ArticlesBlog

Encaustic painting

Encaustic painting


Encaustic painting, also known as hot wax
painting, involves using heated beeswax to which colored pigments are added. The liquid or paste is then applied to a surface—usually
prepared wood, though canvas and other materials are often used. The simplest encaustic mixture can be made
from adding pigments to beeswax, but there are several other recipes that can be used—some
containing other types of waxes, damar resin, linseed oil, or other ingredients. Pure, powdered pigments can be used, though
some mixtures use oil paints or other forms of pigment. Metal tools and special brushes can be used
to shape the paint before it cools, or heated metal tools can be used to manipulate the
wax once it has cooled onto the surface. Today, tools such as heat lamps, heat guns,
and other methods of applying heat allow artists to extend the amount of time they have to
work with the material. Because wax is used as the pigment binder,
encaustics can be sculpted as well as painted. Other materials can be encased or collaged
into the surface, or layered, using the encaustic medium to stick them to the surface. History The word encaustic originates from the Greek
word enkaustikos which means to burn in, and this element of heat is necessary for a painting
to be called encaustic. This technique was notably used in the Fayum
mummy portraits from Egypt around 100–300 AD, in the Blachernitissa and other early
icons, as well as in many works of 20th-century North American artists, including Jasper Johns,
Tony Scherman, Mark Perlman, and Fernando Leal Audirac. Kut-kut, a lost art of the Philippines, implements
sgraffito and encaustic techniques. It was practiced by the indigenous tribe of
Samar island around 1600 to 1800. Artists in the Mexican muralism movement,
such as Diego Rivera and Jean Charlot sometimes used encaustic painting. The Belgian artist James Ensor also experimented
with encaustic. The wax encaustic painting technique was described
by the Roman scholar Pliny the Elder in his Natural History from the 1st Century AD. The oldest surviving encaustic panel paintings
are the Romano-Egyptian Fayum mummy portraits from the 1st Century BC. In the 20th century, painter Fritz Faiss,
a student of Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky at the Bauhaus, together with Dr. Hans Schmid,
rediscovered the so-called “Punic wax” technique of encaustic painting. Faiss held two German patents related to the
preparation of waxes for encaustic painting. One covered a method for treating beeswax
so that its melting point was raised from 60 degrees Celsius to 100 degrees Celsius. This occurred after boiling the wax in a solution
of sea water and soda three successive times. The resulting harder wax is the same as the
Punic wax referred to in ancient Greek writings on encaustic painting. Encaustic art has seen a resurgence in popularity
since the 1990s with people using electric irons, hotplates and heated stylus on different
surfaces including card, paper and even pottery. The iron makes producing a variety of artistic
patterns easier. The medium is not limited to just simple designs;
it can be used to create complex paintings, just as in other media such as oil and acrylic. Encaustic painters
Artists specializing in encaustic painting include the following. Benjamin Calau
Pedro Cuni-Bravo Michael David
Betsy Eby Heraclides
Jasper Johns Christopher Kier
Michele Ridolfi Jenny Sages
Tony Scherman Janise Yntema
References Literature
Mayer, Ralph. The Artist’s Handbook of Materials and Techniques
Viking Adult; 5th revised and updated edition, 1991. ISBN 0-670-83701-6
Reams, Maxine. “Unique Wax Paintings by Immigrant Artist
should Endure 10,000 Years.” Los Angeles Times, Oct. 19, 1952
Birgit Hüttemann-Holz: Wanderlust. Gedichte und Malerei in Enkaustik – poems
and encaustic paintings.,http:store.blurb.com472392-wanderlust, Blurb Inc. San Francisko, USA, 2013
Hildebrandt, Hans. “Fritz Faiss” Kunst der Nation, 1933
External links Early Icons from St. Catherine’s, The Sinai
Annual International Encaustic Conference

Comment here