I took this workshop back in February. Taught by Francisco Benitez, he introduced us to the history of encaustics painting. Encaustic painting were first discovered among the Egyptians and Greeks artists. Egyptians used encaustics for their Fayum portrait paintings for tombs and Greeks for their paintings on ships.
In this workshop, Benitz introduced encaustic portrait painting. We worked from a live model. First did a quick sketch to determine composition, and shadows/light patterns then we laid in a pencil outline of the model on a canvas panel.
The colors are heated; we used the 4 colors that the ancient Greeks and Egyptians used – white, black, red and yellow ochre. Sound familiar? Zorn! Two piles are created – reddish tone for shadows and the yellowish tone for lights.
The wax color is either painted on with the heated blow gun keeping it melted enough to spread. Or the color is brushed on and then heated with the blow gun to fused the wax color to the bottom layer. A heated tool is provided for detail. Bristle brushes are used instead of synthetic so they do not melt.
Photo references in my FB fanpage shows how Benitz worked when painting his portraits.