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Artist Paint Medium - Encaustic Paints
Encaustic painting (from the Greek: burnt in) was the ancient method, recorded by Pliny, of fixing pigments with heated wax. It was probably first practiced in Egypt about 3000 bc and is thought to have reached its peak in Classical Greece, although no examples from that period survive.
Pigments, mixed with melted beeswax, were brushed onto stone or plaster, smoothed with a metal spatula, and then blended and driven into the wall with a heated iron. The surface was later polished with a cloth. Leonardo and others attempted unsuccessfully to revive the technique. North American Indians used an encaustic method whereby pigments mixed with hot animal fat were pressed into a design engraved on smoothed buffalo hide.
A simplified encaustic technique uses a spatula to apply wax mixed with
solvent and pigment to wood or canvas, producing a ridged, impasto surface. This
is an ancient and most durable medium. Coptic mummy portraits from the 1st and
2nd centuries ad retain the softly blended, translucent coloring typical of
In the 19th century, Vincent van Gogh also used this method to give body to his oil pigment; the Neo-Impressionist artist Louis Hayet applied encaustic to paper, and it was used by the U.S. painter Jasper Johns for his iconic paintings of maps, targets, and flags. Coloured wax crayons have also been used by modern painters such as Picasso, Klee, Arshile Gorky, and Hockney.
" Encyclopedia Britannica. 2010. Encyclopedia Britannica Online. 03 Dec. 2010 <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/438588/painting>.
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