How to Make Encaustic Paint


In my last video I showed you how to
make encaustic medium. In this video, I’m going to show you how you can use some of the encaustic medium to make encaustic paint. Hi guys, I’m Johwey. Welcome to my channel. This video is part of a guide on encaustic materials to help you build your encaustic studio. So be sure to check out the other videos in the series as they become available. And, if you’re new to my channel, go ahead and click the subscribe button so you don’t miss anything. On my palette here I have my encaustic medium and some paraffin wax for cleaning. Now even if you plan on making your own encaustic paints, I highly recommend that you still buy a few commercially made paints and experiment with them so you have a working knowledge of their quality. There are a few companies that manufacture encaustic paints and you’ll find that these paints are highly pigmented, like this cobalt green from R&F. You can use it full-strength and I’m just going to melt it directly on my palette here so we can test it. I’m using a scrap of illustration board to test the paint. As you can see, the paint is very rich in
color. You can also thin it down with encaustic medium to get different levels of translucency. By diluting it, you’ll find that a small bar of paint can go a long way. So here’s the paint at full strength on
top and diluted at the bottom. To clean your brush, wipe off the excess paint with a paper towel, rinse your brush in the paraffin wax then wipe off any excess wax with a paper towel. Repeat rinsing in the paraffin wax until
no more paint transfers. By the way, you can also use soy wax for cleaning which is actually a better choice since it is more sustainable and eco-friendly. To clean your palette, just wipe off the paint with a paper towel. If it doesn’t wipe clean, you can pour
some paraffin wax to rinse the palette and help remove the paint. So encaustic paint is encaustic medium with pigment added to it. As exciting as it is to work with dry pigments, know that some contain highly toxic substances. So please exercise caution when handling them. To be on the safer side, only use pigments that are labeled non-toxic. But even if you are working with
non-toxic pigments, avoid inhaling any dust and keep them away from food, drinks,
and children. With that said, let’s go make some paint. For today’s demo, I’m using this blackcurrant red from Earth Pigments. If you don’t need a lot for what you’re currently working on, you can make paint directly on your palette. Just put some medium on the palette – and I’m just going to make a very small sampling here. With your brush loaded with some wax, dip it in the pigment container to get some pigment and mix it with the medium. You can adjust the amount of pigment you add to your medium depending on the level of transparency or color concentration you want. I’m just going to set this aside for now so we can test this color. I like it! It’s a nice burgundy red. Now if you want to make a whole container of paint, you can use the same brush dipping technique I just showed you. But I like having a baseline for all the paints I make, so I want to be consistent with the amount of pigment I use. I’m using my measuring spoon which is a quarter of a teaspoon and adding 2 teaspoons of pigment to my container here which holds about an ounce of medium. Two teaspoons worth of pigment is just my preference. Of course you can add as much or as little pigment as you want, again depending on the level of color
concentration you desire. I’m going to stop at one teaspoon for now so I can sample this paint at half-strength. I like to mix with the spoon so I can grind the pigment and mix thoroughly. Take your time mixing to make sure the
pigment is well dissolved in the medium. I have a sketchbook here where I keep
color swatches and where I’m going to sample this paint. It’s definitely a very deep color. It’s supposed to be semi-transparent and it does look like it’s not as opaque as other similar colors that I have. Anyway, now I’m going to add another teaspoon to the mixture. Again you decide the amount of pigment you want to add to your medium to make your paint. I find that two teaspoons of pigment for this amount of medium is a good compromise for me. It’s richer than how I’ll normally use it but I can always thin it down when I’m actually painting with it. This way it will last longer and I don’t have to make paint too often. Alternatively, if I want a richer color – which probably won’t happen too often – I can always add more pigment using the brush dipping technique. So again mix thoroughly. Make sure there are no lumps and the pigment is well dissolved. By the way, I’d love to know what your favorite paint colors are. So let me know in the comment are below. So now I’m going to sample this paint at full strength. I’m steering my paint one last time before I pour it in the mold so that the pigment may be suspended in the paint as evenly as possible. I’m using an A-clamp here as a handle so I can transfer the paint to the silicone baking mold. It will take 30 to 45 minutes for the paint to completely cool before I can remove it and, while I’m waiting for the paint to cool, I’m going to clean my tools with this paper towel. I’m going to use the same paper towel to wipe the paint off this spoon and I like how the paint just comes right off. Now to clean the palette. Like I said earlier, if the paint doesn’t completely come off, you can use some paraffin wax to help remove the paint. Now for the brush. Again wipe off the excess paint on a paper towel. Then rinse your brush in the paraffin wax, wiping excess wax on the paper towel. Repeat rinsing until no more paint transfers. For the paint container, use some paraffin wax to help rinse off the paint. Swish the wax around and then wipe it
off with a paper towel. Since the container is hot, I’m using another dental spatula to move the paper towel around and get to the edges. You can also use the pointed end of a brush to help you move the paper towel around. For some pigments, like this one I just used, you may need to rinse a few times to completely clean the container. So here’s the paint I just made and it looks like it came out well. Before I put it away, I want to show you how I label my paints. So on a strip of paper, I write the pigment name – and this one is blackcurrant red. Sometimes I’ll include the manufacturer’s name, although for this one, I’m just writing the pigment name. Then I just wrap the label around the
paint with some tape. I like using the rectangular mold for making paints instead of, let’s say, a muffin mold because then it’s easy to just wrap a
label around the paints. And there you go. Here are some other paints I just made – a sky blue and a pistachio green. and these colors are just making you want to paint right now. Anyway I hope you enjoyed this video and
I wish you good luck on your paint making explorations. I hope you found this video helpful in some way. If you did I’d appreciate a thumbs up. If you know someone who would benefit from watching this video please make sure you share this video with them. Thanks for watching and have a great day!

