Experimenting with Encaustic Art

Hi there! How are you? We have been pretty good over here. Enjoying the beautiful Spring blossoms everywhere and the more frequent sun breaks too!

Maybe it’s the Spring energy or the fact that I’ve started the second part to the Brené Brown online class but I’m feeling inspired! I have been wanting to try encaustic art forever but I’ve always been a bit intimidated by all that comes with it.

Well…this week I finally dove right in! I ordered my encaustic medium, a heated palette (mini griddle), hake brushes, encaustic boards and a heat gun. While waiting for it all, I devoured this book and watched every youtube video on encaustic that I could find.  Yesterday, it all arrived on my doorstep and I was like a kid at Christmas! All smiles, clapping my hands and doing a little jig. I was that excited. Dorky but true. My mind was a flurry with all the dreamy creations I was going to make using this magical medium!

That evening, after the girls were down and the kitchen looked decent, I set up my encaustic paint “studio” (in my dining room). I opened windows, plugged in the griddle, melted the wax, warmed the brushes and the board and proceeded to lay down my first coat of wax. This is kinda how it went—->

Eeek! It’s all uneven.

The brush must be too cool.

Wait or is it the board?

Did I get the right brushes?

<insert swear word here>

Okay calm down.

Try another coat. Don’t forget to fuse first!

How long do I fuse for again? <swear word>

Second coat went down. Sigh…more unevenness…brush strokes, pitting.

<more swearing>

Okay, so maybe this isn’t as easy as it looks!

I stopped and took a minute to reassess. What am I doing wrong?

Then it dawned on me…how ridiculous to think that I would get it right on the first go! I told myself to relax and just play. I would learn by my mistakes and I had to trust that with practice, I would figure it out.

With that attitude adjustment, the rest of the evening was a blast! Here is my first attempt.


The tree was stamped onto the board with acrylic paint. After that was dry, I put my first layer of wax down. The color was added by way of PanPastels and Gelatos that I smeared together into the wax. The pieces of antique paper were simply collaged onto the piece and coated in wax. Lastly, I added the jewels and painted some details with white acrylic. Here are some close ups of the textures created by the layers of encaustic. IMG_8989

You can see in this one where I used a stylus tool to actually carved the wax to bring out the details in the tree.


It was late so I headed to bed…

Today, I couldn’t wait to get back to it, so as soon as Claire was down for nap I got creating! Here is my second go at it. I kept the color palette and composition similar so I could focus on technique. The process got a tad easier and I got a little braver.  On this piece, I used a stencil to create a raised wax pattern. I also moved my “studio” into the kitchen and worked right on top of our glass cooktop and countertops. Put wax paper down first! They are not kidding about those fumes from the wax, so I put my little griddle right next to the exhaust downdraft fan on my stove and it sucked all the icky fumes right down! I also opened up the kitchen window very wide. Last night, I learned the hard way and went to bed with a headache. So today I wasn’t going to risk breathing that stuff in.


I also learned that if you add PanPastel, oil pastel or Gelatos to your wax layer and you don’t like them – Yikes! – you can clean it all off using Linseed Oil and a paper towel! Yah!!





I absolutely love working this way and I’m looking forward to experimenting more with encaustics. I think I’ll do something more abstract next time? Hmmm…

Anyway, let me know if you have any questions. I’m FAR from an expert, obviously, but I’m here to help if I can! :)

Have a beautiful weekend and go try something new!

Much love,




Filed under Art, collage, creativity, encaustic, Learning, painting

63 responses to “Experimenting with Encaustic Art

  1. these are beautiful Ivy! i’ll try these next….always love your guidance/info ….

  2. vladojanjicbg

    Reblogged this on WLADOJANJIC BLOG.

  3. barbarapavlic

    This technique is very interesting. I have never seen painting like this :)

  4. My cousin by marriage owns/operates an Encaustic studio in Seattle. I live closer now so I should go check it out. You’re inspired me!


  5. ComaDiary

    I love these so so so much, they are beautiful.

