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  1. #1
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    Default Faux Encaustic technique

    Hi AMIEN,
    I recently heard this notion of a "faux encaustic technique" that reproduces, apparently without using wax but using acrylic gels, the "waxy" finish of an encaustic painting onto an acrylic painting.
    I wonder if you heard about it, and if yes, could you give us some hints of materials to use to create that wax surface on acrylic dispersion paint.
    If not could you think of something that will mimic that finish?
    For acrylic I mean acrylic dispersion paints.

    Thanks in advance,
    Mouna

  2. #2
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    Default Faux Encaustic technique

    Quote Originally Posted by Mouna View Post
    Hi AMIEN,
    I recently heard this notion of a "faux encaustic technique" that reproduces, apparently without using wax but using acrylic gels, the "waxy" finish of an encaustic painting onto an acrylic painting.
    I wonder if you heard about it, and if yes, could you give us some hints of materials to use to create that wax surface on acrylic dispersion paint.
    If not could you think of something that will mimic that finish?
    For acrylic I mean acrylic dispersion paints.

    Thanks in advance,
    Mouna
    Mouna,

    Sigh. Why not just paint in encaustics and stop with this "faux" business? It's simple and easy.

    But if you insist on using the acrylic dispersion materials, buy some of the numerous gel-type mediums and get to work experimenting. You will have to decide how to get what you want.
    The AMIEN Staff

  3. #3
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AMIEN View Post
    Mouna,

    Sigh. Why not just paint in encaustics and stop with this "faux" business? It's simple and easy.
    But if you insist on using the acrylic dispersion materials, buy some of the numerous gel-type mediums and get to work experimenting. You will have to decide how to get what you want.

    The first time I kind of fee la little dissapointed by your answer (you have been so in the mark past times...).
    Either you just don't know, in that case why not tell so. Or, it's too complicated to give advice, and in that case also why not tell me so also.

    First of all, encaustics is a different medium to acrylics (but you know that right?) that requires a completely different technique and pricy materials, plus a learning curve.
    I was just trying to get some ideas as to how to cretae a "wax" type of finish on my acrylics. I used beeswax but then when you handle the artwork your fingers leave a mark, so I was a little discouraged.
    I'll try different type of gels as you suggested, thanks for that.

    If anybody out of AMIEN staff would like to share their knowledge you are very welcome.

    Thanks,
    M

  4. #4
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    Default Disappointed in the answer

    Quote Originally Posted by Mouna View Post
    The first time I kind of fee la little dissapointed by your answer (you have been so in the mark past times...).
    Either you just don't know, in that case why not tell so. Or, it's too complicated to give advice, and in that case also why not tell me so also.

    First of all, encaustics is a different medium to acrylics (but you know that right?) that requires a completely different technique and pricy materials, plus a learning curve.
    I was just trying to get some ideas as to how to cretae a "wax" type of finish on my acrylics. I used beeswax but then when you handle the artwork your fingers leave a mark, so I was a little discouraged.
    I'll try different type of gels as you suggested, thanks for that.

    If anybody out of AMIEN staff would like to share their knowledge you are very welcome.

    Thanks,
    M
    Mouna,

    We're sorry you're disappointed with our seemingly incomplete answer. Of course we know the more extensive answer, but we think you have to do the research yourself to get a better idea of what to do. Some acrylic dispersion product manufacturer's websites are filled with advice and instruction and FAQ pages that will tell you how to "recreate" or "imitate" other materials. Why should we repeat all that without letting you find out for yourself?

    Yes, encaustic is completely different, as are transparent watercolor, opaque watercolor, acrylic dispersion paints, acrylic solution paints, pastels, colored pencils, oil/alkyd paints, oil paints, and fresco. All those paints require " ... different technique[s] and pricy materials, plus a learning curve ... " What's the problem with that? We think painters ought to know how to paint in any painting genre, and we think we ought to pay the price, too.

    Our Moderator who knows the most about encaustic is off his computer for a week or two, but maybe our Moderator who deals with acrylic dispersion paints will jump in.
    The AMIEN Staff

  5. #5
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    Default Faux Encaustic

    Quote Originally Posted by Mouna View Post

    If anybody out of AMIEN staff would like to share their knowledge you are very welcome.

    Thanks,
    M
    Hi Mouna -

    What follows is simply a cut and paste of one of the many email replies we give on this topic frequently. As you will see, it is quite long and covers a bit of ground as the topic can mean a lot of different things to different people depending on their needs and expectations. And of course a lot of the advice does revolve around the need to test and experiment with different approaches. Always feel free to contact us directly for further clarity or if you have other questions:

    " In general, matte mediums can have a "wax-like" appearance, if mixed and handled in a certain way. We would suggest getting some small clean plastic containers with lids, and mixing various ratios of matte gels and mediums with different amounts of paint. Start with mostly gel/medium and a very small amount of paint ( 95% medium ) to create a glaze mixture. From my experience, translucency combined with a satin or matte sheen is a large part of the "waxy look". Experiment with different ratios. While the method of applying the mixtures is a personal aesthetic and painting technique issue, we find that less manipulation seems to work best. This has a lot to do with not creating foam and bubbles. If you like to handle very fluid paint, try fluid matte medium or (regular )matte medium. If you like to use a palette knife, use a gel, such as Regular Gel ( Matte or Semi-Gloss ). If you want a very thick and pasty material, try our High Solid Gel ( Matte ). Or, any of the other gel mediums that have consistencies or surface sheens that you like. It may take some experimentation to find the medium that has the consistency that you like the best, or you may end up using a variety for different effects.

