Recipe: Natural Earth Encaustics

Recipe: Natural Earth Encaustics

“Encaustic”, meaning "to burn in", is an ancient medium using molten beeswax combined with dry pigments and natural resin. 

There are still Greek encaustic portraits dating as far back as 23 B.C. The resilience and color has remained intact, uncracked and unfaded over centuries due to wax's imperviousness to moisture.


1. Combine the beeswax and dammar resin in a pot and melt on a griddle at 200F or lower.

2. To remove organic matter from the resin and beeswax mixture, filter it into another container with a tightly woven wire kitchen strainer.

3. Transfer the clear medium into 16 oz. tin cans with a metal ladel.

4. Add about 1 tsp. pigment to the molten medium for a transparent color or add more pigment for a more opaque color.

5. Start painting! Use hog hair or hake brushes with wooden handles and any other tools you like for manipulating the wax.

Note: A heat gun or propane torch is also necessary to fuse the wax as you layer it. 

How to Make Encaustic Paints - Elise Wagner from Elise Wagner on Vimeo.

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