Encaustic 101

 |  November 3, 2010

At the beginning of this year, when I was big and waddling around, waiting for my youngest to arrive, I received an email from the editor of Somerset Studio, Christen Olivarez, inquiring whether or not I would be interested in writing an article on encaustics for the magazine. I wrote back and said, “Thank you so much, I’d love to! But…I’m about to have a baby, what’s the deadline?” She was so kind to give me ample time to write an article about painting in encaustics and its many uses for a mixed media artist.

And I am so excited to share that the article has been published and can be read in the current November/December issue of Somerset Studio, which is now on the stands.


Throughout the past few years I have received comments and private emails asking me how one gets started in painting in encaustics. And so now, it’s all written out in the article! The editors titled the article “Encaustic 101” and it really is kind of like an encaustic primer- information about what it is and how to get started.

I created a couple of mixed media and encaustic pieces just for the article that I hope to highlight at least one in the next post. It would have been nice to include more information about each piece with general techniqe instructions, but…there’s only so many pages I can take up. ha!

In the emails that I write back to the encaustic inquiries I always list resources for people to find out more about the medium. And each year, the list has gotten longer. Here is the list that I recommend:

Joanne Mattera’s The Art of Encaustic Painting: Contemporary Expression in the Ancient Medium of Pigmented Wax– this book is a must for anyone who is interested in painting in encaustics. It was the only book that was out when I first started and gives a nice overview and history. The artwork included in there is top-notch.

Linda Womack’s Embracing Encaustic: Learning to Paint with Beeswax– The next book that came out. This books has technique and contributions from artists sharing how they work with wax in their art. Disclaimer-I’m a little biased in promoting this book because I have two paintings in there! But really, it’s a great little book of encaustic techniques

Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch’s Encaustic Workshop: Artistic Techniques for Working with Wax is another book that is filled with step-by-step techniques. When I began painting in encaustics, I taught myself. When I started to have opportunities to show my work I thought I better find out if I’m doing this right and I was also becoming concerned about health and safety issues, so I attended a workshop with Patricia. She is a wonderful person and instructor and I’m excited to share that she invited me to teach with her next year. I will announce more about this soon.

Patricia also has a DVD showing her encaustic techniques.

Daniella Woolf’s Encaustic With a Textile Sensibility is a book and DVD set that I have on my wish list. I haven’t seen either, but I am familiar with her work and I imagine that her book and DVD are just as wonderful. I hope to one day see her work in person.

Lissa Rankin’s Encaustic Art: The Complete Guide to Creating Fine Art with Wax was just published and I haven’t had the pleasure of reading it yet.

Amy Stoner has a DVD out called Encaustic Collage: Layers with Beeswax (DVD). If you’re a visual person,like myself, it is helpful to see the techniques in action rather than just reading about it. Thank goodness for DVDs and Youtube now!

I don’t think I’ve missed any, but let me know if there are any others out there to add to my list!

Now, go paint!


  1. by Deanna on November 4, 2010  12:48 pm Reply

    Congratulations on the article!

    You could also include a few more items in your list of resources:

    Cari Hernandez (who uses a lot of fabric in her work) has a DVD:

    Paula Roland has a great DVD on encaustic monotypes:

    Enkaustikos has a lot of instructional videos on Youtube:

  2. by femminismo on November 4, 2010  3:07 pm Reply

    Congratulations on both the article and baby! I really want to read this and try more encaustics with more knowledge. Thanks!

  3. by Shayla on November 4, 2010  3:55 pm Reply

    This post is packed with great info, Bridgette. Thank you and congratulations on the article.

  4. by bridgette on November 4, 2010  4:04 pm Reply

    Thanks Deanna for the additional resources. My wish list just got longer!

  5. by Vicki Holdwick on November 4, 2010  4:14 pm Reply

    Congrats on the baby and the encaustics article, Bridgette!


  6. by Bev on November 4, 2010  4:24 pm Reply

    oooooh..can't wait to curl up with my issue!
    congrats to you!

  7. by The Adventurous Art Teacher on November 5, 2010  5:21 am Reply

    Congratulations! I'll be passing this information along to all our art teachers, and picking up a copy of the magazine.:))

  8. by Denise on November 5, 2010  8:19 am Reply

    Congratulations, Bridgette! I hope to see your article tonight when I pop in at the bookstore! Your work has inspired me to include a wider variety of imagery in my pieces :)

  9. by Karin Bartimole on November 5, 2010  8:55 am Reply

    Congratulations Bridgette - I'll be sure to get myself an issue!! Thanks for the resources and sharing such good info with us all. xox

  10. by bridgette on November 5, 2010  3:57 pm Reply

    Thanks everyone!
    Denise-I'm so glad that I've helped in some way with incorporating a wider variety of imagery in your work!

  11. by Ghislaine BRUNO on November 7, 2010  10:24 am Reply

    Congratulations on this article. I've been admiring your paintings for a long time and somehow they partly inspired my collages although they're different. Your work also introduced me to coptic bound journals (I made two so far) and to more creativity in everyday life. Cheers.

  12. by apaperbear on November 8, 2010  8:03 am Reply

    Congratulations on the article!!! I have been very interested in encaustics for a long time. I've long been a follower of your blog and I think your art is beyond stunning. It is funny I found my way back to you from a photo of one a commisioned journal you did on flicker.

    Again Congratulations on the article and an even bigger accomplishment on your new baby!

  13. by Missouri Bend Paper Works on November 14, 2010  12:22 pm Reply

    I've got the new Somerset magazine and looking forward to reading the article! I'm really interested in getting into encaustics...probably the next big thing for me since I'm already in love with beeswax! Congratulations on the article!

  14. by Pam McKnight on November 15, 2010  12:10 am Reply

    I saw the article and then looked up your blog, kind of backwards from everyone else! Great work, thanks for sharing your knowledge.

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