    Apply some with a palette knife to a test surface and let it dry to see how it looks. Remember that when mixing with acrylic mediums, the milky, cloudy look will change considerably when it dries, so the wet mixture color may appear as a pastel/tint, but will dry to a much darker value and higher chroma/intensity color, along with more translucency. The waxy look will develop as the material dries. If you are unfamiliar with this, then there will be surprises, especially if the mixtures are applied thickly. This is one of the challenges to working with thicker acrylic glazes,...learning to anticipate the changes...but the effects one can achieve are well worth it! In part, we find, the wax-like look can be a function of how the paint is handled as well. In our experience, Heavy Gel ( Matte ) glazes, applied with a palette knife have looked very "wax-like".

    To mimic the look of beeswax, try blending in a percent or two of the Interference Gold and Quinacridone/Nickel Azo Gold to achieve a "beeswax" look. Experiment with different ratios of these and other yellow or brown colors/pigments, to get a variety of wax-like colors. Very small additions of color to a medium can be very effective, and remember that the color will become darker and more saturated when the medium dries, due to the cloudy appearance of wet acrylic mediums that then become translucent or clear upon drying.

    A couple of recipes for you to try are:
    8 ounces of High Solid Gel Matte to 1-3 drops of Quinacridone/Nickel Azo Gold to 6 drops of Interference Blue.

    8 ounces of Soft Gel Matte to 2 drops Fluid Naples Yellow Hue to 1 drop Quinacridone/Nickel Azo Gold to 2 drops of Interference Red.

    8 ounces of Soft Gel Semi-Gloss to 4 drops of Fluid Interference Blue to 1 drop Fluid Iridescent Gold (Fine). Add water to thin, about 3:1 to make pourable.

    8 ounces of Fluid Matte Medium to 4 drops of Fluid Iridescent Bright Gold.
    One last note is that you may wish to start with gloss layers initially as they provide the best optical clarity and depth, and then layer on a thinner film of the Matte product as a means to finish the encaustic effect. Heavy layers of matte products tend to have issues of obscuring the underlying image."

    Hope that helps.
    Sarah Sands

    AMIEN Moderator
    Technical Services Supervisor
    Golden Artist Colors
    Williamsburg Handmade Oil Colors

  6. #6
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    Default Faux Encaustic

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarah Sands View Post
    Hi Mouna -

    What follows is simply a cut and paste of one of the many email replies we give on this topic frequently. As you will see, it is quite long and covers a bit of ground as the topic can mean a lot of different things to different people depending on their needs and expectations. And of course a lot of the advice does revolve around the need to test and experiment with different approaches. Always feel free to contact us directly for further clarity or if you have other questions:

    " In general, matte mediums can have a "wax-like" appearance, if mixed and handled in a certain way. We would suggest getting some small clean plastic containers with lids, and mixing various ratios of matte gels and mediums with different amounts of paint. Start with mostly gel/medium and a very small amount of paint ( 95% medium ) to create a glaze mixture. From my experience, translucency combined with a satin or matte sheen is a large part of the "waxy look". Experiment with different ratios. While the method of applying the mixtures is a personal aesthetic and painting technique issue, we find that less manipulation seems to work best. This has a lot to do with not creating foam and bubbles. If you like to handle very fluid paint, try fluid matte medium or (regular )matte medium. If you like to use a palette knife, use a gel, such as Regular Gel ( Matte or Semi-Gloss ). If you want a very thick and pasty material, try our High Solid Gel ( Matte ). Or, any of the other gel mediums that have consistencies or surface sheens that you like. It may take some experimentation to find the medium that has the consistency that you like the best, or you may end up using a variety for different effects.

    Apply some with a palette knife to a test surface and let it dry to see how it looks. Remember that when mixing with acrylic mediums, the milky, cloudy look will change considerably when it dries, so the wet mixture color may appear as a pastel/tint, but will dry to a much darker value and higher chroma/intensity color, along with more translucency. The waxy look will develop as the material dries. If you are unfamiliar with this, then there will be surprises, especially if the mixtures are applied thickly. This is one of the challenges to working with thicker acrylic glazes,...learning to anticipate the changes...but the effects one can achieve are well worth it! In part, we find, the wax-like look can be a function of how the paint is handled as well. In our experience, Heavy Gel ( Matte ) glazes, applied with a palette knife have looked very "wax-like".

    To mimic the look of beeswax, try blending in a percent or two of the Interference Gold and Quinacridone/Nickel Azo Gold to achieve a "beeswax" look. Experiment with different ratios of these and other yellow or brown colors/pigments, to get a variety of wax-like colors. Very small additions of color to a medium can be very effective, and remember that the color will become darker and more saturated when the medium dries, due to the cloudy appearance of wet acrylic mediums that then become translucent or clear upon drying.

