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Juan 19-05-11 04:35 AM

Hello from New Mexico
Hello all, I live in Corrales, New Mexico and have taken up egg tempera painting about 5 months ago. I am really enjoying the new world of possibilities using this medium has opened up. I have also been enjoying the forums on this web site and I have one immediate question I would like to post: I am using a titanium white made by Kremer called XSL. It is a very strong pigment with good, opaque covering qualities, however, I find that once it has been used it is very difficult to glaze over it without it dissolving on contact with a wet (damp) brush, even a couple of days after laying down the white. Am I using the wrong white for the job? am I not tempering it correctly? Am I not waiting long enough? I also had a similar problem using India ink (Higgins) on gesso for my drawing as Daniel Thompson recommends, in this instance the black ink would dissolve when painted over leaving a grey mess. I have since stopped using India ink but I am curious why a normally waterproof in should behave like this on gesso. If anyone out there has any suggestions I would happy to hear them.
Thank you. Juan Wijngaard

vermillion9 19-05-11 02:25 PM

Hello, Jaun and welcome to the forum! I have no idea why your titanium white and india ink would be misbehaving. What kind of gesso are you using? You might want to post these specific questions in "The Forum for Tempera Painting Issues" section - more members will see it there.

PhilS 19-05-11 09:11 PM

Hi Juan,

Welcome to the forum!

As a general rule, I try to work with my brush as dry as possible. Floating a wash over an underpainting doesn't work in ET, unless the painting has been allowed to dry for several weeks or months.

Kremer is a reliable pigment supplier. I doubt if there is anything wrong with your titanium white.

My advice: squeeze (or wipe) your brush enough so that it doesn't leave a droplet at the end of a stroke. And keep it moving over the surface, otherwise you will pick up layers beneath. (Someone once told me you should never squeeze a sable brush with your fingers- the oil on your skin will interfere with the flow of paint... I admit, I usually end up squeezing anyway).

Never used India ink myself.


Juan 19-05-11 10:39 PM

Hi vermillion9 and Phil, thanks for your welcome and replies to my questions.
I realized after posting that this was probably not the place to ask for technical advice, I'll do so again in the right forum, but in the meantime I suspect the culprit may be my gesso. It's home made and the panel(s) has been lying around for over a year collecting dust and who knows what else. It may also have been from a particularly hard batch that does not absorb as readily as it should, making it hard for the ink and thicker paint to get a foothold.


MatG 06-06-11 07:23 PM

Welcome to the neighborhood.
Juan: Welcome to the forums. I'm excited to see some of your work, and even more excited to see someone nearby. There are some examples of egg tempera by masters in galleries in Santa Fe, and you might already know that the Johnson Gallery on UNM's campus has one or more works by Peter Hurd. Depending on how motivated you are, the Denver Art Museum has a Renaissance exhibit filled with Old Master Tempera right now.
Welcome again, and all the best.

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