For those who are starting with any new art method, the available tools and material options can be a little daunting. My advice is to start with the basics. While all of the tools below are helpful, not all of these are required for the aspiring encaustic artist. At a minimum, I would suggest you choose one heating pan (either a hot plate, electric griddle or skillet) with a variable temperature control, a heat gun, and a few 2″ to 4″ flat natural bristle brushes. The heating pan is what you will use to melt your wax. If you want to use a variety of colors at once, either the hot plate or less expensive electric griddle, will be your best options. If you plan to use mostly clear encaustic and/or want to prepare your own medium, I would recommend the electric skillet. Of course you will also need the materials for your individual project (photo, encaustic medium, mounting board and mounting adhesive). A full list of the tools and materials used for each project will be included in the indiviual project videos.

The links below will take you to either Blick Art Supplies or Amazon. I have been using Blick for practically all of my online specialty art supplies for years. If I need something that can’t be found at Blick (usually for tools that have non-art specific applications) then Amazon is my next go-to supplier. If your budget is a concern, see notes below for suggestions on some money saving alternatives and tips.

Electric Skillet

Presto 06852 16-Inch Electric Skillet with Glass Cover

This kitchen appliance is one of the most-used tools in my studio. It is great for those who would like to save money in the long run by preparing their own encaustic medium. It is also great for holding and maintaining the correct temperature for your encaustic medium when you are building up those beautiful, translucent layers on your artwork. For more information and recommendations check out this article: Encaustic Tools from the Kitchen. And, check out my video to see how I mix up my own encaustic medium: Encaustic Medium Prep

Hot Plate

R&ampF Hot Plates and Palette Cups, Hot Plate, 12&quot x 12&quot

R&F Hot Plate, 12" x 12" (01112-1212)

This provides a warm, flat surface that can be used as a palette for blending your encaustic paints directly on the surface or you can use it to heat up individual trays of encaustic paint in your favorite colors. When blending directly on the surface, the light-colored aluminum surface makes it easy to see the color of your paints.

Electric Griddle

Presto 23" Electric Griddle
This handy device was designed as a cooking surface for grilling food, but works perfectly as a less-expensive hot plate option for the encaustic studio. You can use it to heat small containers of individual wax colors or melt wax directly onto the surface for use as a hot palette. The dark non-stick surface makes it a little tougher to see the true colors of any encaustic paint on the surface, and the temperature is a little harder to control than the art studio version but if your budget is a priority, this is a great option (and as usual there are always a few tricks to work around the issues). 

Heat Gun

R&ampF Hot Air Gun

R&F Hot Air Gun (01106-1011)
Use to fuse your layers of encaustic medium. Another fusing tool option is a propane torch, and that is a great option for those who are comfortable using torches. However my recommendation to those who are encaustic newbies is to go for a hot air/heat gun instead.

Hake Brushes

R&ampF Encaustic Hake Brushes

R&F Encaustic Hake Brushes (06984-1025)

Ideal for creating smooth, even washes of wax, every brush is made of soft, natural goat hair that won't scorch or melt when exposed to heat.

Hot Stylus Pen

Encaustic Art Stylus Low Heat Tool for Wax

While I wouldn't consider this an encaustic studio staple, it is a handy little tool to have if you want to be able to apply encaustic paint with the precision of a pen or fine paintbrush.

Cost Saving Tips:

A couple of the products on this page are specialty art tools that have been designed to meet the needs of artists. However, there are a couple of cost-effective substitutes you may want to consider. Check out this article on Encaustic Tools from the Kitchen for my personal favorites.

You might already have a heat gun in your workshop or garage (this is often used to remove paint). And you might already have an electric skillet or pancake griddle in your cupboard (but remember, once you use this for your art, you won’t want to go back to using it in the kitchen). Since both of these items were designed for household use, they should be easy to find and you may even be able to track down then down at a garage sale or on the discount shelf of your local hardware or home goods store.

IMPORTANT NOTE! This page contains Blick and Amazon affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same, but Gravity Arts, LLC will receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated!

Most of the Amazon items above are eligible for free shipping through Amazon Prime. If you order a lot online, (or like the added benefit of free streaming videos) this is definitely something to consider. To get information on their free 30 day trial click here .