Encaustic Workshop Descriptions

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).

What you need to bring to class:

  • EncausticBoard practice panels
    • Ampersand EncausticBords are good, so are cradled birch panels
    • NO CANVAS BOARDS OR STRETCHED CANVAS, NO MASONITE, NO PLYWOOD, NOTHING GESSOED WITH ACRYLIC GESSO
  • Bottled water, snacks and lunch
  • Appropriate attire and a great attitude: long hair tied back in ponytail, no flip flops, avoid loose-fitting “flowy” clothes.  Be prepared to learn and have fun!

For each workshop you will be supplied with:

  • R&F Encaustic Paint:  I have a rainbow array of colors that you can use.  This includes metallics.  If you see a color that you like in my collection I am more than happy to get it melted for you.
  • R&F Encaustic Medium:  I’ve got the medium melted and ready to go!
  • Apron
  • Tools:  Brushes, incising tools, scrapers, rubber tools, scissors, etc….
  • 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.

Egress
24″ x 72″

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.

I am always available to answer questions so please e-mail me!


Foundation & Lab Workshops

INTRO TO ENCAUSTIC

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.

1-DAY WORKSHOP
In this 1-day workshop we will be covering the basics of encaustic painting including information about materials, tools, safety and studio set-up.  We will not be working towards a “completed painting” in this workshop; the emphasis will be on familiarizing ourselves with the application of the wax by creating multiple sample boards.  In addition to having painted a handful of encaustic creations, you will walk away with an understanding of why this medium is so alluring (and I warn you, addicting!)

BRING TO CLASS:
(4) 6 x 6 or 5 x 7 EncausticBords or prepared-encaustic-gessoed wood panels
(1) EncausticBords either 8 x 8 or 8 x 10 or prepared-encaustic-gessoed wood panels

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.

1-DAY WORKSHOP
The Deluxe Encaustic Lab is a 3-hour block of time so you can focus, practice and paint.  This lab is uninstructed however I will be present in case you have a question or two.  This lab is designed to be a V.I.P. experience limited to only 5 participants.   Just show up with your panels and any special/specific supplies you want to work with.  The space will be ready for you to jump in!

So what do you need to bring?
Panels:  I encourage small-scale projects since the lab is 3 hours.  Really use this time to focus on a few pieces rather than a lot of pieces.  I suggest panels around 5 x 5 up to 8 x 10 in size.  However if you feel like you can get results in that time frame on a larger panel such as 11 x 14 or 12 x 16 I can facilitate the extra wax for an additional “Golden Ticket” materials fee (read below).  This fee would also be applied to multiple pours as well.  Basically any max-wax usage.
Specialty supplies: bring your own collage papers, inclusions, drawing materials, special tools or anything specific to your project.

The Deluxe Encaustic Lab $100 “Golden Ticket” (because you know sometimes you need to treat yourself):
Gain a half-hour of work-time
PLUS the use of a 16 x 16 R&F Heated Palette.  This is GREAT if you want to practice color mixing
Max-Wax usage:  Work up to 16 x 20 and practice pours. (e-mail me to reserve your Golden Ticket as this is very limited)

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.

2-DAY WORKSHOP
The sculptural and tactile quality of encaustic is undeniably alluring.  This 2-day workshop will open the door to the many ways of integrating texture, incision and pattern into your encaustic paintings.  You will learn how to successfully use stencils and how to customize the outcome so your artwork is unique.  In addition to textural surface manipulation you will also learn how to achieve the coveted ultra-smooth encaustic surface!  The basics of encaustic painting will be discussed as well such as information about materials, tools, safety and studio set-up.  We will not be working towards a “completed painting” in this workshop; the emphasis will be on familiarizing ourselves with the application of the wax by creating multiple sample boards.

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.

