Baby, It’s Cold Outside

I love painting with encaustic paints. If you follow me on Instagram and see my daily posts, you may have noticed that I haven’t really been using them much lately. It happens every year. It’s not a conscious decision or even something I notice right away. But when the weather starts to turn cold, I turn off my griddle and don’t feel like painting with encaustics.

Why? Encaustic paint is wax + pigment + a few other things to help with melting and texture. It comes in solid blocks that you have to heat so it flows like paint. When it’s cold out, the wax hardens back up faster, which means it just doesn’t flow the same way on the brush. I could continue to use it and it’d be okay, but it isn’t as fun and doesn’t feel as nice to use. It’s not as inviting.

Obviously, I still want to paint, so I’ve been using watercolors and acrylics this winter. Both are pretty new to me, but I’m really enjoying them. It’s a challenge because they’re so different to oils and encaustic. I mean, it’s still painting, so there are plenty of similarities and it’s not like starting from scratch – I just need to remember a few key differences.

Now that the weather is starting to warm up (yay spring!), I’m getting the encaustic itch again. I have a few ideas of new materials I want to try in the wax, and some paintings are already floating around in my head. It shouldn’t be too long before I get started on them!