View Full Version : Angel

10-24-2012, 09:21 AM
For a friend who used to live in Florence in her youth, i have made an interpretation of Fra Angelico's Annunciation Angel from the famous fresco in San Marco. It is 7x9 egg tempera and gold leaf on panel. Still a bit clumsy, I quite like the medium but it handles so very differently than oil paint.

10-24-2012, 03:09 PM

10-24-2012, 05:53 PM
It's simply awesome! :)

In what way does tempera differ from oil? Is it more like acrylics?

10-25-2012, 07:47 AM
Thank you for looking!

In what way does tempera differ from oil? Is it more like acrylics?

Like acrylics, yes and no. I would not compare it to acrylics, it is its own thing entirely.

It is important to say that I did not use premade "tempera" paints, but made traditional egg tempera paint out of pigment and egg yolk. This paint dries within minutes both on the palette and on the painting, so blending has to be done in hatches (which I have not tried) or layering. You cannot paint thickly. Also, the paint is not flexible like oil or acrylic so it is best to paint on a rigid support. Brushstrokes are thin and fluid and very precise. The paint has no gloss, but it has a nice a satin sheen if tempered correctely. It is a beautiful medium, and it was perfect for this 14th century inspired small painting.

I did never understand the appeal of egg tempera as a medium until I went to Florence and spent some time looking at the beautiful tempera paintings from the early Renaissance, they are so intricate and so splendid in their bright colors and gilded backgrounds, they made a lasting impression on me even more so than the famous paintings of the High Renaissance.

10-25-2012, 02:45 PM
Thank you for answering my question.

Have you used premade tempera, too? Does it compare with self-made tempera?

I'm asking because part of me is tempted to try some tempera colours from Sennelier because the points you mentioned attract my instrest. But I can't see me mixing my own colours from pigments at the moment...

10-25-2012, 03:17 PM
No I have not worked with premade tempera color. But it looks like the Senneliers are good artist quality paints, I am sure you will get good results with them. I am not sure if the characteristics are the same as with egg yolk - maybe they will be more like gouache? But on the other hand they will be more reliable and consistent than your selfmade paints, and always perfectly tempered. Why not try them.

I just opted to make my own because I am interested in traditional techniques, I prepared my own panel with traditional gesso as well. There are good tutorials out there, a very detailed and helpful one right here on wetcanvas:

Maybe someone else in this subforum can help you with a review on the Sennelliers.


10-28-2012, 04:20 PM
Thanks for the link. I'll give the Sennelier colours a try, once my bank account recovered from the obligatory car inspection.... *bigsigh*

Michael King
12-23-2012, 09:21 PM
Marigold! This is beautiful! I wish I had the courage to try egg tempera. Andrew Wyeth is my favorite painter of all time. A master at it.

12-24-2012, 10:51 AM
Wonderful! Congratulations on a success! The gilded background is delight. Your lucky friend will treasure this painting.


01-02-2013, 11:40 AM
That gold leaf really makes the painting pop!

01-03-2013, 05:03 PM
This is beautiful work, Marigold! You find so interesting paintings to copy! Is it 7x9 inches or cm? Either way, very small with lots of detail for that size & working with gold leaf in such a small area!

I have now about 30 sheets of gold leaf (23.5 carat gold = shines noticeably less than 24 carat) but don't know which copy to begin to make! I'm looking for something non complicated. I have many books of gold leaf works done in Italy early times but can't make up my mind.