colored texture






  • Encaustic Materials and Methods.  FrancesPratt and Becca Fizell. (1949) Out of print.  Visit the Frances Pratt web site for updates about this little known artist, writer and collector. 
  • The Art of Encaustic Painting, Joanne Mattera.  Includes an overview of ancient and contemporary history, materials, techniques, safety & technical information, as well as a wonderful sampling of contemporary artists’ works.  
  • Wax and Paper Workshop. Michelle Belto.  Techniques for combining encaustic paint and handmade paper.    





    HOT PALETTES:  You will need a temperature regulator and a working surface of 225-230 degrees. 

    • Enkaustikos Wax Paint Set – Paint Now Hot Cakes Set – available on Amazon for about $170 is a complete set:  griddle, heat gun, paints, medium, brushes, panels,  
    • Enkaustikos Anodized Aluminum Plates for monoprinting (using your existing griddle) 
    • R&F Paints Palettes (available on Amazon, but check for better prices)  Anodized aluminum with a variable thermostat hot plate underneath  
    • Electric griddles (Sears, etc.) with a large surface area also work well and cost $20 to $40.  Make sure you get one with a variable thermostat. And use a separate surface thermometer to monitor the temperature. 
    • Electric skillets (3” deep or so) are good when working with larger pieces and for dipping papers.   
    • Make your own:  scrap aluminum (preferably anodized) from a metal supplier with a hot plate (variable thermostat) underneath.  Don’t cheap out on the hot plate – they are generally poorly made and parts frequently melt off of them.  (Ask me how I know.) 

    Two fan settings are recommended and a temperature control is a MUST.  1200 watts is sufficient for encaustic. Try before you buy – some are extremely noisy.  I suggest doing an internet search.  Often hardware & DIY stores have better prices than the encaustic & art supply companies can offer.

    • Heat guns:  wide range available.  Get variable temperature/2 speed. Kawasaki Heat Gun Kit w/ nozzles ($27), Ryobi @ HomeDepot 200° to 1000°F -$30 online special), or expensive but very good - Makita Heat H1100 gun ($80-$110).  reduction & fan nozzles available 
    • Torches:  Butane: lighter weight, more control.   
    •  Iwatani IICCB-TCPRO Torch Burner for BU-6IW  ($25-$30) plus butane fuel canisters ($2 each);  Micro torches (Weller, Benzomatic – Home Depot/Lowes and chef’s micro torches) can be used but create a concentrated point of heat rather than a diffused flame & aren’t good for smooth surfaces.  ($15-$30) 
    • Heated tools, spatulas – (All major art suppliers - $25 - $85) – Comes with temperature regulator and different heads (sold separately) to fuse & manipulate, scribe, carve, burnish, blend & model.   
    • Tacking irons – good for embedding papers, fabrics.  ($20-$70)  Coverite 21st Century iron, Hobbico iron, Seal/Beinfang Selector III.   

    Panels should be rigid and absorbent with some tooth.  Acrylic gesso is not the best ground archivally; use encaustic gesso if in doubt. 

    • Dick Blick 5 oz double-primed cotton canvas– acrylic primed (re-gesso with Encaustic gesso).  Inexpensive panels good for smaller works & experimentation. 
    • Ampersand panels.  Come flat and cradled in various depths.  Carried by all art suppliers as well as the major online companies.  Basswood panels, Encaustic-bord and Aquabord can be used without re-gessoing.  Gessobord should be re-primed.  Claybord is NOT recommended because it isn’t absorbent.   
    • Plywood, luan, Masonite.  Your local lumber yard will cut them to size.  Sand the edges.  Minimum suggested thickness is 1/4”.  1/8” will warp, causing the wax to flake off. 
    • Cardboard, paper & fabric can be used, but there are cautions and challenges.     I suggest attending workshops that specifically address these materials.   


    • Kitchen supply warehouses have a great variety of metal containers, ranging from measuring cups (1 c, 1/2c, ¼ c and1/8c) with and without long handles & pour spouts, to square prep containers in various sizes, to muffin tins.   
    • Ikea has a great set of children’s play cookware with handles and lids 
    • Make your own – aluminum/tin cans:  cat food, tuna, sardine cans. 
    • Enkaustikos carries a terrific line of encaustic paint in tins, with or without lids 

    The temperature of the palette and wax should be monitored carefully, as overheated wax (above 230 degrees) chemically breaks down the wax and can be toxic.  Always have good ventilation. 

    • R and F Paints ($13),  or chef’s/grill thermometers ($8 to $50),  
    • Micro non-contact digital thermometers ($20 and on up)       


    • Flea markets generally have inexpensive dental and clay sculpting tools 
    • Art supply stores will have clay sculpting tools  
    • Home Depot/Lowes has a great variety of mastic and plaster trowels. 


    • Sky Blue Pink  - sequin waste ("punchinella")
    • Simply Sequins - sequin waste ("punchinella")
    • Gold leaf, foils, tracing papers –  
    • Delta Renaissance Gilding Foil is less expensive (than real gold or silver) & easy to use.  
    • Sepp Leaf –  makes paper backed leaf that transfers onto wax easily. 
    • Dritz Wax-free Tracing paper – various colors available at sewing stores 
    • Carbon paper is available at stationery stores. 
    • Parchment paper (for image transfers)– Restaurant supply stores (cut to fit copier size) 
    • Stencils:  craft & scrapbooking supplies (Michael’s), Home Depot (in the paint department), stationery stores (architect’s stencils), or you can make your own.    
    • Art Fire -  (under “Craft Supplies”) feathers, ribbon, jewelry findings, buttons, charms, molds, appliques, etc. (for embedding & collage)   
    • Do an internet search for Scrapbooking Embellishments. 
    • Altered Bits -   (Keep checking back – they have terrific, odd, wonderful stuff, but it gets sold out quickly). 
    • Etsy- look under “Craft Supplies”.  Buttons, beads, cabochons, and my personal favorite “Vintage” which has: all the above plus ephemera, charms, findings, paper ephemera, and much more.   
    • Local flea markets are great resources (In the Los Angeles area:  Pasadena City College - first Sunday of the month; Rose Bowl Flea Market - 2nd Sunday of the month).


    • ENKAUSTIKOS and R&F PAINTS are the leaders in encaustic paints and materials and in technical and instructional information. 



    All Things Encaustic:  Encaustic Art Blog and Directory
    Encaustic Art Institute
    International Encaustic Artists
    NW Encaustics
    The Hive


    I GIVE CREDIT & GRATITUDE TO THE FOLLOWING ^TEACHERS & *ARTISTS who have given me permission to show their works to the students in my workshops.   
    Kathleen Burke
    ^Kim Bernard
    ^*Miles Conrad
    ^Cari Hernandez  
    Martin Kline
    ^*Ellen Koment 
    *Jeff League
    *Joanne Mattera
    ^*Catherine Nash 
    ^*Paula Roland
    *Tony Scherman  
    ^Patricia Seggebruch    
    ^*Rodney Thompson    
    ^Cynthia Winnika  
    ^*Linda Womack   
    ^Daniella Woolf 

    * * * * 

    Other encaustic artists & organizations you might be interested in:   
    Angeline Marie—Art Studio Reports  
    Elise Wagner 
    Encaustic Arts by Mazarine Treyz 

    Lisa Kairos—Open Studio 
    Mary Black 
    Pam Nichols 
    Pistrucci Artworks Blog 
    Shawna Moore 
    WetCanvas: Online Living for Artists