ENCAUSTIC PROCESS - what is encaustic?
Much has been written about encaustic art - an art form that flourished between the 1st and 3rd century dating back well before oil painting emerged. Through time, it has had competition from rival arts like tempura but has re-emerged since the 20th century. Today, layers of hot melted beeswax mixed with natural binders and pigments are fused together with the help of modern equipments that hastens the procedure, but still maintains the longevity of the painting and beautiful luminous structure of beeswax.
Encaustic paints are perhaps the most durable form of painting, evidenced by the Faiyûm mummy portraits in Egypt, which have survived over 2000 years without cracking, flaking, or fading. Wax has several inherent qualities that allow it to withstand the test of time: it is a natural adhesive and preservative and is moisture resistant, mildew and fungus resistant, and unappetizing to insects. Encaustic mediums does not contain solvents so they will not darken or yellow with age. Leaving the painting as fresh as the day it was painted. Just like any other fine artwork it should be hung away from direct sunlight or above hot air vents.
I began experimenting with encaustic and self-taught this wonderful medium of ancient art. The labour-intensive but highly enjoyable process starts from self-made primer on wood panels followed by a mixture of molten layers of hot beeswax, natural binders and pure pigment or oil paints. Each layer is carefully fused to bind to the previous layer or scraped to reflect either a smooth finish or structured brushwork.
Once the painting is completed the surface is gently polished to a glossy finish with lint free material to reflect the beauty of beeswax from within.
Hand-made wood panels
Cosmetic grade pure bees-wax
Natural binders from trees
Layers after layer of melted Encaustic medium
Fused with fire