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21 Jul 2024, Edition - 3295, Sunday

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What is Encaustic Art? Here is your chance to know more about this ancient art form

Indrani Thakurata

Image credit : Illustrative Image


Heard about Beeswax Painting or Encaustic Art before? This art involves using heated beeswax to which coloured pigments are added. Doesn’t this sound interesting? Are you waiting to explore this art form?

Beeswax Painting is also known as Encaustic Art and interestingly, Encaustic painting is also known as hot wax painting. It isn’t a new art form, Encaustic painting dates back more than 2,000 years to ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome. Although it is still an obscure art form, but we can see it coming, recognised, with the invention of electric heating implements.

Wax is an excellent preserver, and it was from this application that the style of encaustic painting was developed. The simplest mixture is the adding of coloured pigments to beeswax, but other recipes suggest the application of other wax, damar resin, or linseed oil. The definition of Beeswax art says, “This art involves using heated beeswax to which coloured 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”.

“Although encaustic painting doesn’t have a place in the story of art, it has nevertheless played an important role,” says Pooja Kachroo from Bloom & Grow who have recently had a workshop on Encaustic Art.
POoja Kachroo lists down the essential elements needed for the art:
“Encaustic Art is a multifaceted, multilayered medium that involves Beeswax, Blow torch, Heat gun, Hot plate, and dammar resin — a type of tree sap in which the beeswax is cooked.

“Obtain a smooth encaustic surface with heat gun or blowtorch. Control their hand using heating appliance. Do mark markings by incising and scraping with different tool. Blend various encaustic colours and get right textures. Do Ink transfer. Do encaustic collage and embed various objects to create mixed media painting,” she concludes.

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