results, without having to use special tools, equipment, or paints. Scroll down to read more.

Acrylic Painting for Encaustic Effects by Sandra Duran Wilson |
Born on the Solstice (8×10) by Sandra Duran Wilson (Pin this!)

“Faux encaustic is not faster or easier than wax,” Sandra explains. “In fact, it is a bit more time consuming, but I find that I have more options and possibilities. The first and most important rules of faux encaustic are understanding viscosity, transparency, and then the layers and the sheen or luminosity. Also, there are many great acrylic techniques that are not possible with wax. While there are techniques you can only do with wax, I demonstrate ways to get similar effects in Acrylic Painting for Encaustic Effects.

“It’s all about building layers that are partially veiled to create great depth, history, and mystery. These techniques may be adapted to whatever your painting style may be: landscape, portrait, still life, surreal, or abstract.”

Scroll down for one of Sandra’s acrylic techniques in an excerpt from her book!

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on encaustic art techniques.

Wax Elements by Sandra Duran Wilson

This is so much fun to do and you can save your elements for future use, too. It’s another unique way to use stencils, and the best part is that you don’t have to clean your stencil! You may also use different pastes with or without paint. Also note that you can use repetition as a design element. Simply use the same stencil with the paint and then again for the wax element shapes. Doing so will create depth. You can also create different size elements of the same shape (or cut your wax shapes into similar arrangements) to get a unique look.

Acrylic painting for encaustic effects | Sandra Duran Wilson,
Steps 1 and 2

1. Apply Paint to the Panel
Mist Encausticbord with water and apply drops of white, Lime Green and yellow paint. Mist with more water, then tilt and move the panel around to get the paint to move. Let it dry. Mix Phthalo Turquoise with white and Sap Green paint, then apply it to the panel with a brush. Mist the layer of paint and get it to move around.

2. Apply Paint Through a Stencil
When the paint is dry, mix Phthalo Turquoise with white, and use a sponge to apply paint through a stencil. Let it dry.

Acrylic painting for encaustic effects | Sandra Duran Wilson,
Steps 3 and 4

3. Paint Another Layer
Paint Red Iron Oxide onto the surface. Let it dry.

4. Create Wax Elements
Make wax elements by mixing yellow and white, and combining it with heavy gel semigloss. Place a piece of plastic over the stencil and use a palette knife to spread the mixture on top of the plastic. Let the paint dry thoroughly.

Tip 1, Moving Stencils: If your stencil moves while applying the gel, simply spread it again.

Tip 2, Painted Side: Place a small piece of masking tape onto the plastic that has the paint on it to identify which side was used.

Acrylic painting for encaustic effects | Sandra Duran Wilson,
Step 5

5. Peel Off the Wax Element
When the wax element is dry, peel it off the plastic and cut it into a desired shape.

Acrylic painting for encaustic effects | Sandra Duran Wilson,
Step 6

6. Adhere the Wax Element
Use a gel, satin or matte to adhere the cut wax element to the painting. Work with your composition, adding as many elements and as much paint as desired. (In this sample I had not painted with Red Iron Oxide yet.)

Tip 3, Sticky Situations: Use wax paper in between acrylic on plastic to prevent it from sticking together.

Acrylic painting for encaustic effects | Sandra Duran Wilson,
Step 7

7. Seal Final Layer
Since the painting already has wax elements, spray with a satin varnish to unify the sheen.

Get your copy of Acrylic Painting for Encaustic Effects by Sandra Duran Wilson here!


Blog, Encaustic, Mixed-Media Painting Techniques, Mixed-Media Techniques


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