About George O'Hanlon

George O'Hanlon is technical director of Natural Pigments and executive director of Iconofile, an nonprofit educational organization dedicated to promoting understanding of sacred art. George received his fine arts education and apprenticeship in Mexico. Upon his return to the United States, he worked as art director and then creative director for advertising agencies in Silicon Valley, working on such major accounts as Sony, Hewlett-Packard and Ricoh. He then established a marketing communications firm that was later acquired by the Japanese chemical giant, Shin-Etsu, where we was retained as president of U.S. marketing operations. In 1992, he left this post to study traditional art techniques and then in 2001, he founded Natural Pigments and Iconofile to promote an understanding of these techniques among contemporary artists. Since that time he has formulated hundreds of artists paints and materials, including Ceracolors, a water-soluble wax paint.

Ceracolors Featured in The Artist’s Magazine

The Artist's Magazine December 2015Ceracolors is featured in the December 2015 issue of The Artist’s Magazine, in the front-cover feature Cold Encaustic! Ceracolors does not require heat, solvents or mediums. Ceracolors share properties with traditional waterborne paint that makes it instantly familiar to painters, but it also has unique characteristics and advantages of its own. Ceracolors is an alternative to artists who do not want the fumes and heat of encaustic paint. Multimedia artists love this new medium that can be used with acrylics, watercolors, gouache, tempera and encaustic paint.

Kim Flora, an artist accustomed to working with (hot) encaustic tries Natural Pigments water-soluble (cold) wax paints, Ceracolors—and discovers something unexpected.

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Creation of a Fayum Portrait

Creation of a Fayum Portrait

Creation of a Fayum Portrait

Santa Fe artist Francisco Benitez shows how he recreates an ancient Fayum or ‘mummy’ portrait using Ceracolors-a new water-soluble wax paint by Natural Pigments.

George O’Hanlon and Tatiana Zaytseva recently gave their Best Painting Practices workshop in Santa Fe, New Mexico and at the end of the workshop I did a demo for them with their new Ceracolors line of cold wax paints. These are probably the closest approximation to the ancient waxes of antiquity. With George and Tania’s urging, I documented the creation of this imaginary portrait.

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Candice Bohannon Paints with Ceracolors

California artist, Candice Bohannon, demonstrates how she uses Ceracolors to paint a small nude figure. Although Candice is an oil painter, her first attempt using Ceracolors results in a masterful study. Candice finds that using Ceracolors, whether one is an oil or water-media painter, is intuitive and familiar to the artist. Click on the video to see how she uses it.

Marcus Gannuscio paints portraits

Marcus Gannuscio Portrait

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.
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A Brief History of Encaustic and Wax Painting

Fayum PortraitEncaustic 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.”

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What is Ceracolors?

Ceracolors Water-Soluble Wax PaintIt’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.
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