Sunday, December 26, 2010

definition time: encaustic

Encaustic is a beeswax-based paint mixed with pigment and kept molten while painting. The word encaustic comes from the Greek meaning to "burn in" which refers to the process of fusing the paint. This type of painting was used in the 5th century B.C. for weathering boats and coloring marble. Encaustic is the most durable of the artist's paints because the beeswax is impervious to moisture. As a result, it will not deteriorate, yellow or darken and it can be polished to a high gloss for a brilliant surface. The beauty and the difficultly in the paint is found in its immediate drying time. Because it cools immediately, the gesture and brush strokes are captured. "Encaustic" was first made popular in the contemporary art world by the famous, American, pop artist, Jasper Johns.

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