Friday, April 11, 2014

Update: Egg Tempera

 "Golden Pear" 8"x8" egg tempera with oil glazes and gold leaf on board

I finished my first egg tempera painting, "Golden Pear".  I chose a simple subject since I had never worked with the medium before.  To see the beginnings of this new adventure in painting click Here.  In the previous post I have info on my pigments and support.  Painting in egg tempera is unlike anything I'd ever tried before.  It is thin like watercolor, dries faster than acrylic and looks like oil as you keep layering.  For some reason I thought the paints would be transparent, but they were quite opaque so I added more water to make glazes.  It was hard to remember that I had to apply the paint thinly--like a whisper of color, and I wasn't able to manipulate the paint at all after it was brushed on.  Every stroke showed and after a bit of floundering I realized why crosshatching really works for egg tempera.  I started blotting my brush on a paper towel after dipping it in the color to remove excess liquid and then slowly cross hatched across the subject matter and built layers in that manner.  When I had struggled with it long enough I left it to dry and then sealed it with shellac.  I added a couple oil glazes to brighten it up and give the painting more depth which took no time at all!  Usually my glazed oil paintings take weeks to complete because I build up many many layers of paint, this painting took just a few days start to finish.  I have plans to start another more detailed painting soon.

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