Saturday, July 27, 2019

Encaustic Gesso or Milk Paint

I like starting my paintings on a white surface. It is not necessary if you have a quality board and intend to use plenty of rich encaustic colors.
Here is an encaustic painting that I started on a birch panel with just a base coat of clear encaustic medium
I have used the specialized encaustic gesso and it is good, but since I can't buy it here in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico and the shipping cost is as high or higher than the price of the product, I started using milk paint for white surfaces about 9 years ago. I can buy that from the Old Fashioned Milk Company and have that shipped here. Since it comes in powder form, the weight is much less than the encaustic gesso; therefore less money.

About 9 some disparaging responses; giving me all the reasons that it would not work. The main derogatory comments came from someone who sells encaustic gesso.
I proved her wrong during the last 9 years. The milk paint surface is perfect. It is non-toxic, pure and receives the encaustic paint beautifully. The major complaint was that it would not keep and would turn into a smelly mess in a couple of days. Well, I just mix up the milk paint powder in water for the amount I will use. On the occasion that I have left over paint. I cover and refrigerate it.

Applying the white milk paint to a board.

I prepare all the boards in my encaustic workshops with the white milk paint, so the students can just start applying the encaustic paint.

For the "Lightness of Being Series" I always start on a white surface. The absorbent milk paint is a perfect base for the watercolor washes and diluted ink shapes. This is the result of the first couple of days of abstract washes.

Here is the diptych I finished this week. It won't be part of the gallery show that opens August 3, but maybe next month. The panels can be sold separately as complete paintings.

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