Encaustic – Resources

Artist Pigment Sticks, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.

I thought it might be a good idea to list some of the resources I use for my encaustic painting. Of those reading this, at least a few of you out there (*waves*) probably live in a town with few (if any) options for art supplies. Encaustics are even a bit trickier than generic “art supplies” as the supplies for encaustics are quite specific. We need particular things when we need them, for example, and often encaustic painters cannot substitute. Because of this, I do tend to rely upon mail order quite a bit, even though I am lucky enough to live in Austin where there are a few “true” art supply options. Places like Jerry’s Art-a-rama make for easy (well easier) supply runs. Having said that, I prefer to have both a local source and a mail-order crack deal..I mean, um, “art supply house” (yeah, that’s it. :~)

So, here are some options if you are getting into encaustics and want to happen upon some supplies.

I use Ampersand Art boards for supports (these are like what canvas is to “regular” painters.) You can get these at Dick Blick’s. They are an Austin-based company that makes very nice art boards. I use mostly Encausticboards, though I have been known to use Hardboard (you can prime it yourself, using Encaustic primer, also available from Blick’s.) I also use wooden painting panels, especially when working with things like plaster, since there is no reason to use a primed board if you are only going to plaster over it.

Speaking of plaster, I get my plaster supplies at Home Depot, along with hog hair brushes (these are the cheap “chip” style brushes they sell in the paint department.) I also get rubber gloves and most (if any) solvents there (since these cannot easily be shipped.)

I use mostly R&H handmade paints, using both the pigment sticks that you see here and the encaustic paints that you don’t. I recommend getting an R&F color chart and using it to help you pick out the colors you want. Encaustic paint is expensive, clocking in at over $20 a bar (yes, it comes in “bars” like soap. And, um, drunks I guess.) It’s worth the money though, so I like to not skimp on the quality of my paint.

For frames, I use pictureframes.com and I prefer the wooden floater frames. These are suitable for canvas and come in different depths to support different canvas sizes or different board sizes. I prefer to use cradled boards, and I tend to use and inch or inch and a half cradle for the board, because it makes it a bit easier to frame in the floater frames.

Daniel Smith also has a nice supply of artist brushes. You can use Hake brushes for encaustics and they sell those, along with the Ampersand art boards and some other supplies. I really like their in-house paint as well, so I tend to use their watercolor paints if I need to go that route.

For pastels, since I also dabble as a pastelist, I prefer to use Schmincke soft pastels and sometimes NuPastels. You can get Schmincke’s from Dick Blick’s or also Dakota Art Pastels. NuPastels are readily available from a bunch of outlets too-I’ve even seen them sold at Office Depot (of all places.)

Some of the other suppliers that I use include:
B&H photo-for many of my photo-related items, plus also framing options, printers, etc.
Daniel Smith-for paints, pigments, brushes, tins for printmaking, Ampersand art boards, watercolor paper, and R&F paints.
R&F Paints-for paints, primers, medium, and pigment sticks.
Dick Blick-for paints, Ampersand art boards, pigment sticks, brushes, and more.
Dakota Art Pastels-for pastels and papers
Amazon.com-has an increasing supply of encaustic tools and medium for sale.
Pictureframes.com-for canvas floater frames (suitable for Ampersand art boards as well) and matte board

I’ll try to add to this list as I supplement my source of suppliers. In the meantime, I hope this helps those of you out there who are just getting started or who maybe don’t have a good local source for supplies.

Until next time…


  1. Great Grandma Lin
    January 9, 2012 / 3:35 am

    Well i'm not into encaustics but it's interesting to hear of the process. I just discover zentangle and love it. Am taking a class now on it.

  2. Carol
    January 10, 2012 / 1:53 pm

    Sounds like fun. Encaustics are a wonderful medium, unfortunately they really don't teach much of it in art schools so we have to learn on our own.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *