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Old 01-01-11, 06:26 PM
PennyL PennyL is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Somerset UK
Posts: 7
Default Advice needed on drying the paintings

I've seen that it can take up to a year for a painting to dry properly.

what do Tempera artists usually do?

If it was framed behind glass would that effect the drying?

If you're painting for a client would you keep it for a year before giving it to them?

how would you store them so they don't get dusty or take up too much room (which is one of my biggest problems)

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Old 05-01-11, 07:09 PM
jim's Avatar
jim jim is offline
old fart and trophy hag
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: atlanta, georgia
Posts: 74

dear penny,

there are two different aspects of the way egg tempera paint develops once it's put on the panel. the first is drying, which means that the water in the paint layer evaporates. this happens in a matter of minutes; certainly within the first 24 hours. which is why egg tempera paint can be painted in multiple layers, one over the other, same day, same week.

the second thing that happens is that the oil in the tempera emulsion cures, which means that the oil goes from liquid to solid, like oil paint. this takes awhile, because it's an interaction with air, heat, light, and humidity. within all these variables, it can take a substantial number of months before the process is complete. this is why oil paintings are usually not varnished for about a year after they've been painted, to avoid crackling of the varnish.

in the case of an egg tempera painting, the painting is usually safe to go out into the world within a few days after its completion. its paint layer may be a little softer, but if the paint surface is not physically abused, it will undoubtedly be fine.

should anything happen to it, such as being scratched or chipped, one has only to touch it up with more egg tempera, to repair what damage might happen to it. but that can happen to any painting in any medium. so send your painting out in to the world as soon as you think you have it looking the way you wanat it to look (if you're fortunate enough to ever have that experience) and hope that your client enjoys it and will return it to you should it ever need further attention.

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