View Full Version : Egg Tempera Class at the Victoria and Albert Museum

Katherine T
11-27-2006, 08:19 AM
I've been doing a series of classes at the Victoria and Albert Museum in connection with their latest exhibitions - and hence have been learning all about drawing and painting in medieval times.

Last week I did a two day class as an introduction to egg tempera and I've started to blog about it today.

However since there's far too much information for one blog post. I'm splitting it into three:

the support and the drawing
the pigments and the grinding
painting using egg temperaI can see you've got lots of info already about egg tempera - so I'd appreciate some guidance about much of this would be relavant to post here also?

11-27-2006, 10:01 AM
I think this is very relevant.

You might also want to check out the workshop I've been doing at the Classical Forum on Renaissance Italian Painting. (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=371286)

Katherine T
11-27-2006, 10:50 AM
Thanks - I'll make sure I give that thread a mention in my blog posts before I finish.

I'm also developing a squidoo lens on egg tempera as I like to read around a subject - and I'm finding lens are a good way of organising links with notes! So I'll add it in there as well.

11-27-2006, 12:53 PM
I'm off to read your blog!!

Katherine T
11-28-2006, 08:13 AM
next blog post - about the pigments, grinding and the making of egg tempera paint

11-28-2006, 12:44 PM

I read your description of making tempera with interest. I'd like to note that many modern tempera painters (such as those who participate in the forum at www.eggtempera.com) find that grinding modern, machine-ground pigments is not necessary. Typically, they make pigment pastes using the "shake" method. This involves putting pigment into a small glass jar, adding water, putting the top on, and shaking thoroughly. The resultant paste can be simply mixed with egg yolk medium to make paint. This approach is simpler and seems to make perfectly good paint. I believe that it is much better than using watercolor paint as suggested by your professor in response to your problem with grinding.

Katherine T
11-28-2006, 01:08 PM
That's certainly seems like another way of doing it.
I'm not sure how that works with knowing how much water to add as I know we used really very little. I'm also not sure that would work for some of the pigments (the earthy ones in particular) as they were really very gritty when grinding started and were very much less when grinding finished. I know I had a lot of problems getting my verdigris smooth (which was one of the reasons why my tenosynovitis said it wasn't very impressed with this grinding business!). I guess it also might depend on who supplies your pigments.

I do know that we were all quite keen on the idea of reintroducing the renaissance studio system and having 15 year old boy apprentices doing the bulk of the grinding for us ! :)

Marina said that how long to grind was very often a question of feel and noise and it didn't take very long to realise that was absolutely the case. Again how you would know you had got the paste to the right consistency by shaking it I don't know.............
I could understand how the shake system could work well once you've got to the paste and then need to add some water...........

What struck me is that using good quality watercolours means that a lot more people might give egg tempera a go before committing themselves to buying pigment.

11-28-2006, 02:28 PM
Katherine - very interested in your writings. You seem to have an awful lot of information and nooks and crannies on your website - I can see I shall be dipping into this for some days.

Katherine T
11-28-2006, 02:37 PM
Thanks Sonia - I just came to the conclusion that it was silly to have a bunch of links to interesting/informative websites bookmarked on one's computer when you can share them with people with a similar interest..........

11-28-2006, 07:29 PM
I can see you've got lots of info already about egg tempera - so I'd appreciate some guidance about much of this would be relevant to post here also?

Katherine, it's certainly relevant to post ALL of it here! We'd love to have it here in the Wetcanvas archives, so that artists visiting this forum will always have access to the information. Part of the problem with members providing information via links to other sources is that over time, those source addresses change or vanish, and we lose that valuable information. If you'd be willing to copy and paste it here, it would be much appreciated. I can then move it into the first post of the thread for you too, if you'd like.


Katherine T
11-28-2006, 08:06 PM
Let me get to the end first Jamie - it might possibly work better as an article.

11-28-2006, 08:24 PM
Let me get to the end first Jamie - it might possibly work better as an article.

Oh, Katherine, an article would be absolutely awesome! :clap: :clap: :clap:


Katherine T
11-29-2006, 08:43 AM
Oh, Katherine, an article would be absolutely awesome! :clap: :clap: :clap:

JamieLet me have a think about it........:)

The third blog post - this time we get down to actually painting with the egg tempera and you can see what resulted!