    A couple of recipes for you to try are:
    8 ounces of High Solid Gel Matte to 1-3 drops of Quinacridone/Nickel Azo Gold to 6 drops of Interference Blue.

    8 ounces of Soft Gel Matte to 2 drops Fluid Naples Yellow Hue to 1 drop Quinacridone/Nickel Azo Gold to 2 drops of Interference Red.

    8 ounces of Soft Gel Semi-Gloss to 4 drops of Fluid Interference Blue to 1 drop Fluid Iridescent Gold (Fine). Add water to thin, about 3:1 to make pourable.

    8 ounces of Fluid Matte Medium to 4 drops of Fluid Iridescent Bright Gold.
    One last note is that you may wish to start with gloss layers initially as they provide the best optical clarity and depth, and then layer on a thinner film of the Matte product as a means to finish the encaustic effect. Heavy layers of matte products tend to have issues of obscuring the underlying image."

    Hope that helps.
    Sarah Sands,

    We're sure this will help Mouna. But.

    This is a simulation of encaustic and fairly complicated to execute, yes? It also requires an investment in supplies and equipment -- one of the things Mouna complained about with our original urging for her to try real encaustic.

    Encaustic is such a simple paint, and there is nothing like it -- not even this simulation.
    The AMIEN Staff

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by AMIEN View Post
    Sarah Sands,

    We're sure this will help Mouna. But.

    This is a simulation of encaustic and fairly complicated to execute, yes? It also requires an investment in supplies and equipment -- one of the things Mouna complained about with our original urging for her to try real encaustic.

    Encaustic is such a simple paint, and there is nothing like it -- not even this simulation.
    My dear AMIEN and Sarah,
    Thank you so much for your replies, I'm no longer dissapointed after such help!

    There is one thing I would like to point out is that I never intended to recreate encaustic painting. I mean, I don't intend to paint with colors that will mimic the encaustic wax colors. What I intend to experiment is to recreate ONLY the "finish" of my acrylic artwork. I don't want my painting to look like an encaustic, I don't think is possible also. But I noticed in many galleries I roamed around that some acrylic painters have this, should we call it "varnish"?, kind of finish that it's similar to wax, meaning matte and at the same time transparent, like if it had an even layer of beeswax all over. I wasn't able to speak with the artists and many of them won't tell you anyway...
    ANd as I said when I tried to put cold beeswak as a layer on a painting it looks similar but if you handle it with your hands, it never really gets "hard"... .

    I'll try Sarah's technique .
    Thanks!

    Mouna

  8. #8
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    Default More on faux encaustic

    Quote Originally Posted by Mouna View Post
    My dear AMIEN and Sarah,
    Thank you so much for your replies, I'm no longer dissapointed after such help!

    There is one thing I would like to point out is that I never intended to recreate encaustic painting. I mean, I don't intend to paint with colors that will mimic the encaustic wax colors. What I intend to experiment is to recreate ONLY the "finish" of my acrylic artwork. I don't want my painting to look like an encaustic, I don't think is possible also. But I noticed in many galleries I roamed around that some acrylic painters have this, should we call it "varnish"?, kind of finish that it's similar to wax, meaning matte and at the same time transparent, like if it had an even layer of beeswax all over. I wasn't able to speak with the artists and many of them won't tell you anyway...
    ANd as I said when I tried to put cold beeswak as a layer on a painting it looks similar but if you handle it with your hands, it never really gets "hard"... .

    I'll try Sarah's technique .
    Thanks!

    Mouna
    Mouna,

    Before you try this, why not try applying a matte acrylic solution varnish to your acrylic dispersion painting? You will get the soft matte appearance.

    First, apply a gloss acrylic solution varnish to the painting as a sacrificial layer, and then the matte acrylic solution varnish.
    The AMIEN Staff

  9. #9
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AMIEN View Post
    Mouna,

    Before you try this, why not try applying a matte acrylic solution varnish to your acrylic dispersion painting? You will get the soft matte appearance.

    First, apply a gloss acrylic solution varnish to the painting as a sacrificial layer, and then the matte acrylic solution varnish.
    Dear AMIEN,

    Thanks for the tip, that actually you've given to me before... I tried, but the result, although satisfactoryin terms of matte varnished surface, is not the same as the actual "wax" feeling...

    But thanks anyway, you guys are great and do such a great service for the artist community in general...

    Happy Holidays,
    M.

  10. #10
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    Default Even more on faux encaustic

    Quote Originally Posted by Mouna View Post
    Dear AMIEN,

    Thanks for the tip, that actually you've given to me before... I tried, but the result, although satisfactoryin terms of matte varnished surface, is not the same as the actual "wax" feeling...

    But thanks anyway, you guys are great and do such a great service for the artist community in general...

    Happy Holidays,
    M.
    Mouna,

    Nothing is going to duplicate the appearance or "feeling" of actual wax. Give that up.

    Peace on Earth, and good will towards all (not just men!).
    The AMIEN Staff

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