What is Encaustic Painting?

Encaustic painting is an ancient art form using beeswax, a tree sap called damar resin, and pigment.  Encaustic means "to burn in" and was first used by the Egyptians to create the Fayum mummy portraits.  Each layer of beeswax must be fused with heated tools such as a heat gun, torch, or an encaustic iron.  Beeswax is compatible with many other art materials and media such as oil paint, pastel, ink, and collage items.  Wax can be applied in thin, translucent layers or built up to become sculptural in nature.

 
 

is encaustic painting archival?

Yes.  Encaustic was first used to create the Fayum mummy portraits and have survived thousands of years in very good condition.

 

will an encaustic painting melt?

No, not unless you leave it in a hot car on a hot day.

Encaustic paintings are safe in your home, even in a warm room.  Wax starts to melt around 150 degrees Fahrenheit so there is no need to worry about your artwork melting on the wall. 

Take care when transporting paintings and ensure they are not left in a hot car, as the temperature inside a vehicle could reach a level hot enough to ruin an encaustic painting.

 

DOES AN ENCAUSTIC PAINTING NEED SPECIAL CARE?

No special care is required, however you may gently buff the surface with a soft, lint-free cloth to remove the natural bloom that may occur on beeswax as the painting cures.  This bloom will lessen over time.