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Work In Progress Egg Tempera paintings from start to finish

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Old 17-02-09, 04:06 PM
MatG MatG is offline
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Default First ET Painting–Progress Series

First let me say that this site has been an invaluable resource. I spent a great deal of time reading these forums before investing in a whole new medium.

This looks like a friendly community, and I thought I'd share my first egg tempera painting. It's starting to show its final form, but obviously has a long ways to go. It's 18 x 24" (about 46 x 61 cm). This link is to a small gallery on flickr. I'll update it as progress occurs.

Since it's in progress, helpful, constructive criticism is welcome, especially on technical points. Though really, I'm just introducing myself.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/2904958...7614014273794/

Last edited by MatG; 17-02-09 at 04:40 PM.
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Old 18-02-09, 05:54 AM
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Dennis H Dennis H is offline
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MatG,
That's a good-looking painting so far. You mind shooting some details?
Welcome to the forum!
Dennis
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Old 18-02-09, 06:48 AM
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It all looks good to me so far.......
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Old 18-02-09, 10:25 AM
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Really cool. Great work on the blouse.
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Old 18-02-09, 03:45 PM
MatG MatG is offline
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Thanks, all.

Dennis, I'll shoot some details next time I take pictures.
I know I've been very curious to see details of others' works to gauge the translucency of brush strokes.
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Old 02-03-09, 04:27 PM
MatG MatG is offline
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Default Updated

Got some work in over the weekend. Hopefully more today.
I've included two details, each revealing two of the three problems I'm struggling with. Any helpful comments are appreciated.

In the detail of the face, you can see some light horizontal cracking. This is a defect in the panel. I didn't notice it until after I'd finished the verdaccio, and there was just a little in the upper left corner. I decided that was acceptable, since this is still a learning experiment. It's worsened, and it makes me grumpy. Certainly worries me about continuing into a second painting using a panel I prepared at the same time. (Cradled maple ply, Gamblin traditional gesso mix.) Guesses as to causes and how to avoid in the future would be great.

In the detail of the hand, you can see that I'm working to control the regularity of brush strokes. I attribute this to practice, and experience with establishing the proper fluidity of paint. In other areas, it may be just that I need a smaller brush.

Overall, the light side of the face has lost some of its color intensity. This is more obvious in certain light. I think today I will try to paint some back in with heavily watered (to become very translucent) hatches. In an oil, I'd put a glaze over the whole face and paint back in the highlights, but I don't see any technique similar to that in egg tempera. A wash would be to uneven. . . .

Thanks for your comments and interest.

Last edited by MatG; 02-03-09 at 06:15 PM.
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Old 21-03-09, 05:47 PM
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Dennis H Dennis H is offline
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MatG,
If the cracks are running parallel to the wood grain, that's an easy thing to prevent on the next panel. After you size your plywood panel with skin glue, soak some thin cotton or linen in glue, squeeze out some of the excess glue, and spread the cloth across the face of the panel running beyond the edges. Use a card or something similar to squeegee it out from the center to remove bubbles. When dry, trim the excess cloth and begin gessoing.
Dennis
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Old 25-03-09, 05:27 PM
MatG MatG is offline
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Default Goodness me!

Such wonderful responses from everyone. And I must say that Koo's excellent replies throughout the site are a welcome flurry of activity!

My painting is nearly completed, and I hope to post it soon, but I've taken a full-time teaching job for the next two months which has severely limited my time.

Meanwhile, I'm looking forward to a little more time to read through recent posts more carefully and to respond in the thoughtful manner deserved. Also meanwhile, I plan to use whatever information is here to save the second panel that I prepared at the same time as the one in question, and will soon also proceed with a few beautiful panels that I bought from TrueGesso.
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Old 16-04-09, 05:27 PM
MatG MatG is offline
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Default Update: Finished (?)

I think I'm done with this. Found a little time over Spring break. It needs to be buffed--hopefully that will even out the sunken areas in the hair.

I believe the cracking was caused by either wood grain or uneven application. I had a pretty makeshift temperature control system, and I neither kept the gesso at a consistent viscosity, nor at a consistent temperature. Probably a combination of the two.

Thanks, all, for the kind words and encouragement.
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Old 11-05-09, 01:54 AM
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What an interesting painting! What inspired your subject matter? Lovely rendering of the face and hands... and the blouse, wow!
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