2-DAY WORKSHOP
Encaustic is an amazing technique that uses pigmented beeswax manipulated by heat tools to create works of art. “Encaustic In-Depth: Mixed Media” is an excellent gateway workshop into this versatile medium.  We will be covering the basics of encaustic painting including information about materials, tools, safety and studio set-up.  Over the course of this 2-day workshop we will create multiple sample boards in order to practice and showcase the application of wax and mixed-media.  I emphasize we will not be working towards a “completed painting” in this workshop.  Multiple lecture/demos will be given throughout the workshop along with plenty of practice time.

The addition of mixed media will focus on:
Image transfers
Mark-making with: ink, charcoal & graphite
Pastels
Pigment Sticks

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.

1-DAY WORKSHOP
The visual movement of encaustic is undeniably alluring, and yes, addicting.  By pairing it’s natural “controlled chaos” with the precision of ink and imagery you can create whole new levels of detail in your encaustic artwork.  This 1-day workshop goes beyond the basic introduction to the encaustic medium.  The emphasis of this workshop is to learn how to integrate India ink and image transfers into your encaustic paintings to make them more personal.  India ink is a wonderful way to bring your own brushstrokes, writing, and line work into your encaustic painting.   You will also learn how to successfully apply toner-based image transfers and how to control the torch so the images remain intact.  We will not be working towards a “completed painting” in this workshop; the emphasis will be on familiarizing ourselves with the application of the wax and ink techniques by creating multiple sample boards.

BRING TO CLASS:
(4) 6 x 6 or 5 x 7 EncausticBords or prepared-encaustic-gessoed wood panels
(1) EncausticBord either 8 x 8 or 8 x 10 or prepared-encaustic-gessoed wood panels

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.

1-DAY WORKSHOP
The visual movement of encaustic is undeniably alluring, and yes, addicting.  By pairing it’s natural “controlled chaos” with the exciting layering effects of collage paper and fabric inclusions you can create whole new levels of color, pattern and dimension in your encaustic artwork.  This 1-day workshop goes beyond the basic introduction to the encaustic medium.  The emphasis of this workshop is to learn how to integrate collage paper, tissue paper and various fabrics safely into your encaustic paintings to make them more personal.  We will discuss the effect of UV light on paper inclusions and how to make paper choices that will allow your artwork to last.  You will also learn how to control the torch (yes, we will be using fire!) so the collage papers remain intact.  We will not be working towards a “completed painting” in this workshop; the emphasis will be on familiarizing ourselves with the application of the wax and collage techniques by creating multiple sample boards.  

BRING TO CLASS:
(4) 6 x 6 or 5 x 7 EncausticBords or prepared-encaustic-gessoed wood panels
(1) EncausticBord either 8 x 8 or 8 x 10 or prepared-encaustic-gessoed wood panels

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!

2-DAY WORKSHOP
This 2-day workshop is not to be missed!  Learn basic encaustic mono-printing techniques to create expressive, dynamic and exciting artworks!  Over the course of 2-days students will learn how to safely set up an encaustic mono-printing workstation as well as how to use specialty materials such as barens, squeegees and rubber tools.  We will use a mix of professional R&F encaustic paint as well as Enkaustikos Hot Sticks (AWESOME with printing).  Printmaking papers and specialty papers will also be discussed..  As an additional bonus students will also have the opportunity to experiment with a small variety of inks for added effect including Sumi ink, India ink and a little something special 😉  All students will have access to their own heated palette and will be able to pull full-sized prints (22″ x 30″) on the second day using a larger-than-life professional encaustic palette.
Encaustic mono-printing is a wonderful way to loosen up and think outside the box. Take this opportunity to fall in love with this HOT printing process and create a beautiful assortment encaustic artworks!
Oh yes…all materials are included!
(If you use all of the included papers you have permission to bring or purchase extra)

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.

