Texture vs Smooth

The characteristic property of encaustic, is the effect of heat on the paint.  The warmer the paint is, the smoother a surface you will get.  The cooler the paint is, the more texture you can build up.

If you want to develop a smooth layer without texture, it is recommended to have a cup of color or encaustic medium and a soft brush (hake brushes work the best).  Applying the wax in sections, only going across a small area of the panel in one swipe will avoid the build up of texture that will occur as the wax cools across the surface.  You can then use a razor blade to scrap the overlapping edges.

Working with cooler wax or using multiple applications with a brush (especially a dry brush) will build up texture.  To make your paint cooler, lower the temperature of the palette or place the paint toward the edge (the center of the palette is hotter) or remove it from the palette completely.  As the wax cools in the cup, you will be able to build more and more textural surfaces on your support.  You will still need to fuse textural surfaces for them to remain stable and exaggerated textures will be fragile.  Keep in mind that it takes skill and the right heating tool to fuse textured surfaces delicately enough to keep them from losing their texture through over fusing.