Golden Acrylics – Encaustics



Encaustic Effects: Golden Acrylic Paint

Patti will show you several different ways of creating an “encaustic look” using Golden acrylic paints without wax in this video workshop ! This technique will give an instant wax-like look with topcoat techniques, layer and carve into thick gels and paints for depth and rich color, and more! These techniques will allow you to expand your painting process to include additional layers of interest as you use acrylic gels and paints to create luster, depth and rich color.

©2013 Marjorie Sarnat. All Rights Reserved.
Faux Encaustics Recipes
(Acrylic Imitation Encaustics)
by Marjorie Sarnat
The following are basic recipes for using acrylics to produce the
appearance of traditional hot wax encaustics.
These recipes will result in an authentic beeswax
encaustics look. You can customize the recipes by
using your own colors and proportions of mediums
and additives. Experiment away, knowing that every
acrylic product is compatible with every other. It’s
ok to mix and match acrylic brands, such as Golden
and Liquitex, as well.
Don’t be reluctant to slather on the “wax” mixtures.
Acrylics lose volume as they dry, so make sure
you create enough texture to suit your preference.
However, the thicker the application, the longer it
will take to dry.
Bleached (or Refined) Pourable
Acrylic Beeswax
This recipe creates a smooth, matte surface with
minimal color and just a bit of “clouding” and
opalescent glimmer.
Soft Gel Gloss – 2oz.
Soft Gel Matte – ½ oz.
Water – 1-1/2 oz.
Fluid Interference Blue (fine) – 4 drops
Fluid Iridescent Gold (fine) – 1 drop
This mix will soften contrast and add depth to your
surface, but will not significantly alter the colors
beneath it. Add more water to make it even thinner
and more fluid, if you prefer.
Yellow Acrylic Beeswax
This gives a warm, yellow-toned beeswax color. It
has a creamy consistency, like yogurt. Apply this
mixture with a brush or a palette knife.
Soft Gel Matte – 8oz
Fluid Naples Yellow Hue – 2 drops
Fluid Quinacridone Nickel Azo/Gold – 1 drop
Fluid Interference Red – 2 drops
This mix will slightly obliterate the contrast of the
colors under it while adding an antiqued mellowed-
with-age effect. Because it goes on thicker than
recipe # 1, it produces more depth and will veil the
under layers a bit more, as well.
Unrefined Acrylic Beeswax
This mix has a stiff viscosity (consistency) with a
radiant, translucent yellow finish. It goes on thicker
than Recipe # 2 and takes the longest to dry. Apply
this mixture with a palette knife or stiff brush.
High Solid Gel Matte – 8 oz.
Fluid Interference Blue (fine) – 4 to 6 drops
Fluid Quinacridone Nickel Azo/Gold – 1 to 3
This mix is great to use for embedding things in your
composition. It will significantly alter the color of
whatever it covers, creating a cloudy amber glow. If
you wish to have the extra depth this mix produces,
but forego a yellowed effect, substitute a pearly white
or other color for the fluid Azo/Gold, or try using a
fraction of a drop of the Azo/Gold.
Feel free to alter any recipe according to your
preference. For example, you could make recipe #1
with the color of recipe #3 or with any other colors
you choose.
©2013 Marjorie Sarnat. All Rights Reserved.
Faux Encaustics Recipes
Marjorie Sarnat
Real wax encaustics have a cloudy effect, which is
translucent rather than being entirely transparent.
It also has a slight iridescent appearance. Beeswax,
which is usually used for hot wax encaustics, has a
warm yellow color. It has a subtle shine, as well.
Acrylic Mimicry: Analyzing the appearance of
authentic beeswax will give you guidelines for
customizing acrylic recipes to suit your artistic
Wax has a satin-like finish, which has a subtle
By mixing gloss and matte mediums together,
you achieve a satin finish. Adjust proportions
of gloss with matte to get the degree of shine
(or not) you prefer. Keep in mind that matte
mediums dry slightly cloudier than do gloss
The paint color you add to your mixture will
tint it and also add a bit of opacity, creating
cloudiness, The level of cloudiness depends on
the type and amount of paint you add.
Gold, yellow, and amber colors will achieve a
natural (yellowish) beeswax color.
The interference colors provide the slight
iridescence, which is characteristic of wax.
I’ve used blue, lavender, and green substitutions for
the warm colors, with minimal or no Azo/Gold.
The blue and lavender produced a cooler effect that
appeared quite ethereal to me. The green produced a
dusty, distressed effect, which I wanted.
I added an extra amount of a vivid magenta color
into mix # 2, which produced a glowing effect that
almost obliterated the layer beneath it. I added more
gel to the mix to make it more translucent and used
both variations over different parts of my surface.
Feel free to experiment with other matte gels that
have texturizing mix-ins, such as glass bead gels,
string gels, and so forth. Or mix your own stuff into
My experiments didn’t necessarily look like beeswax,
but I liked the look; these techniques are all about
what you wish to do.
You may substitute gloss gels for matte gels, and
matte for gloss wherever you wish. The matte gels
will result in a bit cloudier surface than do the gloss
Experiment with more less viscosity in your recipes.
Add water to thin recipe #1. Substitute or add more
high solid gel (heavy gel) for a thicker viscosity of
a recipe. Substitute or add more soft gel to thin a
recipe without making it too fluid and runny.
Several factors effect the drying time of the recipes.
Generally, the thicker the mix the longer it take
to dry. Recipe # 3 can take several hours to dry. In
recipe # 1, the amount of water added will effect the
drying time, too. The thickness of your application
and your under surface will be factors, as well.
Faux encaustics look rich and beautiful when applied
to a surface in layers. Make sure the application is
completely dry before adding another layer.
Optical color mixes:
Layering one tint over another. For example, you
may start with a yellowish layer of “wax,” let it
dry, then add a pale magenta layer over that to
achieve a burnished rust appearance. The color
possibilities are many.
©2013 Marjorie Sarnat. All Rights Reserved.
Faux Encaustics Recipes
Marjorie Sarnat
Embedding items and painted passages:
Embed printed images on your first layer of
“wax.” Let it dry. Paint onto this layer as well,
if you wish, let dry, then add another layer.
Continue embedding and painting as many
layers as you wish.
When your layer of “wax” is almost dry, but still has
a soft surface, carve into it with a scribe of some sort,
such as a pencil, metal awl, palette knife tip, etc. Let
it dry completely, then rub or drip color into the
inscribed marks, and wipe away the excess from the
top surface. You will have a look that accents your
surface texture. When this is dry, you may layer
more acrylic wax over it, if you wish.
The “cloudy, glimmering glazes” you get with these
recipes works wonderfully with collage techniques,
including rice papers, transfers, prints, and more.
Clouding some images is a great way to control
the focus in a composition. And faux encaustics’
ability to embed things within a surface excites the
“Antiquing Patina”
This is essentially a glaze that you let pool in the
crevices of your surface; it gives an aged look to your
artwork. Experiment with substitute colors, as well.
Use equal parts of raw umber and iron oxide, but
adjust the proportions to your taste. The more
glazing liquid you use, the more transparent your
patina will be. Mix together:
Fluid raw umber
Fluid iridescent micaceous iron oxide
Acrylic glazing liquid (gloss finish)
Use a soft cloth to apply the patina, then wipe off
the excess patina, leaving the mixture in the crevices
and buffing the pigments into the gel surface. To get
a more subtle effect, reduce or omit the iridescent
micaceous iron oxide from the mixture.
Happy Creating!
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