recent paintings and news

recent paintings and news

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The truth about Cold Wax & upcoming workshops

Upcoming Workshops:

Exploring the Surface: Painting with oil & cold wax

Whether using a brush, drawing, scratching, scraping, rubbing or employing knife techniques, this ancient medium fosters versatility. Its translucent qualities allow light to penetrate into the paint surface, emphasizing rich and vibrant colour, depth and tone. 

Texture, movement and fluidity can easily be achieved via working with cold wax, oil paint and drawing materials and I will share techniques and tools used with this lush painting medium. Recommended for artists with some painting experience.    

The Truth About Cold Wax


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 and ship throughout Canada, the US and the UK..

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. 


350 grams: 20.

1 Litre: 40.

Payment can be made securely online via paypal. Shipping throughout Canada, US and Europe via Canada Post or expedited via UPS. Please contact for shipping fees.


  1. Just completed an amazing workshop with Jan which I have been procrastinating on for too long!!!! I really was able to process some inner thoughts and ideas by working them into a piece that we did in Encaustic and collage. I recomend EVERYONE take this class!!
    Gary T. Kelly

    1. Oh and I forgot, my best friend Arlene gave this to me as a birthday gift so it's like a double gift. The experience and knowledge of the class and then you take away your finished piece.....I loved it, Thank you again Arlene for a wonderful gift of the experience of Art with Jan!!!

    2. Gary I am just seeing this now!!!! thank you so much for your kind words! you and Arlene are an inspiration-and happy belated birthday!!!!