T O O L S  A N D  M E T H O N D S

Encaustic paint is comprised of wax, resin and pigment.  Heated tools are essential for liquifying the wax so that it is workable. The ancient Greeks used a bronze box containing coals to keep the wax in a molten state.  Today's encaustic artists use a variety of tools to heat the wax for painting.

Artist Wilma Lopez utilizes a warming tray, an electric dry iron, a stylus, a hot pen, a hot brush, a hot air gun and a clear acrylic fixative in her encaustic paintings.  Although wax can be applied to many types of surfaces, Wilma paints on a heavy, tough and flexible high gloss paper.  This heat-resistant paper allows the wax to flow onto the surface without absorption.

Wilma begins each painting by signing her name with an ultra-fine permanent marker pen.  She then applies wax to a heated implement such as an electric iron and runs the tool over the paper in three steps.  First, Wilma paints a general background in various colors.  Second, she alters and modifies the background to reflect the image she is trying to project.  Finally, Wilma polishes the painting with an untreated facial tissue and applies a fixing acrylic spray.


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