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Encaustic Techniques & Resources


It is very important to fuse your first layer of encaustic paint to help the wax sink into Encausticbord’s porous ground and to create a stable foundation for your work. Subsequent layers of encaustic paint should also be fused so that you have good adhesion from layer to layer as your work progresses. Warm the Encausticbord for a few moments using a heat gun or by placing it on a hot plate/palette until the panel is warm to the touch. While the panel is still warm, use a hake or natural bristle brush to quickly cover the panel with long smooth strokes that slightly overlap each other. Then, heat or “fuse” the whole surface to an even “wetness” and until there is a perfectly even film of wax covering the ground. Each layer of wax should be fused this way before applying the next.

Image Transfer

The adhesive properties of the wax allow for the transference of some types of imagery including photocopy prints. Place the image face down onto a smooth, flat wax surface on Encausticbord that has been fused in the last ½ hour. A smooth surface works best to pick up all the details of your image. Burnish thoroughly from the back using a spoon or burnisher. Wet the back of the image with water, and continue burnishing. Then, begin to rub away the paper adding more water as necessary. Continue rubbing until all the paper has been removed leaving your image magically suspended on the surface!

Mixed Media

The medium of encaustic naturally lends itself to mixed media techniques. Encausticbord™ works exceptionally well when used alone with encaustic paint or in combination with collage, oil paints and oil sticks, image-transfer and incising. Acrylic paint is not an absorbent enough ground for encaustic. Acrylic paints should not be used in combination with encaustic since it is water-based and not compatible with wax. For more helpful information about mixed media techniques, visit R&F’s Instruction Center online.

To Finish

Encaustic is impervious to moisture and extremely durable, even more so when used on rigid Encausticbord™. Therefore, encaustic will not deteriorate, turn yellow or darken. Finished encaustic paintings do not have to be varnished or protected by glass, only polished with a soft cloth.

Need More Information about Encaustic Painting? Visit the R&F Encaustic Center