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"Finding Your Voice With Oil and Cold Wax"

Course Description

Artists will explore methods of creating paintings using oil paint mixed with cold wax as a medium. This process differs from encaustic wax painting in that cold wax is applied without using heat.   Applications of tube oil paints are mixed with cold wax and layered to create abstract or realistic paintings.  Scraping and carving into the layers brings interesting results.  We will experiment with textures, marks, shapes, lines, and color using a variety of tools.


About the Instructor

After retirement from teaching Mathematics for over 30 years, Kathy Elliot began her adventure engaging the right side of her brain.  Starting with watercolor and realism, she moved into abstraction with collage, acrylic, and oil and cold wax.  She has taken numerous classes and workshops both locally as well as out of state since 2007.  Her  oil and cold wax training has been with Rebecca Crowell, Lisa Pressman, Cindy Walker, and Melinda Cootsona.  Kathy's work has received awards in local as well as international exhibitions.  She continues to study and learn new techniques while trying to capture all that has eluded her and loving the surprises that come with experimentation.


Oil and Cold Wax Supply List

If you have any questions, email me!


• Assortment of oil paints – A variety of colors, some opaque, some transparent, lights and darks.  You will layer colors and not need to mix, they tend to mix on the painting as you work.  I also like to have a larger tube of white.

• Cold Wax, 16 oz container  - Dorland’s or Gamblin

• 8-12 or more wood painting panels (see notes below for sizes, descriptions and preparation procedures)

• Arches Oil Paper or watercolor paper that has been gessoed, 5-12 x16 sheets, or 5 quarter sheets

• A couple of different size palette knives, trowel, or offset blade type – not the flat ones.  One of my favorites is a long blade, 7” or so, cake icing spatula for spreading paint on the support.  We use palette knives for mixing the oil and wax as well as for applying the paint.

• 4” or 6” soft rubber brayer (Inovart, Speedball or other brand)

• Squeegee, soft edged.  (Dollar Store inexpensive type)

• Old Brushes — just a few--splayed or stiff ones are good, nothing too nice

• Paper palette 12”x16” or larger, or freezer paper

• Blue tape – to protect edges of cradled panels and use in exercises

• Tracing paper

• Soft paper towels

• Wax paper or parchment paper for layering between wet panels to transport home

• Gloves or protective cream for hands

• Drawing tools, sticks, pencils, charcoal, Caran d Arche, soft crayons, pastels - (not oil pastels, they never dry!) Bring what you have.  I will have others to share and experiment with.

Miscellaneous: Small pieces of mat board, old credit cards, sponges, rubber spatulas, rubber pastry brushes, a whisk broom or dish scrubber, metal comb, clay tools, stencils, stamps, cheesecloth, string -
anything that you think might make interesting marks or texture—nothing fancy or
expensive, they will get paint on them, I will bring extras to try.

• A few paint sticks (Optional- see description below. I will bring some to try.)

• Dry Pigments and or powdered charcoal (Optional – I will bring some to try.

NOTES on materials: (I linked to Dick Blick and Cheap Joes, but locally Asel and Michaels will have many of these.)


Painting surfaces: Wood - Cradled panels or flat.  Canvas is not a good option, a hard surface is preferable for oil and cold wax because of the techniques used.


Ampersand brand panels, Gessobord.  (The most expensive option, but not necessary.)


Wood panels: should have several coats of gesso applied over archival quality hardboard; (apply 2-3 coats and sand to smooth between layers.)

Dick Blick wood panels:

Cheap Joes:


I have also used a good quality plywood sheet from Home Depot or Lowes that they will cut into sizes for you.  I have had them cut a sheet into 12 x 12 pieces.  Gesso both sides!  The back side only needs one coat but do a couple on the side you plan to paint on, sanding between layers.


Paper: You can use a full sheet of watercolor paper that has been gessoed.  We will cut it into quarters.  Another option is the Arches Oil paper that does not need to be gessoed.  It is an alternative to painting on the wood panels as well, you will need to tape them to a hard surface.  (I will bring extra sheets for purchase.)

Sizes: If you tend to work quickly, you will want larger sized panels, or more panels.  You probably won't finish all of them during the workshop, but you'll have time to get a good start.  If you work slowly you can get smaller and fewer panels.  I like working on 12” x 12”.)


Brayers: Soft Rubber


Inovart: 4” or 6”



Optional tools: I will have some for you to try in class.  None of these are necessary!  Think of anything you can use to make marks that is soft and rubbery.  Rubber spatulas, bowl scrapers, etc.


Color Shapers: They are pricey but last longer and have handle, if you like that.  If you get one of these choose the light grey (firm) ones with the flat (not curved) edge.

Catalyst tools: Try the straight edged (gray or white) blades and wedges, or others for texture.


Optional: A few oil paints in stick form (not oil pastels.)  R and F brand are very soft and buttery, the Sennelier and Oil Bar brands are more dense, they will work better on drier work.  Shiva brand is too soft, not recommended.  I will have some in class for shared use as well.


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10 AM - 4 PM


10/17 - 10/20 2018


Kathy Elliott

Oil and Cold Wax Workshop

October 17-20, 2018

10:00AM - 4:00PM