All About Encaustic

Today we are looking at the medium of encaustic, which is heated beeswax and pigment and tree resin. Encaustic paint has been used since 100-300 BCE, used by both the ancient Egyptians and Greeks in their art. Beeswax is very durable, being moisture, mildew and fungus resistant, and many archaeological examples have survived to the present.


The encaustic medium is warmed on a heated palette to soften and melt and then applied to a warm surface. It cools in minutes, in which applying additional layers can be applied alsmot immediately. After it has cooled down, it has a stable finish which can also be reworked at any time.


Pasagic, "Untitled", 60x40", encaustic on canvas.

Encaustic is stable in natural light and you should never have any concern displaying them. They do become brittle and can shatter under 4 Celsius/40 Fahrenheit. At 48 Celsius/120 Fahrenheit the work will shift and will become soft and eventually melt at higher temperatures.



Kraft Van Ermel, "Wings of Dammar", 36x60", mixed media on board.

When encaustic is used in addition to other media, such as oil, we call the work "mixed media", rather than listing each type of medium used.


Dalton, "Hydra", 26x10", encaustic on driftwood.

A new artist to the gallery, Liz Rae Dalton's encaustic sculptures starts with collecting driftwood from near her home on an island  in the Gananoque area. Using encaustic as her main medium, she transforms the driftwood into marine vegetation and coral.


Collecting the driftwood from around her island home

  She is inspired by "what lies beneath the water's surface", including the many historical shipwrecks in her area.


Driftwood ready to be transformed into art!

"The entire process of creating my encaustic sculpture, from the arrival of driftwood on my shoreline, to the cleaning, carving, and application of molten coloured wax, is a personal journey that speaks about transformation and navigation. I am deeply connected to this work which draws parallels with the journeys that we all take in life.”


Dalton, "Deep Glyph", 53x11", encaustic on driftwood.

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Crescent Hill Gallery proudly celebrates the works and talents of living Canadian artists. Exquisite works of art are offered in oil, acrylic and encaustic, and are further enhanced by Crescent Hill Gallery’s award-winning framing. For the past 20 years, the Gallery has been instrumental in bringing enjoyment and beauty into the homes of its discerning patrons. Satisfying a broad price spectrum, Crescent Hill Gallery offers a solid cross-section of work created by both emerging and well-known artists.