A photo of encaustic wax pans

Starting Point

Pencil Sketch of Encaustic Wax Pans

I am working on Creative Workbench Encaustic Wax Pans.  This new Creative Workbench features an encaustic artist painting bench.  If you are not familiar with encaustic paintings, they are paintings made with hot colored blend of beeswax.  The wax is painted or dripped onto the surface and built up in layers.  It is a fascinating medium provided intriguing results.  The artist workbench is from Shary Bartlett, and she graciously is allowing me to use her reference photo.  


In order to preserve the white or light highlights on the pans, I put mastic fluid everywhere that should remain white.  That shows up on the image as a teal blue tint.  Once that was dried, I used a neutral tint paint to define the areas of shadow.  This underpainting will help the color appear darker and create contrast.


With the underpainting in place, it was time to add color.  I started by adding thin layers of color, this would still be considered light values.  Later I will move into mid-tone values, but you will have to check later to see how this project progress.  I will add new images of the progress over time. Light color added to original watercolor painting of encaustic wax pans


Original in-process Watercolor painting of colored hot wax paint trays

I am about midway with this project.  I have defined some of the upper background and the brushes.  I was having a hard time with pan boundaries so I removed the mastic fluid and now I can see the white areas I want to save.  

White areas are very important with watercolor, you have to preserve them at the beginning because you can’t add white back later.  There are a few tricks to removing paint, but it is always better to preserve white first.

I plan on defining this creative work space encaustic wax pans on the rest of the painting and giving the brushes more definition, then we shall see about the table they are setting on.


Almost Finished

Original watercolor of the hot wax pans from and encaustic painting studio.

This will be my final posting of the Creative Workbench Encaustic Wax Pans.  It is almost done but there will be detail improvements and some background coloring which will need consideration.

I will be displaying all my Creative Workbenches in a live show October of 2022, but subscribers will be provided sneak peaks of the finished work as they are created.  

Sneak Peak Of Final Painting

 If you would like to have a sneak peak of the my other Creative Workbenches, Subscribe to my email list and you will receive regular updates.


7 thoughts on “Creative Workbench In-Progress: Encaustic Wax Pans

  1. Pat Seidel says:

    Katherine – it not only looks great, it looks real. Can’t wait for your gallery show in October of 2022. It is going to be amazing!

    • I am glad you enjoyed watching the process. It is a little intimidating sharing along the way because some of the stages are not all that pretty and paintings go through ugly stages, but I am sure you will love the finished product.

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