View Full Version : Egg tempera Forum on WC?

Michael Meitner
01-31-2002, 08:30 PM
My focus is on Watercolors. However, I was wondering if there is enough interest in Egg Tempera to create a forum for this subject on WC? There are many questions I'd like to ask before investing in this medium. It seems that giving Eggheads a place to meet would help newbies get started. So, I'd like Your opinions on this idea. Also, I'd like to hear from any WC Eggheads. ET appears to be extremely stable and beautiful. I've checked out all the prominent ET websites. Is the lack of activity on their forums an indication that ET is not popular enough to warrant a forum on WC? Loads of questions! Thanks for Your input.

02-02-2002, 11:56 AM
Hi Michael.

There are a handfull of egg tempera people lurking about here, but not many. It's my favorite medium, and I know JeffG and bri both use it - although I haven't seen bri around too much - maybe I just don't frequent the forums he hangs in....

Anyway, I've worked in the medium for a number of years, although I don't have anything to show at the moment. My life has been in a bit of an uproar, and I just haven't had the time to devote to painting. I'm looking forward to starting some new work later in February, so I'll keep everyone informed... maybe I'll post progress pic's from start to finish.

I've taught a couple of people to paint in egg tempera - but I've never tried to teach over the web. I don't quite know how I'd approach such a thing, but I'm more than willing to answer any questions you might have - and I'm sure you can get some input from others as well.

You can check out www.eggtempera.com ... they have some really good people there, but it is a slow moving site. Questions sometimes take quite a while to get answered. I'll keep an eye on this forum for egg tempera questions (from you or anyone else...) but if you post something and don't get a response... feel free to pm or email me, and I'll give you whatever assistance I can. (I tend to get stuck in the debate forum and forget to check out the rest of the site... )

02-22-2002, 10:10 PM
hi Michael & sgtaylor,

It has taken a combination of things that lead me to become interested in egg tempera .
I found http://www.eggtempera.com also but find the forum slow and not very " fun " to read...unlike the threads here @ wetcanvas.
However the information provided there is
fantastic and by far the most comprehensive source I have come across to date.
I would SURE love to be able to have an Egg tempera catagory here at WC.
In the meantime maybe we could try to gather enough momentum to warrant having one here.
That is why I am stopping in to post to this thread... wiith the hopes that we will be able to generate enough interest to get a thread is the
ultimate goal ...but in the meantime maybe we could exchange ideas amongst ourselves here until that happens.:clap:
As I say.. this is a new undertaking for me...but when I saw the works displayed on the above link today...I felt like I found what I had been looking for ... FOR SO LONG.

Let's exchange ideas etc. as best we can ...and perhaps create some momentum here...:evil:

I look forward to seeing someone stop bye soon.

Sincerely KanuK * an egg~head with many MANY questions *

02-22-2002, 10:32 PM
I have expressed my interest in " egg tempera" in the above post...BUT now I have some queries for y'all.
Since beginning my "artist's journey " I have accummulated an enormous supply of materials in trying to settle on one medium in particular.
All things have lead me to my newest interest in the egg tempera genre of expression.
But being the " non conventional kind'a guy " that I am ... I have to ask...

is it possible for me to incorporate using the

egg part of ~ egg tempera ~ into some use with my extensive supply of both watercolours OR oil paints.???

Can I use my tube oil paints with a medium made with egg/h2o or with a medium made with egg/h2o/oil???

I have been told it is possible...but am not sure about how to do this exactly.
I experimented today...using tube oil colours mixed with a medium made of

egg( white & yolk) + linseed oil + water

Is this something I should be able to do?? Is it a good idea or " weird".
I don't want to get into purchasing any dry pigments at the moment...I want to be able to use up my 91 tubes of oil paints.

Am I " crazy " to think this will be possible...


obviously NOT your conventional egg-head

but hey...gotta start somewhere...


Tony Perrotta
02-24-2002, 11:00 AM
Hi all, I think it's a good idea. i have to learn to paint in any medium,,but I am very interested in this one.


02-24-2002, 01:58 PM
RE: Tony & ....

Hi all, I think it's a good idea. i have to learn to paint in any medium,,but I am very interested in this one.

Glad you dropped in to see the thread & to help in the "gathering together " of those interested in sharing information on the * various * processes of egg tempera .:clap:

I too ..." have to learn to paint in any medium "... but it sure would help if I would finally just pick ONE and stick with it for awhile .:p

As I say, I have tried oil and watercolour in the past but somehow feel drawn to egg tempera.

I hope that we can all start to gather here and perhaps share some knowledge regarding the medium.

Thanks for sharing your interest in egg tempera. Please return with some questions or advice REAL soon.


KanuK p.s.Hopefully you'll be able to find some answers here.

