Also known as hot wax painting, involves using heated beeswax to which colored pigments are added. The liquid or paste is then applied to a surface—usually prepared wood, though canvas and other materials are often used. The simplest encaustic mixture can be made from adding pigments to beeswax, but there are several other recipes that can be used—some containing other types of waxes, damar resin, linseed oil, or other ingredients. Pure, powdered pigments can be used, though some mixtures use oil paints or other forms of pigment.
Metal tools and special brushes can be used to shape the paint before it cools, or heated metal tools can be used to manipulate the wax once it has cooled onto the surface. Today, tools such as heat lamps, heat guns, and other methods of applying heat allow artists to extend the amount of time they have to work with the material. Because wax is used as the pigment binder, encaustics can be sculpted as well as painted. Other materials can be encased or collaged into the surface, or layered, using the encaustic medium to stick them to the surface.
The works Gerwald makes are produced with photoshop, from various images, from multiple sources. Layers upon layers are stacked upon each other. Then the piece is printed using a high quality lambda printer, de print is produced by exposing light sensitive material with RGB laser light which is then developed through the relevant chemical process. So it is printed with light and not with ink. The print is mounted on top of wood, and on this substrate hot wax is melted, and shaped in reaction to the image. Because of this production method no one work is identical. The digital encausitic joins the ancient art of wax painting, with digital creation of the present day. These final steps are important for bringing the piece to life, melting hot wax on a pristine print, feeling as if you are destroying it, but through this action, creating a texture which is even more lively and more unique, giving the piece the attention and creativity spark it needs.