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Old 28-05-08, 03:04 AM
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Post Finishing an egg tempera painting and gilding

I've been working on a portrait with a kimono my sister picked up for me while she was working in Japan. There are cranes and beautiful gold in the fabric and i thought it might be a good excuse to try my hand at gilding at least once.

I should research this more before I ask this so forgive me if I don't have all the facts, but the question about using renaissance wax to bring out darker tones/shadows got me to thinking ahead again (yet again ):

How would you finish a work with gilding? Is it enough to buff around it or the entire painting with a soft cloth as usual? If you apply renaissance wax would you avoid waxing just the gold, or avoid beeswax on any painting with gilding? I know some people varnish to make tempera seem more like an oil painting, but that is not something I want to do. I'm not sure if this would protect the work and give depth to the shadow tones, but I'd like egg tempera to look like egg tempera.
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Old 15-06-08, 06:17 AM
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I know it's been suggested that a final glazing coat of medium over the painting that is dried and then later buffed is a good choice. I am unsure about the dilution that is most appropriate for this though and would like to hear from someone who does know.

I have a large painting that I want to finish and this is a problem for me at the moment. I have considered using beeswax because I have tried it on other paintings and it produces a nice even semi-gloss finish, but it does take down the highlights perceptibly as well as increasing the saturation of other colours. It isn't so strong an effect as varnish, but I am still dubious about using it. It has a further disadvantage in that it prevents any further work on the painting without some sort of removal process. I thought that I could try a mixed application of beeswax on some parts and egg medium on others with an overall buffing. I need second opinions.
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Old 15-06-08, 04:26 PM
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Dennis H Dennis H is offline
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Hi Jeff,
I don't know exact proportions, I've just sort of diluted yolk by look and feel to make a clear "glaze." (I know glaze isn't the right term -- clear coat, maybe?) My guess is it's about 10 parts water to 1 part yolk. If you want a deeper gloss that remains re-workable in tempera, there's always glair. A "sticky" thread is on this forum. Here's its URL: http://www.eggtempera.com/forumnew/s...ighlight=glair

For a clear coat with glair, you'll also want to dilute it just enough to be brushable in large areas. Probably you'll need to do a bit of trial-and-error mixing to see what works for you. You certainly don't want to leave a patchy scruffy-looking surface which could occur if the glaze is too thick. Paint thinly and apply a few layers as though you were glazing with color washes and you should be OK. As always, just make certain your paint surface has dried long enough and is well tempered. Also, brush the surface lightly with a dry soft brush to get rid of dust. No need to glue dust motes or pet hair to the painting. Obviously, don't flood the surface with lots of watery liquid and don't scrub the paint, either, with a bunch of back and forth strokes. At least with these egg coatings, if you're not satisfied with the finish, you haven't done anything drastic to the painting. But remember, this won't be a reversible picture varnish, like Soluvar or Gamvar. This will bond to the painting. Also, egg clear coat doesn't provide as hard a protective surface as varnish. If you just want to unify the paint surface and give a little more sheen, especially when later buffed, this is a good option. As a durable replacement for glass or varnish, it falls a little short. (I don't like varnish or glass, but I use glass for protection.)
D
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Old 16-06-08, 01:38 AM
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Sounds very suitable, Dennis. I'll give it a go on one of my sacrificial paintings and see if I like the effect.
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Old 17-06-08, 01:39 PM
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Just thought I'd follow up by adding that I successfully made the glair and have tried it on several paintings including the one I have been concerned about. It is a very satisfactory finish and although it deepens the dark tones beautifully its effect on white highlights actually seems very mild. I presume that this must have something to do with its compatibility with the ET. Anyway I'm grateful to have learned something so useful.

I'm thinking now that its use as a painting medium might also be interesting. Does anyone use it or has tried it? I've got a fair bit left over so I might, but I'd be interested to know more.
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Old 17-06-08, 11:36 PM
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Jeff,
I haven't used glair for making paint, but I read that it was a favored vehicle for manuscript illuminators. I've used it to stick down little bits of missing gilding. It has a bit of tack to it, eh? Let us know how agreeable you find it, or if you don't...
D
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Old 22-09-08, 10:49 PM
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all greek orthodox Icon have a clear "glaze" since the 7-8th ace , its the finnal touch, also helps the wax varnish to sit on top with no problem, I dont see why one does not use it on todays contemporary paintings
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Old 28-09-08, 01:42 AM
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Dimitris, by clear glaze do you mean a coating of glair? Although I like the effect of glair I'm concerned about its potential yellowing with time. I've got hold of a paper from a specialised photography site that seems to indicate that it will yellow with age though less so the more fermented it is.
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