Not a Meth Lab

So, today I decided to give encaustic another go. It was NOT a disaster! Maybe that is because I did not actually paint anything, but instead I made my very own encaustic “paint”. I decided to jump right in take baby steps and follow all safety instructions (not my usual approach). It is important to have good ventilation and not to breath all the fumes and the pigment powder. I am not sure how much the mask did for the fumes, but I didn’t breathe in any pigment and I had excellent ventilation (a fan and 3 windows). I think I did alright because when Josh got home I was still conscious. (Good job, me!)

Safety First

Next, you must have all of the proper supplies and mix them in the correct amounts. Encaustic “paint” or medium is created from beeswax, damar resin (which is sticky and comes from a tree, like gum), and pigment. You are supposed to have a scale (which I guess would fall under the “proper” supplies category, but I just ignored that part completely) to measure the wax and the resin. I just kind of eye balled it. From my extensive google research, I learned that you want about 10 “parts” wax (whatever “parts” means), and 1 part resin. I figured I would get a spoon from the kitchen drawer and pour in ten spoons full of wax, and one full of resin. This was all done on my fancy brand new hot palette (so that the wax stays melted), which is just an expensive hot plate.

Hot palette (so cool)

Note to self: If you use Instagram to take photos for your blog, it will make your photos much cooler than they really are, but the resolution on said photos…not so great.

Despite appearances, this is not a meth lab.

I used tuna fish cans for my wax because it is inexpensive (if you shop at Wegmans). Hopefully Josh is the the mood for tuna salad everyday for the next week. I used a butter knife from the kitchen, metal stirring device to mix up the wax and resin as it melted. Once it was mixed together, I let it cool just a bit and added the pigments of my choice. I did not burn anything, set anything on fire, or ruin any furniture. (Again, good job, me!) The resulting pigments are below. Truly a masterpiece. Overall, I had a pretty good second encaustic experience. 🙂

Just ignore the white specs in the center two. I may or may not have added some white to the blue and green and it didn’t mix so well.