48 comments

  • Whymsical Dreamer

    Very informative indeed. Im a new subbie and pleased about it too as you were most clear and concise. May i ask please where you got that silicone mould from? It makes the perfect 'cakes'!!!! :). XTibbyX

    Reply
  • Rays' Blue Basement Workshop

    This is probably the best video for making encaustic paint I've seen yet.Thumbs up and subbing.

    Reply
  • Lee Travathan

    Very helpful! Thank you!

    Reply
  • Karen Hine

    You are a natural teacher. I have watched a lot of videos on encaustics and this is the best. I have learned so much. Thank you.

    Reply
  • Sarah sarah

    Thanks for this demonstration! Well done. I also love your cabinet drawers in the background. Looks so organised. What pigments are you using and where do you buy it? I am taught that the paraffin wax and the soy wax effect the encaustic medium and even cause it to disintegrate. It is recommended to rather clean the brushes with encaustic medium or clear beeswax until there is no colour on the brush. It is especially important if you want to sell your art.

    Reply
  • Joan Sachs

    Thank you for this wonderful video. I am new at encaustics and you have already answered so many questions. Will be following your other videos. You are so clear and to the point.

    Reply
  • ozoon lilli

    from where you get these dry colours?

    Reply
  • judith clendenning

    What kind of paper, or label are you using to identify the colors? I just put an order in to Earth Pigments,and will begin making my own paint.also a silicone mold..how much medium do you use to the 2 teaspoons of pigment?This was a fabulous tutorial..slow and easy..loved it.

    Reply
  • The Harlows

    Just went to earth pigments website, can I uses any of the pigments?

    Reply
  • Suzanne McNenly

    Another great video:) Thanks for doing these. So helpful.

    Reply
  • Cynthia Robertson

    Great video and well demonstrated and described. I learned a lot. Thank you!

    Reply
  • Lori Valentine

    Hello, newbie here. What exactly is the "medium" you used? Thank you for your time!

    Reply
  • Whirlibird Farms

    Your videos are very thorough. Thank you!

    Reply
  • Jennifer Rinde

    I'm new to encaustic and believe this will be very helpful. Thank you!

    Reply
  • Geoffrey Odgers

    Thank you for a precise and
    meaningful demonstration.
    I have made and used oil paints for almost 50 years.
    Planning to begin encaustic soon ( when I finish building our house)

    Reply
  • Flower Girl

    Johwey what really precise, informative and easy to follow videos you make! Thank you soooooo much and I look forward to your future videos.

