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  • Writer's pictureEleanor Crook

New wax painting class online with me begins 11 July , here's the details! With the wonderful @morbidanatomy.....

The Ancient Art of Hot and Cold Encaustic: Studio Painting Workshop with Wax Artist Eleanor Crook, Beginning July 11


Class prices from $145.00



4 week, 7 session class taught online via zoom


Lectures: Thursdays, July 11 , 18, 25 and August 1Informal Group Studio Session: Tuesdays, July 16, 23 and 30 6pm – 8pm ET ( 11pm – 1am UK time)


PLEASE NOTE* All classes will be recorded for those who cannot attend live. This course has required materials and equipment, some from particular suppliers. Students will need these materials for the first class. See list below for details.

Join Eleanor Crook—wax sculptor, painter and museum restorer—to learn four methods of using wax as a painting medium!

Wax is a fascinating, rare and versatile medium in painting. It offers translucency, texture, sculptability and an endless possibility for colour combinations. It is also one of the most ancient media, known from archaeology to be long-lasting and mysterious in its capacity to cheat time… and even volcanoes! The wax paintings we see on the walls of Pompeiian villas and the faces of Hellenistic Egyptian mummy cases bear witness to its ability to transcend time and cultures.




Wax is also somewhat underused as a contemporary medium. The Pompeiian secrets were lost for centuries, and only rediscovered in the 1970s, while its Bas-Relief uses in portraiture have been neglected since the wax portrait miniatures of the 18th century.

Over this four week, seven session experimental course, Eleanor will present illustrated talks about the history and methods of the use of wax in painting from ancient times to the present. She will also share her experience of using and mixing many kinds of wax to create realistic and expressive surface effects, and guide you to experiment with and personalise it for your own art practice. Along the way, expect to see newly discovered wall paintings from Pompeii, like this Silenus, follower of Bacchus:



be introduced to some of the few contemporary artists working with the media, and hear speculations about how statues might have been painted in the Ancient World. Because wax painting is a path less trodden, there are many discoveries waiting to be made!


The four methods we will work with:

  • Hot Wax Encaustic: combining melted beeswax with raw pigments and using them, while still hot, to paint small panel paintings, even collaging your images, photos, and small objects into them.

  • Cold Wax Water Soluble Encaustic:  a mixture rediscovered from the ancient world that makes it possible to use wax as a mural or large-scale medium, soluble with water, that can be used thick or thin, as they were for mummy portraits and Roman murals.

  • Cold Wax Medium with Oil Paint: a textured and translucent medium that changes the working qualities of oils and makes them smearable, sculptable, pliable, atmospheric and delicious.

  • Wax Bas Relief with Colors: like the 18th century wax cameo portraits, a little low relief sculpture with lifelike colors.


The classes and group studio sessions will form a kind of online laboratory in which we will work together to find out what effects we can achieve with these unusual processes, some recently rediscovered. Bring your curiosity and prepare for some material surprises and transparent ghostly images; there will be mess, mystery, alchemy and deliquescence.

Please Note: Required materials and equipment list below. You will very likely need to get the optimum equipment, from the specified providers, rather than improvising, and have your material in hand by the time the course begins. The teacher will cover materials handling and health and safety, as some of the following materials can be hazardous.

Materials List

  • Pale beeswax OR microcrystalline wax pellets (paraffin wax and soya wax are unsuitable)

  • Your choice of oil paints (oil based, NOT water based)

  • Cold wax medium

  • Some painters’ pigment powders

  • Some water-soluble encaustic colours from either Cuní or Ceracolors

  • Some small Masonite panels, heavy paper and canvas boards

  • Turpentine

  • Hot air gun

  • An electric cooking ring or wax melter for leg waxing

  • A double pan or bain marie ideally

  • Some empty food tins or metal cups for mixing hot encaustic

  • Assortment of brushes, palette knives, etc


To book the class, click here


If you have any questions, contact me

I look forward to exploring wax painting with you!


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