Encaustic painting is an amazing technique dating back as far as the Byzantine period and beyond. It has been used for everything from religious icons to mummy portraits and has only become more versatile throughout the years. The technique involves heating of beeswax to temperatures at which it may be easily manipulated before mixing pigments into the wax, resulting in an encaustic mixture. This mixture is applied to sufaces as a sort of paint while it is still in a molten state. Once the encaustic painting has begun to cool, the artist is given the unique opportunity to scupt and shape the wax using metal tools and special brushes. Upon drying completely, one may also incorporate other materials onto the surface of the encaustic wax. Beeswax, being a very naturally receptive medium, allows an artist to express his or her individual style to the full extent while giving artwork a luminosity and depth not seen in most other media.
Oleg Koulikov is a full-time professional painter and illustrator. He was born in Kiev, Ukraine in 1964 and earned his BA in art from the Hertzen University in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Oleg's paintings have been featured in solo and group exhibitions as well as galleries and museums throughout Russia and worldwide. After emigrating to Canada, his discovery of encaustic painting became a turning point in his career. Currenlty, Oleg is working as an illustrator for the Toronto illustration and design agency "Tree In A Box", creating images predominantly for U.S. based magazines and newspapers such as Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, and Boston Globe. His experience in the field of encaustics makes him one of the rare few masters of the field.