The process of encaustic photography combines the ancient art form of encaustic (wax) painting with the contemporary art of digital photography.
The union of the two mediums produces a textured, painterly effect to what was once a smooth surfaced photographic image.
Encaustic photographs are often described as art that have depth, luminosity and a dreamy effect.
For this reason, people are intrigued with wax and are instantly drawn to encaustic works. Quite often, you'll find someone giving in to the urge of touching an encaustic piece.
What is encaustic paint?
Encaustic paints are made up of pure beeswax, damar resin (tree sap indigenous to Malaysia) and vibrantly colored, dry pigments.
How do I create my works?
The wax is heated on a hot palette and applied with a brush onto the surface of a photograph which has been mounted onto a rigid support.
Depending on the piece, I may apply one or more layers of clear and/or colored wax onto the photograph to blur out the detail. To get more detail back from the underlying photograph or wax layer, I gently scrape off the unwanted wax with a variety of tools.
Each new layer of wax is fused to the layer beneath it by applying the heat from a heat gun directly over the surface of the piece.
Why do you have to fuse or "burn in" each layer of wax?
By fusing each layer, the new and existing layers of wax melt together and bond which in turn ensures the integrity of the artwork by reducing the risk of having the wax crack or chip in the future.