Singular Encaustic Panel with a Coffee Infusion

Singular FinalFrom Encaustic Painting Techniques: The Whole Ball of Wax by Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch

(This tutorial was previously published in the book Encaustic Painting Techniques: The Whole Ball of Wax by Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch, copyright 2013; republished here courtesy of

Using an 8″ × 8″ × 2″ (20cm × 20cm × 5cm) Claybord, I created this piece by combining some of my favorite techniques: sketching on Japanese silk tissue, oil glazing, incising, texturing and coffee ground inclusion. I love how the end result shows off the unique properties of the wax.


8″ × 8″ × 2″ (20cm × 20cm × 5cm) Claybord
Heat gun or other fusing tool
Japanese silk tissue
Oil paint or oil paint stick
Fine art marker
Coffee grounds
Incising tools
Metal spoon
Paper towels
Razor blade
Rubber gloves
Linseed oil (optional)

Singular Step 1

Step 1 Create sketch

1. Create a small doodle or drawing on a square of Japanese silk tissue paper. I am using a permanent marker, but you can use any art medium you choose.

Singular Step 2

Step 2 Add medium, fuse and incise

2. Brush one layer of medium over the surface to prime it, and fuse it. Let it cool. Set the drawing on a cool, primed board to establish its placement. Then add incising lines around the edges by tracing around the bowl of a spoon.

Singular Step 3

Step 3 Add oil paint

3. Remove the tissue paper drawing from the board. Squeeze out a small amount of oil paint and, wearing gloves, work it into the incised areas.

Singular Step 4

Step 4 Troubleshoot any oil stains

4. Rub off excess oil. If oil remains on the wax, use a bit of linseed oil to take it off, all the way back to just the incised lines. (Make certain you remove all the oil afterward, or it will cause the next layer of wax to resist adhesion.)

Singular Step 5

Step 5 Adhere drawing

5. Use clear medium to adhere the tissue drawing in the position you determined in step 2.

Singular Step 6

Step 6 Layer medium and fuse

6. Brush one layer over the tissue and re-fuse. Then build up several layers of medium on the board, working around the tissue to frame it in with a thicker surrounding area of medium. Re-fuse between the layers.

Singular Step 7

Step 7 Add coffee grounds to frame area

7. Once you’ve created the depth of “frame” you desire, sprinkle coffee grounds onto the still warm wax.

Singular Step 8

Step 8 Carefully fuse coffee grounds

8. Fuse the grounds to set them into the wax. Use a gentle airflow to control the wax melt and to keep the grounds from blowing away.

Singular Step 9

Step 9 Incise to define frame

9. Once the wax has cooled, give the frame area more definition by running a razor blade along the edges.

Singular Step 10

Step 10 Add oil paint to incised area

10. Lightly rub on a small amount of oil stick, just around the perimeter of the defined frame line.

Singular Step 11

Step 11 Remove excess and re-fuse

11. With a paper towel, gently remove the excess paint. Re-fuse to complete.

From Encaustic Painting Techniques: The Whole Ball of Wax by Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch, 2013; courtesy of

U6365 Encaustic_cover.inddYou can find more encaustic techniques and projects in Encaustic Painting Techniques: The Whole Ball of Wax by Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch.





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