So many times when I am teaching encaustic, students forget about using value in their paintings. I think that is what happens when we see all the encaustic colors, melt them in their respective paint pots and never have them mix together. We don’t melt a pot of black and white along with the colors. The set up is different than other mediums

If I was painting in my oils, whether I am painting an abstract or representational painting, I would be opening up my white, black, yellow, blue and red tubes of paint and mixing on my palette to achieve my colors. For some reason, in every class I have ever taken with encaustic, it is all about the process of making texture, mark making, fusing and all the other stuff. Since the medium has a process, we get caught up in the process. But we forget about color theory and the use of value. I know, for many, we want to take a class and get started. It is so important to learn that Value is Valuable. I have made plenty of paintings that maybe only had 3 colors, and that is fine. There is a place for limited palettes.

I also notice that when I mix my encaustic wax right onto my palette, as opposed to melting in pots, my work is different and I work differently. By working directly on the palette, I find myself mixing colors. Must be an old habit from earlier years of oil painting. Either way, I have to remember that I need to add black and white on my palette so I can make hues and shades, so I can create value in my paintings.

#encausticwax #colortheory #learntopaint