©2013 Marjorie Sarnat. All Rights Reserved. www.art-studio-secrets.com
Faux Encaustics Recipes
HOW IT WORKS
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.
COOL THE MIX
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
WAX OR WHATEVER
My experiments didn’t necessarily look like beeswax,
but I liked the look; these techniques are all about
what you wish to do.
GLOSS OR MATTE
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.