When I was first introduced to encaustics I immediately fell in love with its mystical qualities. The texture and depth I can achieve by combining encaustic with my photos gives them a depth and texture that I cannot achieve in a 2-dimensional image.
Encaustic medium is a mixture of bee’s wax and dammar resin (crystallized tree sap) often with pigments added. It is one of the oldest and most archival of all paint mediums dating back over 2000 years. It was widely used in Roman and Greek paintings as far back as the 5th century B.C.
The word encaustic comes from the Greek word Enkaustikos which means to burn. The medium is melted and then painted in layers onto a substrate such as pine board. Each layer is fused to the previous layer by applying heat with a heat gun or propane torch. When finished, the medium is allowed to harden and then buffed to the desired sheen.