  6. These look really great:) I tried encaustic about a year ago and now I think I’m going to try it again- thanks so much for the inspiration!

  7. Cathy Garrett

    You did a fantastic job! Love your art work and creativity!

  8. Watch out with this hot wax painting which involves using heated beeswax too have fun and not burn yourself. I love out of the box painting and art!

  9. very nice artwork, i love the tree picture..

  10. Wow! Would love to learn how to do these!
    What a beautiful form of art

  11. Beautiful work! And what beautiful awareness! Our book club did Brene Brown’s first book and it was powerful. Ur post also reminded me of something in the book “The Artist’s Way.” She talks about allowing ourselves to be new and not good at something. It brings such freedom. Congrats on enjoying yours!

  12. burgus

    Reblogged this on My free time and commented:
    Just wow! I can see another beatiful kind of art. Maybe once I will try it too.

  13. I like the dream-like quality of these works.
    Also, I like the “kitchen looked decent” comment. Sometimes I do that, too. ;)

  14. Reblogged this on Adventures in Learning New Skills and commented:
    While this isn’t something I am personally interested in, it looks interesting

  15. Dee

    Love the look of this medium!

  16. Encaustic painting is interesting but it sure smells bad, like clothes being over-dried in the dryer next to a bucket of warm milk with just a pinch of burnt popcorn floating in it.

  17. Creativity in one of its rare forms!

  18. Something nice and different. I am forwarding this link to my sister so that my nieces have something to do in their summer vacation which starts a week from now. But I don’t know if the ingredients are readily available in India.

  19. haridasgowra

    Beautiful art,……..

  20. Reblogged this on MyMessyLife Blog and commented:
    I need to try this

  21. I liked this new take on art. Appealing. I blogged on my wife’s aunt who was a sketch artist, Dorothy Dwin. She did somethings like this. She is listed on the internet. Give a look and let me know what you think.


    Reblogged this on Lesley Cox and commented:
    cathy bacon this might interest you, arent you doing encaustic art for the next project

  23. Beautiful post. Hope you have a moment to check out my own blog, cicily17@wordpress.com
    I take 19th century literary characters such as Jane Eyre and Heidi and bring them into the modern world. I think with your whimsical artistic talents you might like it. Hope you do! Cheers, Annabelle

  24. Wow… Just wow… The amount of detail that went into this…wow…I can’t even…

  25. Did not there’s a art form to create a painting using wax, m amazed!! Your creations are fantabulous…
    Can I share this on facebook??

  26. Never heard of this art form. Lovely!

  27. This is so cool! I’ve never heard of it before, but it creates such interesting pieces…you have an awesome eye for composition! Thanks so much for sharing, and good luck in your future encaustic escapades! :)


  28. Very cool. Love the textures. Encaustic art has always fascinated me. I’ll have to try it sometime. Thanks for the blog!

  29. That is really cool! I’ve never put much thought into this kind of art, but now I’m in research mode. Thanks for the inspiration!

  30. This is beautifully done.

  31. Nice job. Funny, just a few months ago I had never heard of the encaustic process but, my son had bought an old picture at an antique store and we were trying to figure out what the medium was and that is when we stumbled on encaustic. Now here you are showing us this process. Make sure you stay well venitlated

  32. uparekh

    there are beautiful.nice job keep it up


  33. juliazwaal


  34. really good art work!!!

  35. Beautiful work! Thanks for sharing.

  36. Your encaustic art work is beautiful. I empathise with grabbing time to work on art between children. I see you love Paris. I’m going again in August, hoping to visit some flea markets.

  37. Wawww.. The power oh art

  38. wayuricomunicarte

    Reblogged this on wayuricomunicarte.

  39. LaDonna

    Your Encaustic Art is very beautiful, I love the vintage/antique look. I read a little about this art form, it seems very interesting, I may try this one day.
    Thanks for sharing, I love learning something new and trying new things once in a while. :)

  40. Reblogged this on Haven of Inspiration and commented:
    Love, love, love the your article. And the learner’s spirit!!!

  41. Love the article and your learner’s spirit.

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