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Oil Paint as Pigment

This post is for combining oil paint to encaustic; where oil paint is utilized as the pigment rather than dry pigments. Encaustic paint consists of beeswax, damar resin and pigment (turpentine and oil, once used as ingredients, are not typically used). Contrary to other tutorials on making encaustic, oil paint should not be used as a pigment. This is not to negate the use of oil paint as a surface and/or under layer or oil used in a variety of other wax based painting.

Why? Oil paint manufacturers often use non-compatible ingredients. Since it is difficult to know which do, and which do not, it is better to avoid them unless absolutely certain. But... As for high quality oil paints that do not include unknown substances, they still contain oil. Oil(s) in combination with encaustic at inadequate volume can cause the paint surface to breakdown; resulting in chipping, cracking and complete release of the paint layers. It is important to note that oil and encaustic are compatible, so as long as the ratios are controlled. Ratios are stable as long as the percentage of oil to wax is low or high; for instance the closer the amounts become to being equal the less stable.

What is the alternative? Dry pigments. see How to Make Encaustic Medium and PaintPaint and Pigment Sticks, or Saponified Wax.

Also a personal note: I tend to work a lot with paint and oil sticks over encaustic which contain very similar properties to the above, and I am torn between whether or not this is truly encaustic. An oil painting or photograph coated with a layer of wax is not classically an encaustic piece. I have felt that encaustic is a medium created as one substance prior to painting; wax, pigment, damar (and oil and turpentine if you wish). Of course there is always room to argue.

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Revisiting old topics and filling in holes is quite a chore, yet a necessary one, one that will offer more quality information. For example: recent activity and questions surrounding hardboard and/or masonite, has directed our attention to fill in the blanks on that topic (currently under revision/addition), as well as, more about gesso (specifically encaustic gesso) and other topics (search the tabs), all are in the works. 

Prior years were to get as much general information as possible up and available- a starting point. More and more however, new topics are focused and detailed, and old ones will be getting revisiting; removing any possibility of confusion. 

I should point out that this is a one person operation (takes me awhile to get around to everything, ohh yeah, I should make some art), Anyway, where was I?, oh! one person operation..., even though I tend to refer in posts and topics as we, it is to remove the need to revisit things later when it really is we. All of this whilst working, making art, and whatever may be the case.

As always, I welcome any opinions, comments, and questions- simply contact me.

Thank you
Jonathan Parks