Will an encaustic painting melt?
It would take intense direct heat to damage an encaustic painting, but subzero temperatures cause the wax to become brittle and can lead to cracking. One should not leave an encaustic painting in direct sunlight or intense cold, because extreme temperatures can damage any fine painting.
Can I touch the surface of an encaustic painting?
You should never touch the surface of a piece of fine art but if you do, make sure your hands are clean.
Why do you use beeswax instead of paraffin?
Beeswax is considered the best medium for the pigment. Paraffin is much cheaper than beeswax, but it can be brittle.
Where do you buy encaustic materials?
I often order my encaustic pigment and beeswax from a small company in upstate New York, R&F Handmade Paints. I buy the filtered beeswax in granule form.
Can the hot wax be dangerous?
The wax is usually heated to about 225 degrees for painting. Since it can cause acute burns, use care when working with this material. Wax heated above 250 degrees can produce toxic fumes, you should work in a cross-ventilated space, and use an exhaust fan.
Can the blowtorch start a fire on the wax?
Yes, what is called "wax condensate"—a concentration of fine wax particles that hover above heated wax—can ignite from the spark of a propane torch.
Where can I read more about encaustic painting?
There are many resources available on encaustic technique. One of the original books on this technique is The Art of Encaustic Painting, by Joanne Mattera; a comprehensive book on encaustic painting techniques.
Do you teach workshops?
I rarely teach workshops. I suggest you check out the International Encaustic Artists website for information on workshops held around the nation, and beyond.