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Old 26-03-09, 02:55 PM
Alastair S. Alastair S. is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 8
Unhappy New Egg Tempera Artist Problems.

Hello everyone,

I recently started learning Egg Tempera, having had only self-taught oil painting experience before, and I think that I am having problems due to the differences between the two medium.

I have read the Daniel Thompson book on Egg Tempera, and will be reading soon his translation of Cennini's Book, but I have attempted to start some icon paintings and run into nothing but stress so far. Here are a couple of issues I'm having:

1. Sometimes when I go to paint over an area the paint beneath comes right off the gesso, exposing a white area.

2. When I tried to paint a glaze over an entire area the paint beneath got moist again and started to blend with the paint above, making a muddy mess.

I must confess that I started with non-traditional methods. For example, my paint is high quality goache (hope it's spelled right) mixed with egg yolk and water, rather than pigment, egg, and water. And my gesso is drywall compound mixed with white glue. I'm definitely going to switch to traditional materials, but in the meantime I'm wondering whether it's my methods or my materials that have caused the above problems. I wasn't sure whether the white glue made the surface too non-absorbent and the paint wasn't grasping well enough (my surface is sanded very smooth and hard). I also wasn't sure whether problems were caused from the inherent qualities of goache as opposed to just pure pigment, but an experiences egg tempera artist told me goache would do just as well pretty much. Finally, I wasn't sure whether any of my problems were caused by adding too much egg. I thought that more egg would make the underneath less likely to 'bleed' into the above glaze, but it definitely doesn't seem to prevent that.

Sorry for the very long post, but any help that anyone can give into why I am experiencing the above problems, and possible solutions, would be very appreciated.
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