2-DAY WORKSHOP
This 2-day workshop will showcase how to achieve depth, detail and dimension by building up translucent layers.  You will learn the range and potential of using the most basic color palettes:  Black & White.  Lectures and demonstrations will be given throughout the workshop on how to finesse your layering technique.  Learn how to build a strong compositional foundation in order to accomplish a balanced and powerful encaustic painting.  This workshop is limited to only four students so you will have plenty of one-on-one support.  We will not be working towards a “completed painting” in this workshop; the emphasis will be on familiarizing ourselves with the application of the wax by creating multiple sample boards.  In addition to having painted a handful of encaustic creations, you will gain a better understanding of how to take your art to the next level.

What you will learn from this workshop:
When and how to use white
How to control translucency to create depth
Fine-tune your fuse
The power of pure encaustic medium
Successfully layering techniques
Create texture affects that work

BRING TO CLASS:
(4 – 6 ) 6 x 6 or 5 x 7 EncausticBords or prepared-encaustic-gessoed wood panels
(2) EncausticBords either 8 x 8 or 8 x 10 or prepared-encaustic-gessoed wood panels

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.

2-DAY WORKSHOP
Yes!  This is the workshop where we will be working towards one final painting!  The composition will be simple so you will have the opportunity to explore the nuances of working large without getting over complicated.  As for inspiration you may absolutely come with an idea – I encourage you to keep it simple.  I will be demonstrating a very basic composition – a tree in a field. We will be using a limited muted color palette and working with larger brushes.  This is the class we’re we dive further into composition and layering to create depth.  We will practice more translucent layering for softness as well.  Here are the 5 specialty colors we will be using (they are delicious…):
Olive Yellow
Cerulean Grey
Blue Ochre
Green Gold Ex. Pale
Titanium White

In class we are going to practice fusing BIG.    There is a big difference when you start working in larger formats so we will be getting comfortable with starting large pieces.  Getting that perfect surface large scale is a challenge and we will get that under our belts…

What you will learn from this workshop:
Color mixing:   Learn how to mix your own colors instead of painting straight from the “tube”
Transparent & opaque layering:  We will practice how to achieve layers of depth – one of the most alluring aspects of encaustic art.
Fusing UPRIGHT:  YES!  It IS possible!
Creating a cohesive composition:  Move past the melted rainbow tie-die backgrounds!   We will discuss how to bring all the elements together into a painting that works.

BRING TO CLASS:
(1) cradled birch panel (American Easel brand recommended)
You have your choice of panel size – here are some size examples:  24 x 24 / 18 x24 / 12 x 36 / 24 x 30.

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.

3-DAY WORKSHOP
This 3-day workshop will showcase how to simplify the human portrait.  We will practice color mixes using a limited color palette of 3 colors – yes, three!  Within these color mixes we will explore combinations on how to create mid-tones, shadows and highlights.  In-depth lectures and demonstrations will be given throughout the workshop on how to finesse color mixing and layering techniques.  Learn how to build a strong structural foundation by focusing on facial planes.  We will use our color mix reference to paint a simplified human portrait. This workshop is limited to only three students so you will have plenty of one-on-one support.  Even though we will be working towards a “completed portrait” the emphasis will be on familiarizing ourselves with how to build up layers using purposeful color mixes in order to depict facial structure.  Yes, this workshop focuses on encaustic portraiture, however the techniques and practices you will learn are applicable to all subject matters in encaustic art.  You will absolutely gain a better understanding of how to take your art to the next level.
Let me emphasize: we will be working towards a completed portrait NOT a museum-worthy masterpiece. We have complete permission to scrape our boards and re-set!

What you will learn from this workshop:
How to simplify a portrait!
Understanding how to read and translate facial planes
Create portrait colors from a limited color palette
Successful layering techniques focusing on shadows, mid-tones and highlights
When and how to use “white”
How to control translucency to create depth
Fine-tune your fuse

BRING TO CLASS:
(3) 11 x 14 EncausticBord or pre-encaustic-gessoed wood panels
At least (1) 6 x 6 EncausticBord or pre-encaustic-gessoed wood panel
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