Curious about what class would be right for you? I’ve listed the description for each encaustic workshop as well as recommendations for the skill level you are at. The majority of workshops I offer do not require any previous encaustic (or art) experience, however there are a couple advanced workshops where experience is necessary. I highly recommend beginning with my “Intro to Encaustic” workshop even if you have painted with encaustic before – it is an excellent foundation and really prepares you to advance forward.
All workshops have intimate class sizes between 3 – 5 students so you will have plenty of one-on-one support.
Have you thought of taking a workshop with a friend?
All you need to bring to the workshop are the panels you will be painting on. If you have a special sketchbook or notebook that you like taking notes in feel free to bring that as well and always bring bottled water to hydrate! There are some specialty classes where you might want to bring something personal to include in your painting (for instance a photocopied image or collage paper) and that is always listed in the class description. The number of required panels varies depending on workshop length (1-day, 2-day or 3-day).
The Heat: You WILL learn how to paint with fire! Iwatani torches are available for you to use.
Safe working environment: Limited seating offers you elbow room to spread out. You get a whole table to yourself! Galvanized sheet metal at each table provides a safe work space. And oh yes, the classroom is ventilated!
A little personal note about my teaching philosophy, encaustic style and materials:
My parents made a promise to me at a very young age that my art box would always be filled with “high-quality” art supplies. Not just art supplies, but “high-quality” art supplies. This made an enormous impact on me and I carry this practice forward in my classroom today. I teach with R&F artist-grade encaustic paint and medium. I want my students to have the best possible learning experience and having professional tools helps immensely. When you work with inadequate materials you don’t realize that it might be the material holding you back from creating what you want.
My encaustic teaching style emphasizes process instead of product. I demonstrate multiple techniques in class and allow students to put those techniques into practice and create “sample panels”. Frequently, students will scrape off the wax and re-use the panels. The underlying emphasis of every encaustic workshop I teach is torch control. From Intro to Encaustic to a 3-day Encaustic In-Depth: Portraiture workshop, the torch is key. If you cannot control your “brush” then how can you paint effectively? I am also very adamant about students feeling the temperature of their panels. Understanding what techniques you can do at certain temperatures is a key ingredient in encaustic painting.
“PROCESS”, NOT “PRODUCT”
A very important note: In every one of my classes I like to describe the final painting as the “by-product” of the workshop. It is more important to understand the painting process and techniques instead of having a wall-worthy masterpiece. If the focus is tunnel-visioned to have a perfect final product then I can guarantee a frustrating workshop. The journey becomes a mystery, and the ability able to reproduce the techniques will be a challenge. Ultimately the desire to continue to paint will diminish. However, if the focus is on the journey as opposed to the destination, such as how to get a perfectly smooth surface, what temperature the wax should be on the board in order to execute a particular technique, or controlling your torch so your paint doesn’t move. You will become more at ease with painting, find joy in the process, and the desire to pick up the brush will occur more often.
My personal encaustic style is painterly and leans semi-abstract (somewhere between realistic and abstract) and this is how I teach. I encourage using imagination during the painting process. Pairing this with learned techniques offers the opportunity to create exciting individual paintings.
An EXCELLENT beginning workshop! I highly recommend taking this workshop even if you have some encaustic mileage under your belt. All too often I have heard the comment “I never learned this in class before!” from students with prior experience. I have had students repeat this class who have been painting with me for years so they can hone their foundational skills.
DELUXE ENCAUSTIC LAB
The intention of the labs is to offer an encaustic workspace that is ready to go where students have an opportunity to practice and work on personal projects. The labs are uninstructed however I am always present to answer a question or two and to make sure everything runs smoothly. Labs are usually scheduled after specialty encaustic workshops so students can maximize the extra practice time. There are 3 lab options: (1) The Deluxe Encaustic Lab is a 3-hour time block for basic use. (2) Add the Golden Ticket upgrade and gain work time, wax & (if needed) a heated palette. (3) Sometimes you will see a Special Edition Encaustic Lab that is 6-hours.
The “Fun” Workshops Ha ha, yes, these are known as the “fun” workshops however the amount of knowledge and technical skills gained are immense. No prior experience is needed in any of these workshops. These are all good “first” encaustic workshops as well as excellent “next” workshops after Intro to Encaustic.
ENCAUSTIC IN-DEPTH: SURFACE MASTERY
I always recommend this workshop as the first follow-up from Intro to Encaustic. It helps to round out encaustic-only techniques before jumping into a subsequent mixed media workshop. This is an awesome introduction into the tactile and sculptural quality of the encaustic medium.
ENCAUSTIC IN-DEPTH: MIXED MEDIA
Another good first encaustic workshop to jump into. It is also a good follow up from Intro to Encaustic. If you are interested in incorporating a variety of media into your encaustic practice, this is a great start.
ENCAUSTIC INK & IMAGERY
An excellent workshop to begin integrating your own imagery and line work. I will always have images available for you to work with.
ENCAUSTIC, LAYERING & COLLAGE
If your siren-song is “collage” then this is the workshop to jump into. Again, it’s another good first workshop, and focuses on paper inclusions and layering.
ENCAUSTIC IN-DEPTH: MONOPRINTS
The “messy” workshop (ha ha!). A very specialty workshop where we work with paper instead of panel. This workshop is very abstract, organic and process-driven. My unique way of teaching mono print incorporates both encaustic paint and a variety of inks in the process. We create scrolls and work on a variety of print making papers. Wear your grubbies!
The “Painterly” Workshops These workshops are more intermediate to advanced and prior encaustic and torch experience is required. All workshops focus on on how to paint with encaustic with no alternate media inclusions. Even if “painting” with encaustic is not your style, these workshops pinpoint torch control and how to manipulate encaustic color so you aren’t painting “straight from the tube” so to speak. All process techniques can be attributed to any style of encaustic painting. For instance, the Encaustic In-Depth: Portraiture workshop has nothing to do with painting portraits. It is 100% about torch control, layering with purposeful color mixes and brushstrokes in order to create an intentional form. A lot of buzzwords, but my point is the process extends beyond the subject matter.
ENCAUSTIC IN-DEPTH: BEYOND BLACK & WHITE
If you feel “out of control” with encaustic then THIS IS THE WORKSHOP FOR YOU! If there was an official prerequisite workshop to any of the following this would be it (it helps immensely, although it is not required). The emphasis of this workshop is how to use encaustic medium to create subtlety. It is very technique driven and about controlling the process to achieve the desired result.
GO BIG OR GO HOME
Feel like you’re ready to “level up”? This workshop sheds light on how to work larger with encaustic – it’s possible! Longer fuses, bigger brushes, and direct mixing on the palette are all practiced. Something to consider is the physicality of this workshop. It is more physical than other workshops because we are manipulating larger panels and sometimes moving them around the room.
ENCAUSTIC IN-DEPTH: PORTRAITURE
Advanced workshop that is beneficial beyond portraits. Even though we explore the planes of the face, bone structure, and how to bring a portrait from flat to forward, I joke that this workshop has nothing to do with painting portraits. It is 100% about torch control, layering with purposeful color mixes and brushstrokes in order to create form. Whatever your encaustic interest, this workshop will help add control and intention to your practice. Prior encaustic experience required, drawing experience not required.