02-25-2002, 08:30 PM
Michael had posted call for an ET forum months ago, and I had added my 2c then. It seems that even he has lost interest, but then ET is a medium for the patient. I'll reitereate though. I'm a novice to ET, having started 1 1/2 years ago and now have 4 ETs under my belt (3 can be seen on the art section of my site, http://home.att.net/~jgola/sketch/index.htm. I've found the eggtempera.com site to be the most useful resource (after all, that's where I had learned, and from Altoona Sultan's book) I'd also encourage anyone interested in the medium to pick up Koo Schadler's booklet, which may be available on eggtempera.com but I know is definitely available on the Studio Products site.

Kanuk, as for your questions about if you can use oil or watercolor as a basis for an egg medium, I'll say again I'm no expert, but one question comes to mind.... what do you want to accomplish with your painting and how do you think ET will help you get there? I ask because if anyone wanted to begin with the medium, I'd suggest they get a small amount of pigments for a limited palette and play. Good news, though, they say that you can use tubed watercolor and mix that with egg yolk to get a feeling for what true ET can do.

As far as mixing an egg medium to add to tubed oil paint, I'm not sure what the point would be and how that would come close to what you expect ET to provide. Many use pure ET has a underpainting for an oil painting, perhaps using an oil-egg emulsion as a middle step... but I'm under the impression the oil-egg mix still uses pure pigment, not out-of-the-tube oils.

Mayer has many recipes for egg-oil emulsions, some with whole-egg mixes. However, even he gives the impression that the most exotic (ie not simple yolk, stand oil and pigment) may be dubious and they sound quite complicated to make, without much payoff.

It would be easier to give advice if you had a specific effect or handling property you were going for, not just to use what you have stocked up on already.

02-25-2002, 08:57 PM
Thank~you for you're reply JeffG

& yes, I am of the same mind set as you, in that it is best to approach ET ( like anything else ) the way in which it was intended.

I was lead to believe that I could use up my tube oils using a " pseudo "
egg tempera procedure. Which in fact is really not ET at all then , is it.:D

I guess I should just " bite the bullet " as it were and just jump right in and start off " the right way " from the start.

I was just hoping that instead of having to go out and purchase MORE art supplies....WELL...:crying: ...you know....!!

As far as what I like about the egg tempera.
Although I have only seen the works presented on eggtempera.com I immediately LOVED the over-all contemporary look. The matte like finish was appealing to me over the look of dried oil paints. Any oil paintings I have seen , no matter what the subject or style, has for the most part struck me as " old fashioned " so to speak.

Although I can appreciate " all " mediums and what they can do in the hands of various artists...I automatically felt...
a sense of " I THINK I FINALLY found MY MEDIUM " when I viewed the ET works @ the above site.

It's just one of those things that you simply cannot explain...other than simply that ONE JUST gets a FEELING.

In order to not make this too long winded I will leave it at that for now JeffG.
But I will more than likely experiment using egg with some of the pigments that I already have just to see how works.
Perhaps....another surprise awaits...I'll keep you posted for sure.


Wendy Booth
03-25-2002, 07:53 AM
In reply to the original question. I searched for "tempera" in the alternative media forum, because there was no forum on tempera alone. So, I think that an ET is a very good idea. I love the look of ET but have not tried to use it yet. I am going to try soon with a mix of watercolour tube paint and egg yolk medium. Another good site which I have found is http://www.robmilliken.co.uk

03-25-2002, 09:18 PM
Thank you Wendy for sharing the link to the site. I have visited it many times now and enjoy it and also the other links to which it also leads.

I have just lately experimented, using dry pigments( Mars black & titanium white). I am simply mixing values from black to white using these two powdered pigments and playing around with the medium. Getting a feel for what it does etc...

I still don't have enough experience to share much with anyone but ...
I would be interested to know how your experimentation with the watercolour and egg turns out for you.

Thank you again for the web site and good luck with your adventure.


04-01-2002, 11:22 AM
I have always had an interested in Egg Tempera but have only dabbled in it.

The links posted here have been very helpful.

I have marveled at some of Andrew Wyeth's work at the National Gallery.

Jeff your site is great.
"Last Season's Corn" has got to be my favorite in your paintings.

Wendy Booth
04-02-2002, 01:41 AM
Yes, I agree, you have some lovely pictures on there Jeff.

Thanks for the encouragement Kanuk. I've just finished my first ET which I completed using egg yolk medium mixed with watercolour tube paints. I'll post the result as a new thread. It was far more difficult than I'd have imagined - I'll need a lot more practice!

David O
01-31-2003, 12:40 PM
I use all kinds of paints with eggs and it is a blast.; casein, kids tempera, oils, acrylics, gouache. There is definitely a difference in how they work. It's good to have clove oil so it doesn't stink up the place. Most all of the stuff on my site is egg and something if you are interested.

02-03-2003, 04:42 PM
...i just saw this as i just checked this forum out for the first time in a while.

i'm fascinated with all things egg tempera and would be happy to give, share and check out what you folks are up to.

i am short on time now but will come back to this thread later this evening.

until then,


here's a piece in progress


and a detail, because i know how egg tempera people are...


