Here are my favorite encaustic books by contemporary artists and each one is a revelation whenever I open the cover. I can just see these books under the tree in every encaustic artist’s home!
Mattera, Joanne. The Art of Encaustic Painting. New York: Watson-Guptill Publications 2001. With beautifully reproduced photos of encaustic art, both by Joanne and other well-known artists, this book is visual catnip. Her tutorials are simple and easy to follow. But mostly it’s the wonder of this infinite material that comes across in this book–and Joanne’s own conviction that anything is possible. The Art of Encaustic Painting: Contemporary Expression in the Ancient Medium of Pigmented Wax
Rankin, Lissa. Encaustic Art: The Complete Guide to Creating Fine Art with Wax. New York: Watson-Guptill Publications, 2010. This is the most comprehensive text on encaustic tequniques I’ve yet seen. Lissa offers fully illustrated tutorials on support construction–in great detail. Lissa interviews various other artists as they demonstrate encaustic tricks and techniques in a way that reminds you that everyone does it differently, gets different results, and it’s all good. I haven’t tried her recipe for encaustic medium as it rivals Pliny the Elder in length of time to completion. Pay close attention to her chapters on wax resist–very interesting. Encaustic Art: The Complete Guide to Creating Fine Art with Wax
Seggebruch, Patricia Baldwin. Encaustic Workshop: Artistic Techniques for Working with Wax. Cincinnati, Ohio: North Light Books. 2009. This book takes you through the steps chapter by chapter, from setting up your tools, fusing, incising, collage, image transfers, non-traditional treatments, framing ideas and inspiration for great art. I like the close up photos and the no-fuss way the author presents her ideas. This is probably the most user-friendly book for beginners, and I really wished I had a copy when I was first starting out. Encaustic Workshop: Artistic Techniques for Working with Wax
Woolf, Daniella. The Encaustic Studio: a wax workshop in mixed media art. Loveland, Colorado: Interweave, Inc. 2012. Daniella Woolf presents a comprehensive and authoritative guide to studio practice and technique. Her chapters on image transfer are the best I’ve seen. Her techniques and work habits are wonderfully described, and I especially appreciate her chapters on safety and studio prep. The Encaustic Studio: A Wax Workshop in Mixed-Media Art