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Old 22-08-17, 04:49 AM
arbrador arbrador is offline
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: USA
Posts: 65

Hi Koo,

In my last painting I used the watercolor "pour" technique. This goes way beyond the controlled icon technique of "petit lac" because pouring the paint on and letting it run off the panel causes some serious pooling of paint. I mention this because I noticed in some areas a fine pattern of cracks have appeared.

This is not academic but the term "craquelure" has always meant. to my mind, a pattern of tiny cracks is is somewhat attractive to the eye or at least does not interfere with the image. I would distinguish this from using the word "cracking" which connotes a defect. So although a little worrisome in terms of longevity I decided to admire my "craquelure" because it was fine and did not interfere with the image.

The painting is stored away otherwise I would try to post a picture. So in my case, it may not be too much water but maybe too paint that sits in a puddle too long although I may have diluted some of my paints too much.

I'm not saying that we should just learn to love our craquelure because those of us who paint very delicate paintings certainly don't want any eye sores but I'm trying to say that some craquelure may be acceptable to some ET artists and may not cause further damage or deterioration.

I found the following on the National Gallery website and they certainly include ET as victims of craquelure but as you've said, conservators often don't know much about tempera because they mostly don't practice it. See what you think. I'll look more carefully next time I'm in the medieval or early Renaissance section of a museum:

"The craquelure on a painting is the network, or pattern, of cracks that develops across the surface as the paint layers age and shrink.

Easel paintings in most types of paint, particularly egg tempera and oil, develop cracks which join up into a complex, extensive network."

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