02-07-2003, 01:13 PM
Is your painting ONLY in tempera ? Whatever it's smashing !

02-07-2003, 02:50 PM

Yes, the painting is only egg tempera on gessoed panel. It's still in progress.

Does it look like there is something else in it?

I can't believe you can see anything about it from these horribly blurred images. I tried to include the detail because the piece doesn't look so smooth llike the first image, but even that detail seems blrry to me...or maybe I'm just being picky.

By the way, I actually didn't realise when I posted that this thread was from a year ago. I hadn't often visited the mixed media forum but saw it when I was sort of rushed and saw that sgt had mentioned a "bri" and thought I'd join in. I think I spoke with michael around this time he posted this...then, as we see it sort of fizzzled.

I, for one, wouldn't mind just using this "...Other Media" forum to share egg tempera information and experiences, rather than complicate the whole WC entity with a separate section which would eventually contribute to more down time, I'm sure.

Talk with you all soon,


David O
02-07-2003, 04:59 PM
It's kind of fitting that this thread and the egg tempera website are both so slow, being that ET is such a slow medium.

02-07-2003, 09:32 PM
Yes, and the Society of Tempera site is full of a lot of good info. It is certainly worth going to especially if just embarking into the egg tempera experience. Some good links to work, and also some info on, and people who work with emulsions, or painting oil over tempera.

02-10-2003, 03:33 PM
This is amazing! I was just at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio (Which is full of great art) and noticed the most beautiful painting in Egg Tempera. It really stirred my interest and I made a mental note to come home and check it out on Wet Canvas! I know very little, but will be checking in to hear all about it!


02-17-2003, 10:36 PM
Here is an example of ET over Watercolour......also my 3rd post and my first upload

lyn lynch
02-17-2003, 11:17 PM

A poster on Watercolor asked about ET and our mod pointed us to the thread. I am so glad she did! Years ago before I started seriously thinking of actually learning art, I tried mixing the egg yolk with tube paints. I remember liking the effect, and that the mixed paints had low shelf life.
So a nip of clove oil is added for odor? Does it extend the shelf life?
Can you layer in ET? I remember it had to dry throughly before it could be touched again.
I am *struggling* to learn figures, I thought ET experience w/yolk & tubes might help me settle into fun again.
Jeff: website is fantastic, wonderful work! I bookmarked for another cruise.
Also bookmarked the other sites mentioned in this friendly thread. Will review the ET society page after leaving this forum.
Bri: OMG, love the train track, wonderful journey "what's around the bend?" A hobo camp, a train jumper or two, the rail crew making a repair, a village in the distance? Endless possibilities. Your camera infinitely better than mine, which works well on people but not watercolor, especially high key like mine.
Other Media is good for me to find this thread, and others re ET. Just so I find you. lyn.

02-17-2003, 11:22 PM
Clove oil will extend the life of egg tempera medium unrefridgerated for quite some time.....I also add spike lavender oil as well. I can keep it in a small vial in my car for around a month before I either use it up or need to change it. Also, egg tempera is all about layering. And it dries VERY quickly.

lyn lynch
02-18-2003, 10:30 AM
I went to the ET Society site last night and read everything. I cannot afford all the supplies at this time. However, I want to re-visit the egg emulsion and tube paints. I saw many wonderful works over there, Jeff and Bri should be showing too. I read the member posts, too, and learned a few more things. Agree WC! much nicer site, but then it's my favorite on the www
I've been experimenting with a thin application of acrylic gesso on 300# Arches. The w/c slips, unless washes are very thin. Even than, if I had another layer it slips. I try Golden matte media between layers to no avail, which surprised me; I didn't want to add more weight to the piece so did not try another medium. This piece is a thumbnail for a larger I want to do, so I'll try the egg/tube on it today, after market trip for egg and clove oil. Looking for Wendy's thread now. Have a good day. lyn.

02-18-2003, 10:40 AM
Why are you putting an acrylic gesso on watercolour paper? It's like painting water colours on a plastic film. The egg tempera medium doesn't stick to that very well either. I'm not sure why you need anything ('course I don't know what you're doing) but you could try a lite coat of the egg emulsion by itself or some 'real' gesso . The watercolours will absorb into that and hold.

David O
02-18-2003, 05:23 PM
I haven't yet had any trouble with ET over gesso. I have used it to cover over a pencil drawing on illustration board, then to paint over. So far it seems to stick pretty well.

05-03-2003, 10:31 AM

I am definitely interested in egg tempera, though I am new to the medium. I spent six months last year working with a local iconographer because I wanted to learn the old fashioned way, from the ground up. Went to Home Depot for the board, made the rabbit skin glue, made the gesso, and used pigments and eggs. Most of my artist friends love the look of egg tempera but don't want to take the time, etc. I'm now looking at using egg tempera for other projects, too.