More about Ceracolors from Candice Bohannan

I have not been able to try this paint yet; Natural Pigments seems a bit behind on the promised roll-out and a request for a sample didn’t result in anything. There is a very good video available on YouTube by Candice Bohannan, though, that gives me some ideas of how it differs from Cuni water-soluble encaustics.  Ceracolors are “a blend of waxes micro-emulsified in water,” not a mixture of beeswax and potassium soap like the Cuni paint.  There are some things the video describes that appear very different from Cuni:

1. She says Ceracolors should be used on a rigid support, with absorbent gesso. Cuni claims it can be used on non-rigid supports including canvas and paper. So far, my experience says this is true.  This seems like an advantage of the Cuni paints.

2. She was able to keep paint moist for 15 minutes or so before re-wetting with a spray bottle. Cuni sets up much faster than this for me unless I cover it somehow. This may be caused by the very-dry desert climate I’m in, but if not, this sounds like it might be an advantage of Ceracolors.

3. She recommends painting from light to dark, as in watercolors. I have done paintings both ways with Cuni paints and don’t see any reason one is preferable except for stylistic reasons.  Maybe Ceracolors are more transparent straight out of the tube, and require added medium for a more opaque effect. Cuni colors are quite dense and opaque straight out of the tube.

Other properties look very similar.

1. She describes how re-wettable the paint is on the surface, even after heat setting, which is true of Cuni as well. I find that the paint takes about a week of drying before it gets more difficult to remove, and heat setting doesn’t change this very much for me, so I have eliminated it for now.  I believe heat setting is optional with Cuni colors; the paint will go through a slow natural curing process on its own. I’m not sure if it’s optional with Ceracolors.

2. Both paints can make very thick impasto, but Ceracolors seem to require an added medium for that. Both paints provide a retarder.

3. It looks like both paints have a similar matte sheen that can be buffed with a cloth or brush.

4. The surface on her finished painting looks very recognizable as something Cuni could accomplish.  Because of the interesting translucence of wax paint, it doesn’t reproduce very well, but I would guess the two paints can achieve similar results.

I’m not sure I’m ready to spend enough to try out this new paint just now. Love the one you’re with!  But it looks like an interesting addition, and I hope will bring some more recognition to the possibilities of water-soluble encaustics.