Notebook, 1993-

MATERIALS & METHODS - Encaustic Wax Painting

Painting Methods - Equipment & Materials - Preparing the Colors - Binder - Supports & Grounds - Burning-in / Equipment - Care & Display

Encaustic Wax PaintingSupports & Grounds

It is my opinion that unless the wax binder contains heavy amounts of linseed oil, the safest support for encaustic painting is a rigid panel, such as wood or Presdwood. As noted.... large panels should be braced. Although canvas, primed with a very lean oil ground, has been used successfully with encaustic paints that have a wax-oil binder, such paintings must be kept quite thin. Furthermore, they should be displayed, stored, and shipped with care that they are not exposed to vigorous changes of temperature. In cold temperature, or under any circumstances that cause the support to flex or move, the painting will crack. Since very few artists can avoid the temptation to paint in moderately heavy layers in wax technique and still fewer can control the conditions of shipping and displaying of their works, and since the limits of safe practice are so much more restricted when flexible supports are used, it seems to me that rigid supports are to be preferred.

On panels, the ground is glue gesso, which takes encaustic paint very well. No imprimatura should be applied since it is desirable for the wax paint to penetrate well into the ground. [p. 163]

[Kay, Reed. The Painters Guide to Studio Methods and Materials. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1983.]



The contents of this site, including all images and text, are for personal, educational, non-commercial use only. The contents of this site may not be reproduced in any form without proper reference to Text, Author, Publisher, and Date of Publication [and page #s when suitable].