Painting with Encaustic

Painting with Encaustic by Kim Flora


An artist who works primarily in encaustic, Kim Flora, not yet 30, impresses older professionals with the maturity of her commitment to the arts. In this free demo, Flora shares basic painting techniques for encaustic.



1. Priming the Panel

First prime a wood panel with traditional chalk gesso or a product I recently discovered, R&F encaustic gesso. Standard acrylic gesso isn’t compatible with encaustic.



2. Heating the Paints

Heat encaustic wax colors in muffin tins on an electric plate. You can either make the colors* or buy them at an art supply store.



3. Painting with Wax

Using a natural-hair paintbrush, apply hot encaustic wax color to the panel.



4. Fusing the Wax

Using a torch, tacking iron or heat gun, fuse the wax to the panel after each layer.



5. Building the Surface

Add additional layers of wax color, fusing each layer so the wax adheres to the board.



6. Disturbing the Surface

You can use a tacking iron not only to fuse the layer, but to manipulate the surface.



7. Subtracting Layers

If the wax becomes too dense, you can easily scrape it back, using a ribbon-cutting or scraping tool, often revealing the layers beneath.


*Get your copy of the May 2011 issue of The Artist’s Magazine to read more about Kim Flora’s encaustic methods in the feature article “Cooking Up the Blues” by Ruth K. Meyer.

Click here to watch a free video preview of “Acrylics: The Watercolor Alternative With Charles Harrington”

Related Article
Kim Flora | Mixed Media Encaustics


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