The primary reason that I make my own cold wax medium is to ensure that I can build surfaces with up to 50% beeswax/oil ratio without the worry of it cracking. Some commercial brand wax mediums contain paraffin wax because it is inexpensive but if used on it's own, is brittle and can crack. So it is combined with another synthetic wax- petroleum based microcrystaline. This is a soft wax and very pliable, counteracting the brittleness of parrafin. Both are used as fillers in some commercial grade cold wax mediums. If you are working with a minimal amount of cold wax medium with your oil paint it works fine and is cost effective.
Along with pure natural refined beeswax I make my cold wax medium with stand, poppy or walnut oil to balance pliability and to improve blending and adhesion. I incorporate resin to varying degrees depending on the surface I will be working on and the amount I want to build up. Dammar resin is a natural resin that will add gloss and more transparency to your surface if you polish it.
I have been working with wax mediums -both encaustic and cold -for many years and it is nice to see a new interest in both. A word of caution: there is a lot of information -and mis-information-on the internet about cold wax. I advise those of you who are interested in learning how to use cold wax to take a workshop from a seasoned instructor.
If you would like more technical information about cold wax please visit:
*I have been supplying hand ground cold wax medium to local artists as well as students. In response to requests from those further afield I am now making it available to all for a reasonable price and small shipping fee.
The medium is refined to a smooth, buttery consistency. Made with natural pure unbleached beeswax-no fillers. It mixes instantly with oil colours, powdered pigments, powdered metals and graphite and is extremely versatile. Cold wax medium can be thinned for finer work or used as a paste for impasto techniques. Finished paintings can be polished to achieve a soft sheen or left matte.
*currently out of stock. I recommend trying beeswax paste by Kama Pigment
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