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Maffet
09-19-2006, 06:07 AM
Hello to all,
I have little question about egg tempera.

I have everything at home and ready to try them (pigments (mulled and rady :) ), board ready, eggs in my fridge :p ), but I am scared a bit and also I was long time away, so my paints still waiting until I will take a bit of time and courage. I was reading a lot about them and ways how to us them on internet on many forums and also on pages of egg tempera society and it seems to me that this would be a technique which would probably fit to way I work.
I paint mainly with watercolors on colored papers and dont use heavy washes, work with nearly dry color with very tight, detailed manner like you would be drawing with pencil, so I think I will not be scared from the way of working with ET. But I dont want to sell watercolors because of color fading, so commisions for print I do in watercolors and for selling I painted in oils. But in last years I become confused from oil painting because I worked with layers and before all my layers dried I lost connection with my idea and any taste to finish painting. Another choice could be acrylic .... hmmm but I never found way to them. So there is a ET to try. Maybe it will fit maybe not. :p

I am just unsure about underpaintings and layers. Some artist do a lot of them in diffrent colors, some dont use them. I also read (and I dont know if I understod well in english) that some colors change their shade and go to more cold tones. How do you work with layers, how many undepainting you do. I did in past glazes of yellow if my pictures would be shaded to warm tones and green or blue if to cold ... but it was in watercolor, I dont know how it works there. How long does it take to you paint some middle size picture (I mean aprox. 21x31 cm size ). I am just curious. :wave: Thank you .... thank you ...

I have at home now this very limited earth palete:
yellow ocre, titan white, raw sienna, burnt umber,
pompey red (burnt sienna from Tuscany),
green umber, middle blue ultramarine,
wine black.

I tried to stick to natural earth pigments for beginning, because some
of them are low or non toxic, very cheap .... good as a starter for person
who still have no idea if ET will be right technique. :D But what other pigment I should probably add.

JeffG
09-19-2006, 07:23 AM
....But in last years I become confused from oil painting because I worked with layers and before all my layers dried I lost connection with my idea and any taste to finish painting.

If you work in ET with multiple layers, it's just a fact that it will take a while to finish a painting and you have to be patient. It's not a way of working that is an exciting, spur-of-the-moment type of thing, and keeping an interest and passion for a particular painting over a long time is a consideration.

Note how Andrew Wyeth works. He paints in 3 main styles: watercolor, drybrush watercolor, and tempera. WC is what he uses when something strikes him right away, and he uses it quickly to get the fleeting feelings of the moment. He uses drybrush for things he wants to explore a bit more in depth, and finally, he uses tempera when he has a deep feeling for the subject that he knows he can explore for weeks or months.

I have a book on the famous ET artist (still living, I believe) George Tooker, and it has a nice preface called "The Artist in the studio". If I may quote from it:

Changing and modifying forms, he goes over the panel again and again, adding subtle textures to otherwise uninflected areas...Observing the development of a Tooker painting has been compared to watching the fog roll in. Changes are taking place, but they are almost imperceptible from one moment to the next.

...A query to Tooker about the difficulty of painting with egg tempera brings a laugh. "Tempera isnt hard at all. It's a very easy, plodding medium. It's slow, and since I'm slow in knowing just what I want to do, it suits me well."... Painting as Tooker paints, a color put down today may be modified or painted out tomorrow...

....How long does it take to you paint some middle size picture (I mean aprox. 21x31 cm size ).

I take about 2-3 weeks per painting. That means working a full day 6 days a week. And actually, some paintings take longer not because of the amount of detail, but because they have more areas of tricky color... subtle or complex colors that take a while to build up in layers to get ET's full effect.

....I have at home now this very limited earth palete:
yellow ocre, titan white, raw sienna, burnt umber,
pompey red (burnt sienna from Tuscany),
green umber, middle blue ultramarine,
wine black.
...But what other pigment I should probably add.

All of the ones you mentioned are good. My most important pigment is titanium white.

Maffet
09-19-2006, 08:49 AM
:wave: Hello Jeff,
thank you very much for long and lovely explanation.:thumbsup:
I think I will not be scared to paint in many layers and very slowly. In fact each of my watercolor paintings takes me month which is about 5-8 of all day working time - I have a bit strange technique :D working on dark paper and going from dark till light with use of very heavy dry watercolor, so it finaly looks like oil painting. That's what made me impatient in oils is fact that I had to wait for each layer to be dry at least 3 weeks and I couldnt touch it, so I was nervously twisting around, trying to do other paintings, but my head was full of that first one and before it dried ... idea faded. I like to have focus on one think and work on it probably whole month but very intensive way.

Probably ...most easy way will be take little board and use it only for experimentation with color to see how it works all together and not try exactly some painting.... I will try :)