View Full Version : Egg tempera painting- April / May

04-05-2010, 08:15 AM
:wave: welcome to our project for April /May 2010 ---using egg tempera.

Maybe you've wanted to try egg tempera painting but haven't got around to it yet. This project may help you start some work in ET.

You don't need expensive new materials, such as dry pigments and real gesso, you can make a start with materials you already have such as your watercolour paint and paper.

See below for a simple way to make ET out of ordinary watercolour.

Now you can start.....

For the project, you could:-

copy a work in egg tempera from the past (Botticelli did lots of work in ET)
or you could choose your own subject matter
perhaps paint one of this month’s photo paint-along images using egg temperaSome links

http://www.eggtempera.com/index.html (http://www.eggtempera.com/index.html)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tempera (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tempera)

http://www.squidoo.com/eggtempera#module1768412 (http://www.squidoo.com/eggtempera#module1768412)


Some master painters using ET

William Blake
Marianne Stokes
Georgio de Chirico
Andew Wyeth

we've looked at many of these artists in earlier projects!! Good to revisit them and try out ET.


04-05-2010, 08:16 AM
why ET?


04-05-2010, 08:20 AM

Quick and easy Egg Tempera paint

Sometimes, I haven’t time to take out dry pigments and mix up egg tempera paint from scratch and so I use this quick method, which is very useful if you want to try out the egg tempera method but don’t want the expense of buying new materials.

Making egg tempera with watercolour paint.

You will need

watercolour paints (pans or tubes)
a fresh egg
an egg yolk separator
a wooden skewer
a piece of kitchen paper towel
a glass cup
your palette and brushes
distilled or filtered water
a drop of clove oil or white wine vinegar (optional)

A handy tip to remember is to use only glass, plastic or wooden utensils with egg tempera, as metal will react with the paint.


Separate the yolk from the white using an egg separator or by rocking it between the two halves of the broken shell. Put the white to one side, as you won’t need it for the tempera.
Place the unbroken yolk sac in a piece of kitchen paper towel and then holding it over the cup, pierce the yolk membrane and let the runny yolk pour down into the container.
Put half a teaspoon of distilled or filtered water in with the yolk and mix.
Add a drop of clove oil or white wine vinegar to the yolk and water if you wish to deter mould growth and prevent insects from eating your paint. (Ants particularly love egg tempera paint!)
Now put this to one side and mix up one of your watercolour pigments with water to create a thick creamy consistency of paint.
Put some of your watercolour paint on your palette well and add the same volume of the egg yolk mix to the paint and mix together.
This is your egg tempera paint. Repeat for the range of colours you want to use in your painting. There is usually more than enough egg yolk for a day or two of paint mixing. The yolk and paint mixes can be covered with plastic food wrap and put in the fridge to keep fresh overnight.

When using egg tempera, you will find that it dries very quickly enabling over painting of layers almost immediately. You can build up many paint layers, which gives your painting its rich depth and shine.

You can use the paint mix at full strength or you can thin it to make washes as per normal watercolour painting.


This is a quickie method. There's also an ET medium in a tube by Sennelier...so you don't even have to mix egg yolks.

You may prefer to get stuck into the 'real mcCoy' with dry pigments, traditional gesso, hardwood panels etc....if so, visit the link to the society of ET painters above.

:D ;)

04-05-2010, 08:26 AM
If you want to try ET on paper, use a heavy weight smooth watercolour paper, or watercolour board.


04-05-2010, 08:42 PM
Oh, I just love ET!

04-30-2010, 01:08 PM
I haven't had time to get around to doing anything new in ET so far.

04-30-2010, 01:14 PM

This is an old one of mine which was for the bestiary project we did a while ago. Ink lines, egg tempera colour, gold ink.

04-30-2010, 01:28 PM
I mixed up some yolk yesterday - does that count? Then things tumbled down around me and all I got to do was the little sketch posted in the cafe.

05-01-2010, 05:32 AM
Here's a link to a step by step demo in ET.


And here is a forum site for tempera painters in case you get 'hooked' on this medium.


05-01-2010, 06:00 AM

Duccio -'Madonna and child' in ET


M Stokes- 'Melisande' in ET

05-05-2010, 01:15 PM

I made a start on a new ET painting. This is the practise version, and if it turns out, I may redo it on gesso panel as I have an old one which I recovered by scrubbing off the ink drawing that was on it.

This practise is on Saunders paper. I found it extremely absorbent. Not sure if that's a plus or minus. Anyway, it allowed washes of ET so I covered the initial ink layer with washes.

Now I am more or less ready to do the build up with hatching. Not sure how this paper will respond to that ...but I glued it to a foam core board to keep the paper rigid, so I think it will be fine.

The pose of the lady was inspired from a photo in RIL....she was naked so I dressed her up in a semi- Renaissance fashion, which was fun to do!!:D

The lady is around 6 by 8 ins, but I left a border which I may decorate and that would make the size 8 by 10 ins.

05-14-2010, 12:50 PM
very thoughtful lady. Great dress up job. Looking forward to the WIP progress.

This is about 8 X 11. I pursued the palette in this Kirchner painting but fell short...the blue is not dark enough and the green is not yellow enough. Maybe next try.

05-14-2010, 12:55 PM
Great colour scheme Robin.

To make the colours deeper, you could do several layers to enrich the colour. To make colour darker, you could start next time with an underpainting, say in black ink for the areas you want dark in tone.

05-15-2010, 06:55 AM
June, a very soft and beautiful lady.

Robin...love these paintings. Very vibrant and alive. :heart: :heart:

05-24-2010, 11:29 AM
Got three tempera's down yesterday. My daughter wanted to do a workshop together. We started at 9:30 and painted till 4:30 with one break for lunch.