They do matter!

The power of single pigments.

At Enkaustikos, we are constantly experimenting with new pigments. It is of utmost importance to make sure that the pigments we use are suitable for the encaustic process. Our first priority is to make sure the pigment is safe to heat up on an encaustic palette. 

As we discussed in our last newsletter, some colors like Hansa Yellow are just not heat stable so this research is very important. In addition to health concerns, we want to provide artists with the widest range of lightfast colors possible. Last year we added several new modern pigments with outstanding lightfastness ratings like Bismuth Yellow, Anthraquinone Blue, and Indian Yellow to name just a few. This year, we are introducing Quinacridone Gold, Cobalt Aqua and a few others.

We could have easily expanded our color line by just mixing a few existing colors to offer a larger range. However, we feel that artists can easily mix their own colors if given the best single pigment paints to begin with. Enkaustikos currently mills 85 colors, 72 of which are single pigment paints. We offer more single pigment paints than any other company. You might ask; why is a single pigment paint so important? The main reason is that single pigment paints allow artists the greatest opportunity to create the most intense, clean, and luminous color mixes. A good rule to follow when it comes to color mixing is to use the least number of pigments to create your custom mix. The more pigments you use to make a custom mix the more likely you are of making a muddy and dull paint. If you want to "gray down" a paint color, your best option is to mix compliment single pigment paints together. In this way, your grays will be rich and radiant. Using single pigment colors are the key to producing the best mixes.

There is nothing wrong with using mixed paints. In fact, we offer 13 composite paints which are paints that are mixed with multiple pigments. These paints are commonly referred to as convenience colors. We offer paints mixed with modern, non toxic pigments to match classic colors like Naples Yellow. Genuine Naples Yellow is popular with oil painters but it is very toxic because it is made with lead. Of course, we would never want lead paint on our heated palette so we offer a mixed alternative for you. Our Naples Yellow Hue is a good example of a composite paint made from mixing three pigments together. Another reason why Enkaustikos mills composite paints is to provide you with consistency every time. Our labels note which pigments are used in the making of each Hot Cakes and Hot Cakes Refill. Please utilize our label information to create the cleanest, brightest, mixes possible.