How to Faux Encaustic With Acrylic Mediums by Kathy Adams

by Art Anthology

Encaustic painting consists of transparent layers of wax and can be an expensive medium to work with. I love the effects so I decided to try a faux encaustic technique using what I had on hand.


  • Vegas Gold Sorbet
  • Pixie Sorbet
  • Lemon Tart Velvet
  • Coral Sorbet
  • Mi Bella Sorbet
  • Tango Velvet
  • Tuxedo Velvet
  • 5" x 7" Deep Edge Canvas
  • Matte Medium
  • Gloss Gel Medium
  • Palette Knife
  • Instructions

    Step 1

    I used a book called Surface Treatment Workshop as a guide, which has step by step directions on how to do faux encaustic, among many other interesting mixed media techniques.

    Step 2

    To get the encaustic medium that makes the transparent layers, I experimented with varying amounts of two kinds of clear-drying mediums to create a satin finish similar to wax.

    Step 3

    Mixing equal parts of gloss and matte mediums gave me that satin finish. Adding a small amount of Vegas Gold Sorbet and Lemon Tart Velvet tinted it enough to make it look more like real wax.

    Step 4

    The idea is to create interesting layers, so I started with Tim Holtz pretty tissue paper and adhered it to my canvas using matte medium. It's important to let every layer dry completely.

    Step 5

    Mix up a good amount of faux encaustic medium and apply liberally using a palette knife. Don't worry about smoothing it out. The texture makes it more interesting. Don't forget the sides. Let dry.

    Step 6

    Apply Tuxedo Velvet through the Art Anthology Blossom stencil and clean up any edges. Clean the stencil off asap. Let dry completely.

    Step 7

    Here is how the canvas looks so far.

    Step 8

    I added a bit of Pixie Sorbet to the background for contrast and depth. Sorbets have a shimmery finish and will add some pizzaz to my background.

    Step 9

    Time for another layer of faux encaustic medium. This time I added less Vegas Gold and no Lemon Tart. Use a palette knife and spread it in a thick layer. It will look opaque, but it drys clear.

    Step 10

    Paint the blossoms with a mixture of Coral and Mi Bella Sorbet and Tango Velvet. I used a small brush and spread it thin to see the layers underneath. For deeper color, add a few layers of color.

    Step 11

    I decided to dust off one of my hoarded tools called the Hot Boss, which has interchangeable tips including letters, knives, and points that heat up. I used the letters to emboss into the background.

    Step 12

    I also used the Hot Boss tool to make marks around the edges. To bring them out, paint Tuxedo Velvet over them and let it sit there for a few minutes before wiping it off with a baby wipe.

    Step 13

    It looks bad right now, but don't worry! Art Anthology mediums are great for glazing effects! It gets into all the nooks and crannies and look really cool.

    Step 14

    A baby wipe does the job at cleaning up the excess paint. Let everything dry.

    Step 15

    I decided to make dots with the Hot Boss randomly around the flowers.

    Step 16

    I used another hoarded supply, a black oil pastel, to fill the dots. I also smeared it around for shadows.

    Step 17

    Remove any excess pastel with a baby wipe.

    Step 18

    Here is the canvas so far. Can you see the different layers? I decided to add dots of Vegas Gold and Lemon Tart to the center of the blossoms before moving on to the next step.

    Step 19

    Add another layer of faux encaustic medium and let it dry. It looks scary because it is opaque while wet, but it dries clear. It takes a few hours but overnight is best.

    Step 20

    I love that I can see all of the layers.

    Step 21

    This project was difficult to photograph but you can really see how bright the colors are in this one.

    Step 22

    I added black upholstery tacks to the sides of the canvas.

    Step 23

    Be sure to visit the Art Anthology Adventures in Art Facebook page at You can share your work there, too!

    Step 24

    Thank you for viewing my snapguide today! Check out my blog at