Art of Encaustic Painting: Contemporary Expression in the Ancient Medium of Pigmented Wax

Overview

Encaustic is a waxed-based painting medium characterized by luminous color and a lush surface. It's an ancient art, dating as far back as Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire, and today is enjoying a revival.

Here is the first comprehensive guide available on mastering this beautiful yet demanding medium. In The Art of Encaustic Painting, readers will learn surefire ways to achieve vibrant color and create surfaces that look as light as a wash or as densely textured as impasto. ...

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Overview

Encaustic is a waxed-based painting medium characterized by luminous color and a lush surface. It's an ancient art, dating as far back as Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire, and today is enjoying a revival.

Here is the first comprehensive guide available on mastering this beautiful yet demanding medium. In The Art of Encaustic Painting, readers will learn surefire ways to achieve vibrant color and create surfaces that look as light as a wash or as densely textured as impasto. They will see how to produce effects from abstract to figurative to minimal. Finally, they will discover dozens of clear, step-by-step directions detailing how to use these various encaustic techniques in their own art.

This remarkable reference also includes 200 attractive full-color photographs of the author's own work, as well as stunning examples by such premier encaustic artists as Jasper Johns, Arthur Dove, and Nancy Graves.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
According to Roman historian Pliny the Elder, encaustic was used as early as the fifth and fourth centuries B.C.E. It is made by melting beeswax with a small amount of resin and then adding pigment while the mixture is still molten. The artist works quickly out of the pot, for the wax begins to harden as soon as it leaves the heat source. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Jasper Johns was virtually the sole practitioner of encaustic. Today, thousands of artists have caught on to this ancient, luminous medium, yet most art lovers are still unaware of it. Mattera provides a fascinating history of the art and several excellent technical chapters on waxes, pigments, papers, brushes, etc. Studio safety takes high priority since, unlike quiet media like watercolor, this one brings with it the possibility of studio fires and wax burns. Though no book can capture the mutable incandescence of encaustic, this one provides enough inspiration and solid technical advice to kindle the interest of any artist. For a good history of the medium in America, see Gail Stavitsky's Waxing Poetic: Encaustic Art in America (Rutgers Univ., 2000). Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823002832
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/2001
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 259,968
  • Product dimensions: 9.26 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.44 (d)

Meet the Author

Joanne Mattera is the author of several books, including Navajo Techniques for Today's Weaver (1975) and Rugweaving: Techniques for Two Harness (1979), both for Watson-Guptill. She lives in New York City.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 26, 2010

    the bible for all encaustic artists

    this was the first comprehensive and frankly the best book on encaustic painting. in a medium that is mostly self- taught the book is a must in your studio.

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