Marcus Gannuscio demonstrates portrait painting technique with Ceracolors
Marcus Gannuscio demonstrated Ceracolors as an alternative to traditional paints at a recent workshop sponsored by Muse Art and Design in Portland, Oregon. He demonstrated the technique using Ceracolors by painting a portrait with a grisaille as the underpainting. Marcus then guided students through the advantages, properties and techniques of Ceracolors water-soluble wax paint, allowing them to complete a painting in this new medium during the workshop.
Encaustic paint consists of pigments mixed with hot, melted wax. It is melted and applied as a liquid or paste to a support—usually primed wood, though canvas and other materials are often used.
The simplest encaustic paint is made by adding pigments to beeswax, but there are many other recipes that include other types of waxes, resins, linseed oil or other ingredients. Metal tools and special brushes are used to shape the paint before it cools, or heated metal tools can be used to manipulate the wax once it has solidified.
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.”
It’s not often that a brand-new fine art medium comes along. Ceracolors is a new artist-grade paint made from quality pigments in a water-soluble wax binder. Although made from wax, Ceracolors are not encaustic paints in that they do not require heat or solvents to use.
Ceracolors share properties with traditional media that will make them instantly familiar to painters, but they also have unique characteristics and advantages of their own. When thinned with water, Ceracolors easily disperse to produce vibrant watercolor effects. They can be applied in opaque layers much like acrylic or gouache. Because the paints dry and set quickly, transparent glazes can be built up without long waiting times between layers. In a finished painting, the colors have a rich, matte appearance and a durable finish.
At this year’s Art Materials World, organized by NAMTA in Pittsburgh, NAMTA judges awarded Special Recognition to Natural Pigments for their Ceracolors Display. Receiving the award are (pictured above left to right) Anton O’Hanlon, Artefex Sales Director; George O’Hanlon and Tatiana Zaytseva, Natural Pigments directors.