    Reply
  • ali alavi

    very interesting …. thanks lady

    Reply
  • Rea Kelly

    Jowhey, I really appreciate how you do not waste a moment in your instructional video. You cover all the bases, and tell us how we can adjust. Fave colour? I can't– I love colour. Robin's egg blue? Indigo? I will subscribe, as I like your teaching style and what you're sharing. Rock on.

    Reply
  • Lynda Lombardi

    Thank you, your videos are very informative. I work with encaustic medium and use soy wax to clean my brushes. Soy is a water soluble wax so you can further wash brushes with a mild soap, the soy also leaves the brushes very soft. Will be looking for more videos. Have you used carnauba wax in the encaustic medium? Interested in knowing how it affects the finished product, the art piece.

    Reply
  • briankeitht

    You are one of the (if not THE) best teachers on Youtube. Clear, concise, thorough.

    Reply
  • shirley j. wagle

    Thank you just what I needed to start. Please make more 🙂

    Reply
  • Sobia Khan

    Thank you

    Reply
  • Michele Josemans

    Great video! Thank you

    Reply
  • REER Activist

    Thank you. What brand of pigment powders do you use?

    Reply
  • Mildred Fippen

    I am hearing impaired and i love your videos, but i have trouble understanding you. Could you add subtitles without too much cost? It would be a great help

    Reply
  • Mildred Fippen

    I like “duck Egg”

    Reply
  • Kat nip

    what's the average cost when making the paints from scratch.

    Reply
  • Little Cherry Hill

    Exactly what I was looking for! Thank you so much for sharing 🙂

    Reply
  • M. Clayton

    very pro.

    Reply
  • Cecilia Troy

    Thank you very much for this video. I have purchased some encaustic medium and a set of dry pigments. Now I know how to make the paint

    Reply
  • Annette Emens

    Does making your own paints save money or is it just to make custom colors? I’m new to this medium and love it but it’s crazy expensive to get started!

    Reply
  • Loraine Mayne

    This is one of the best tutorials I've seen for making your own paints, thanks

    Reply
  • Sherry Ying

    Where can you buy the dry pigments? The colors in your video are awesome.

    Reply
  • Angie Wright-Artist

    Wow thank you! Great video, very informative and I loved that you showed us step by step, I'm just learning about this and this was one of the best videos I've found I'm going to check through your other ones too! Thank you again girl take care xo

    Reply
  • Goodey Studio

    Do you ever have issues with the pigment not mixing in well? I tried this and the dry pigment clumped in tiny bits so the encaustic looks gritty.

    Reply
  • Laura Lee Roberts

    Thanks for all the good cleaning tips! I’ll be making my medium soon. Your encaustic paint is very vibrant, neat and clean looking!

    Reply
  • Bruna Tagliabue

    I have a lot of dry pigments I have used to make my own oil colors. They seems like the ones you have used. Do you think they are suitable for encaustic?

    Reply
  • Olga Lampcov

    Thank you for really good video, there is nothing “to much waste of my time” and not “too speed up” so you wont be able to catch anything. I have a question, as at any painting process the most used colors are black and white. Where do you buy those two colors in bulk? Thanks again.

    Reply
  • REER Activist

    I love the green gold colorway.

    Reply
  • Nick Adamopoulos

    Thank you

    Reply
  • HeatherWrightArt

    This is a fantastic encaustic paint making video, thank you so much!!!

    Reply
  • Crystal Gales

    Can you recommend some good non toxic pigments to use?

    Reply
  • Randy DeGraw Woodwork

    nicely done, thanks

    Reply
  • Elena Macintyre

    wonderful tutorial! Thank you very much!

    Reply
  • Mara A

    Soy wax ecofriendly? Is 95% Gmo! I avoid it like the plague! I avoid petroleum paraffin also

    Reply
  • Kathryn Bonner

    Hello Johwey! I have just discovered your channel!! Loved this video! Can you answer a 3 questions please? 1) Can you provide a link for where & what kind of pigments you get? I know you used 2 teaspoons for the pigment, but 2) how much wax did you use in the can for the mold? 3) Can you provide a link for where & what kind of wax you get for the creation of the paint? Thank you so much! 🙂

    Reply
  • Jay

    This was extremely helpful!! Thanks for the suggestion of earth pigments as well. They are much more affordable than buying encaustic paints directly.

    Reply
  • Sally Harvey

    Love this video. Clear and easy to follow.

    Reply

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