Join Lisa Pressman for this deep dive into building history with oil and cold wax.

Lisa Pressman

Are you ready to:

  • learn about oil and cold wax,
  • mix and layer colors,
  • build a rich and interesting surface,
  • explore the "why" behind your work?

"Drawing and painting helps you explore what you feel, how you think and is the catalyst in discovering your voice."

~ Lisa Pressman

You will find inspiration from the way that Lisa works. She goes all-in with excitement not hesitating, adding marks, building layers, and excavating the surface.

"One thing I tell students is that you’re not making a painting right now. Everyone gets caught up with the idea that they are making a painting. No, you are building a surface. You are creating layers. You are present in the process of making marks, adding layers, and excavating—creating history with those actions. It is the whole process of covering it up and scraping it back and loving it. Eventually, a painting will emerge."

~ Lisa Pressman

Lisa Pressman

This course is for you if you:

  • want to learn how to paint with oil and cold wax
  •  are an adventurous beginner, skilled artist, or anywhere in between,
  • want to develop complex layered work that reflects your unique voice.


This course guides you through the many ways to utilize oil and cold wax as you discover your voice, and provides much needed time on task.

What to expect:

The course is broken into chapters that include

  • Materials, supports and safety
  • Information on oil paint and cold wax
  • Mixing paint
  • Creating layers
  • Texture, stencils and brayers
  • R&F Pigment Sticks

Lisa Pressman



Creating History with Oil and Cold Wax (Self-Directed)

Introduction to painting with oil and cold wax



Q: Do I have to have painting experience to take this class?

A: Ideally, this class is for someone who has had some painting experience. However, adventurous beginners who are open to taking risks are also welcome.


Q: What mediums are covered?

A: Lisa demonstrate the various materials she uses in her work to create her complex surfaces—cold wax, oils, R & F pigment sticks, solvents, pan pastels, and more.


Q: I don’t normally work in oil or cold wax. Is this class right for me?

A: The concepts covered in this class apply to any medium which includes markmaking, layering and color.

Q :What materials will I need?

A: Supports  4-6 Ampersand EncausticBord, Gesso or Birch panels prepared for oil: gessoed Instructor recommends the panels being the same size.  1 pad of Arches oil paper 9” x 12” (recommended but the paper can be mixed media paper, water color paper gessoed) taped with a one inch border (painters tape ) around the edges and also in half for painting exercise.

Oil Paint:

1 large tube of Titanium white plus a variety of colors: Choose colors that you like to paint with. I like Gamblin, Williamsburg paints. Small tubes are fine. Look for combination of transparent and opaque choices as seen on the tubes or color charts. Make sure you have warms and cools.

R&F Pigment Sticks

1 or two large cans of Gamblin cold wax (not the gallon) and a tube of Galkyd gel, small jars of Gamsol and Galkd Lite

Drawing materials: pencils, stabile black pencils, art graph, ink, pan pastels, marble dust

 At least 4-6 of palette knives, 

 silicone bowl scraper (from amazon) or/ and large (worth the money ) 

3 soft rubber brayers speedball 4 inch, 6 

disposable paper palette 12” x 16” or freezer paper

 cheap sponge paint roller (from the dollar store or michaels

 blue painters tape 


cheap tissue paper ( wrapping tissue paper)

 any specific stencils that you may want to use (we will have some stencils to choose from)

 box of latex or nitrile gloves 

 pack of unscented baby wipes 

 rags or paper towels

 straight edge razor blades

Q: I have more questions. How do I reach you?

A: You can email Lisa at [email protected]

Lisa Pressman draws on over 35 years of professional experience in helping you realize your artistic goals. Lisa’s career as an artist has been marked by exploration of the expressive potential of a variety of mediums, among them oil, encaustic, cold wax, and mixed-media collage. Her work is abstract, conceptually based, and process-driven, featuring marks, forms, colors, and patterns that are evocative rather than descriptive.

A highly respected arts educator, Lisa maintains a vigorous teaching program. She’s been on the faculty at the former Art Institute of NY, a visiting professor at Pratt Institute and other universities, and has taught workshops in France, Mexico, Italy, and the U.S. 

Especially renowned for her teaching of encaustic and cold wax processes, Lisa is an annual presenter at the International Encaustic Conference in Provincetown, MA. She also is an instructor for R&F Handmade Paints and Gamblin Artists Colors. As a mentor, her focus is on the facilitation of each student’s voice − the awareness of the source of what they are doing and why, the medium and visual language with which they can most effectively express their artistic vision.

Lisa Pressman

Lisa has an MFA in Painting from Bard College and a BA in Fine Arts

(Ceramics and Sculpture) from Douglas College.

She is also recognized as:

  •  R&F Paints Core Instructor   
  • Gamblin Workshop Instructor
  • Ampersand Ambassador
  • Silver Brush Educator


I have taken several workshops from Lisa Pressman and have always come away with a better understanding of the materials used as well as a fresh sense of where I’m going with my own art-making. She is an intuitive instructor, adapting her lessons to meet the needs of her students. Individual attention is one of her strengths. She allows ample time for exploration as we discover new techniques and methods for approaching our work. As a mentor, Lisa has helped me take my studio practice to the next level. Her questions are thought-provoking and individualized; her answers to my questions are honest and reliable. She is a valuable resource, whether I’m updating my website, preparing for an art show, or contemplating a new body of work. Her humorous yet straight-forward approach is exactly what I need.

~ JS ~

I have taken numerous Lisa Pressman workshops and have found they are a way for me to get outside my own studio practice to give me air, perspective, freedom from my own process to help scare staleness away. When I am in her workshop, I turn it over completely to Lisa as she guides the group through all kinds of drawing and seeing exercises while feeding your palette a smorgasbord of good medium and pigment. I trust each exercise, which opens me up for authentic creating and I begin to tap into a certain exciting energy. I leave all of my own control at the door of the studio when I work with Lisa so I can just relax and go with the flow. It takes days after a workshop for me to assess what I did and inevitably, I realize I actually have a series of transformative paintings. This helps feed my studio practice with new energy.

~ KC ~

I most appreciate being told what I need to know and not platitudes of which the internet is full. You are an ideal mentor for artists who are beyond the beginning stages. 


Based on your critique of some pieces, I made changes that improved many paintings. I am delighted to report that my recent show generated several sales, including some influenced by you. And I know my approach to all my work will have a more effective inner critic.

~ SI ~