Encaustic painting, also known as hot wax painting, involves using a medium composed of beeswax and damar resin to which colored pigments are added. The heated wax is then applied to a surface - usually wood. Each layer is fused with a heat gun or torch
The word encaustic originates from the Greek word enkaustikos which means to burn in, and this element of heat is necessary for a painting to be called encaustic.
This technique was notably used in the Fayum mummy portraits from Egypt around 100–300 AD, in the Blachernitissa and other early icons, as well as in many works of 20th-century North American artists, including Jasper Johns, Tony Scherman, Mark Perlman, and Fernando Leal Audirac.
Encaustic art has seen a resurgence in popularity since the 1990s with people using electric irons, hotplates and heated stylus on different surfaces including card, paper and even pottery. The iron makes producing a variety of artistic patterns easier. The medium is not limited to just simple designs; it can be used to create complex paintings, just as in other media such as oil. Although technically difficult to master, attractions of this medium for contemporary artists are its dimensional quality and luminous color.