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brianhendrickson 15-08-05 03:18 AM

First ETs
Here are my first landscapes using egg tempera. I would appreciate any comments you might have (though comments such as "I like yams" are appreciated to a lesser degree).

Overall, I'm pleased with how they turned out. I've found that the medium really does appeal to my tedious nature.

It's also nice to have an edible art supply in case times get difficult.

PhilS 15-08-05 12:02 PM

Wow! I'm impressed! Beautiful compositions and colors. The bottom one is a little "busy" to my eyes but that isn't a criticism, just a personal preference of mine (I like simplicity).
How big are these? How long did they take?
You're off to a great start!

brianhendrickson 15-08-05 03:53 PM


Thank you for the comments. Your compliments are especially appreciated since I have admired your work for some time. I'm inclined to agree with you about the busy-ness of the second piece. I had considered sawing off the lower half of it more than once.

The upper piece is approximately 12 x 16 inches and the lower is 16 x 20. It's hard for me to estimate the time they took due to the scattered distribution of painting sessions (my employment frequently interferes with my work), but my best guess would be 25 to 30 hours for the upper and roughly 40 for the lower.

My observation is that ET really doesn't take me any longer than any other medium but I suspect that this is due more to my detail-crazed approach to all my paintings. I've made use of gouache extensively in past illustration assignments and found the application of the hatched brushstroke method for the egg tempera to be remarkably similar. Glazing provides the same (or better) depth of color you might achieve with oils but with the added advantage of drying in minutes rather than days. ET also seems to be gentler on my brushes, though frequent rinsing out with soap and water seems to be in order unless you are particularly good at suppressing your gag reflex.

Overall I'm inclined to pitch out my other paints in order to make room for those neato glass jars of pigment from Sinopia. My wife, now overcome with fits of "what-is-he-into-now?" eye rolling, thinks I've opened my own apothecary.

Best Regards,


Dennis H 15-08-05 11:05 PM

Hi Brian,
They look great, though I crave to see what the actual, non-digital, surface looks like before I would venture to make any tempera-related comments.
Regarding Phil and your concerns about a "busyness" to the second work, that aspect I don't really mind. Instead of hacking off the lower portion, I think if the horizontal division at water's edge were mitigated in some way, you might like the composition better. For instance if one of those boulder forms had cleaved and tumbled down to the shore, or some dead wood were there to break the hard line. I think you could still leave the play of horizontal bands in the compostion, but just cut into it once with a good bold element. Maybe even if the foliage at lower left rose a little higher and slightly more center, that would do it for you. Or a different-colored shrub on the bank that reflects in the stream to both breakand connect the bands?
Welcome to the forum,

brianhendrickson 17-08-05 02:36 AM


Thanks for the excellent suggestions. Maybe a fallen log to break the horizontal composition and angled so that it reinforces the zig zag between the lightest areas. I'll have to leave the piece up and stare at it for a while before I make up my mind.

Thanks for the welcome also. I've really learned quite a bit just from reading everyone else's comments. It will be interesting to participate.


ps...Having trouble with my site host (arr!), apologies if the images are not currently showing

Dennis H 17-08-05 09:14 PM


I don't know if you ever do this, but it is a help for me when I'm afraid that I'm about to screw something up with a change on a painting. I draw or paint the new element on a separate piece of paper, cut it out, and lay it on top of the painting to see how it works. That way I can move it around and figure out if it will really help -- or just make things worse. I think it's saved me from making a bad rash decision once or twice.


brianhendrickson 18-08-05 08:35 PM

I used to do that quite a bit in my pre-digital days. Nowadays, if I want to see how a picture might look differently, I snap a picture of my picture with a digital camera, bring it in to Photoshop and monkey with it.

I've had some people tell me this is "cheating" though. I usually reply to that with some sort of rude noise.

RobM 19-08-05 03:54 PM

I would leave well alone. Perhaps take up any suggestions in the next piccy.
I think the picture is fine as is and to try and alter any composition would probably lead to frustrations and regrets. If I had to be pickie there is what appears to be a path leading from the waters edge to the right hand side. This path or swathe of landscape rises up and heads further towards the right of the picture. This has the effect of taking the eye out of the painting. If anything I would have changed this and brought the 'path' disappearing behind the two trees and leading the eye back into the picture.
Again being pickie, the three trees to the left all lean in the same direction, I would certainly have the tree on the far left leaning into the picture, again to keep the eye within the picture.
I took my lessons from Rembrandts Night Watch. If you have reference to the painting have a look at all the staffs. They lean or point towards the centre of the picture. The axe type heads also point towards the centre of the picture and there is so much inter-activity between the various elements that keep the eye from leaving the picture.
Good work.

P.s. The stone 4 inches from the left and 2 inches from the bottom does not have the correct veining. :grin:

brianhendrickson 19-08-05 06:34 PM

Dang! You WOULD pick out my favorite stone in the whole painting...

I'm often hesitant to significantly alter the layout of a landscape since I base them on places (oftentimes well-known) that I've visited, sometimes including the name of the place in the title of the painting. This may not be a rational argument since the goal is certainly to create good artwork instead of providing an accurate snapshot of a particular place. The hobgoblins of my mind, however, are nothing if not persistent. The obvious solution would be to find better compositions before painting anything!

Otherwise, excellent points and thank you for your comments.

Since I've finished egg tempera number 3 and am now starting number 4 (I look forward to the day when I lose count), it may be some time before I would get back to the above painting in any case. I much prefer to forge ahead than look behind.

Dennis H 19-08-05 08:51 PM

Yes, Rob has the best advice. Don't do anything to it -- except frame it.
By the way, I like yams!
Dennis :grin:

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