• Alicia Tormey

A Materials Lesson

In addition to beeswax… Damar Resin is a primary ingredient in encaustic paint.

Many people are surprised to learn that damar is also used in processing foods. The outer shell of your jellybean likely gets its hardness from damar. So what exactly is this stuff?


Damar, also called damar gum, or damar resin, is a natural material obtained from trees in India and East Asia. Most damar is acquired by tapping trees, however, some is collected in fossilized form from the ground.

Damar varnish, made from damar gum mixed with turpentine, was introduced as a picture varnish in 1826. It was commonly used in oil painting, both during the painting process and after the painting is finished. But for use with encaustic there is NO turpentine added... EVER!!!!


Damar is a heat soluble resin that when mixed with beeswax to create encaustic paint...elevates the overall melting temperature and makes the paint medium much more durable. It increases the hardness and clarity of the beeswax.


Learn how to make encaustic paint medium with beeswax and damar resin with me here.


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