Using Acrylics to create a waxy – encaustic – look in your artwork

Leaping into the unknown
30 x 40 x 11/2”
Mixed Media, & Acrylics on Canvas
© Deb Chaney 2007
Feng Shui Recommendation: Health and Vitality.
To further enhance your health and inner vitality place this painting in or near the center of your dwelling.
For View at: Java Station Coffee House 4447 Hollister Ave, Santa Barbara, CA 93110 Ph (805) 681-0202
(Please do ask to see this painting it because its in the back!!!)
Original painting is available for purchase $1200 USD

Last week I had an interview with Golden Paints technical department on a new product they are in process of creating. At this point in time, because of their competition, I was asked to keep the interview a secret and not reveal any of the ideas or concepts we discussed.

After speaking with the Golden chemical technician he emailed me some great little videos clips ( on using and applying Golden Mediums and acrylic paints. I thought this would be fun to share with acrylic and mixed media painters who read this blog.

Particulalry, I’m thinking of Shay Cajolet from Massachusetts who contact me last year with questions about using acrylic mediums to create an encaustic (wax – like) effect. She’d seen the workshop I’d organized for Nancy Reyner in Santa Barbara which was on this topic specifically: using acrylics to create encaustic effects.

Last time I heard from Shay she said she’d had some success and a lot of goopy experiences with the mediums….perhaps a few of these videos will give some more guidance that goes beyond a phone conversation.

Here are some great instructional videos on the products and techniques that I use and some new concepts too…

Using moulding paste:

Creating a Brushable Isolation Coat:

Using Clear Tar Gel:

In my work to build layers I use Golden heavy gel matte medium, GOLDEN light moulding paste, Liquitex gloss medium and varnish, Golden fluid acrylics. ( Check out this link to a sampler set of many of these products and other cool ones)

As well, if you want to pour a thick layer over your work to emulate wax, from her workshop we learned that Nancy Reyner developed the following formulas she calls:

Sheen formula to match refined Beeswax

Mix together 2 oz. Soft Gel Gloss and ½ oz matte medium. Slowly add ¼ oz water. Add 3 drops of Interference Blue (fine) and 2 drops of Iridescent gold (fine).

Sheen formula to match unrefined beeswax

Use above mixture and pour half into an empty far. Add ½ drop or less of quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold.

You can make these formulas in an air tight container and then use them in the middle of your painting as a medium, directly onto dry or web acrylic paint or as a finishing sheen to your work.

Something that looks really cool and is fun to try – lay down a nice thick layer (1/4” or so) of one of the above sheen formulas using a palette knife. Soak a paint brush heavily with water. Tap the water soaked paint brush over top of your sheen layer ( don't touch the painting with the brush, let the water fall off onto the sheen layer) and let the water drops form an interesting surface texture on your waxy layer. Let it dry. Have fun!