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  #1  
Old 10-02-05, 09:21 PM
Anonymous
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Default Beginner Questions

Several years ago I tried egg tempura but did not like all the mixing of the paint with egg and all the trouble with getting a proper panel on which to paint. I have recently retired, am back to painting and find that now you can buy pre-mixed paints and Gesso made just for egg tempura. I have just bought both the paint and the gesso, paint made by Sennelier, gesso by Art Boards. If you use these easier methods are you still considered an egg tempura painter? Has anyone tried these paints and if so how do they measure up to mixing your own? Thank you!
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  #2  
Old 11-02-05, 11:32 AM
turlogh turlogh is offline
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Default Re: Beginner Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by jr
Several years ago I tried egg tempura but did not like all the mixing of the paint with egg and all the trouble with getting a proper panel on which to paint. I have recently retired, am back to painting and find that now you can buy pre-mixed paints and Gesso made just for egg tempura. I have just bought both the paint and the gesso, paint made by Sennelier, gesso by Art Boards. If you use these easier methods are you still considered an egg tempura painter? Has anyone tried these paints and if so how do they measure up to mixing your own? Thank you!
"Tempura" is Japanese fried food. "Tempera" is paint. Confusing the two could result in very messy paintings or the need for prompt medical attention.

The commercial "egg tempera" paints that are available are actually egg-oil emulsions formulated to stop them from going bad in the tube. There isn't anything wrong with using them, but they will not handle like pure egg tempera.

The "gesso" used by Art Boards is not real gesso, it is acrylic primer. Don't use it with any kind of egg tempera, as the paint will not reliably adhere. You can buy panels made with actual gesso; one supplier that I can strongly recommend is http://www.realgesso.com/

On the other hand, egg tempera is not a good medium for a painter who finds it all a lot of bother. You may want to try oil or acrylic instead.
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  #3  
Old 09-03-05, 08:49 PM
Alessandra Kelley Alessandra Kelley is offline
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You can buy commercial gesso for egg tempera. It's sold dry, as a powder mix that you add water to. Fredrix is the commonest brand I've found, but there are others. Just make sure it's got chalk/ whiting/ ground marble/ or the like, and rabbitskin glue.

You can also mix it yourself from scratch for about half the price. It's a very easy recipe.

As for tube "egg tempera", what the heck is in them, anyway? Some brands smell distinctly of turpentine, most clearly have some oil admixture (you can smell it). Oughtn't there be a law that art companies must disclose ingredients?
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  #4  
Old 02-08-05, 05:59 PM
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i'm a bit confused by what's in the sennelier tubes... i'm switching to egg tempera since my baby was born for his health sake, and thought i could get my feet wet with the premixed tubes. (i'm currently working from home with not a lot of space for ventilation, and want avoid the pigment dust in the air.) i thought if i found my way with the brushwork and medium i might eventually take it the next step and start mixing my own.. (as i sell enough work to invest in more supplies).

Two questions:

The introductory leaflet that came with the boxed set claims it is based on the authentic formulation of classic egg tempera. Is this not true? I had my doubts i could mix paint more successfully than a company that has been doing it for so long... I can find very little information about the product online. is it not as good? that is to say, are most egg tempera artists people that love the process of working from "scratch", or are the benefits more tangible?

Can egg be be used with the sennelier tubes? or only the medium that comes with the set? and how best? (i have a feeling i'll figure most of this out by diving in.. but if anyone has any experience here i'd be very grateful for any advice.

Can canvas be used? i had beautifully primed finest belgium linen for oil paintings i've had to put back and would love to use at least one.. i'm trying to convert a few masonite panels that were primed with acrylic gesso in the meantime, and hoped that as i found my way in this new medium (at least new to me) and got a sense for the brushwork that i could eventually take it further. if i use linen would it need to be affixed to a board, or would that cause other problems? i was working the studies on paper...

are lifting problems inevitable with this premixed paint? and if so, what is the best way to work around them.

any tips for brushwork? and can larger areas of wash be incorporated? hatching and cross hatching are something i have to develop a feel for, and i wondered how far the medium can be pushed? how best to do a blend.. or when was traditional technique preferable?

a lot of questions...

i'll be figuring things out on my own.. but if anyone has a moment to response i'd be most grateful.

in the meantime thanks for all the inspiration in the gallery and in your websites... the amazing quality of light i see in so many works is all the inspiration i need to keep going.
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Old 02-08-05, 11:53 PM
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Bert Congdon Bert Congdon is offline
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Default Beginner...

I keep hearing this from many sources, and I agree: once you get started, it is really simple. I buy animal skin glue pearls in 25# kegs and chalk in 10 kelo bags. I can make eight 24x 30 panels in a day. I use linen on cradled plywood. I have written about this before, and I can do it again if you need me to. It's really true! It's simple. I like to paint on them so much, I do my oil paintings on them. NO PRIMER. I underpaint with ET or Griffin Alkyd. Then I color it wit oil glazes. If you like to make hash marks, good for you. I don't. I put ET on like I paint with oil. Bert
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Old 03-08-05, 02:13 AM
turlogh turlogh is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Space Above the Couch
The introductory leaflet that came with the boxed set claims it is based on the authentic formulation of classic egg tempera. Is this not true?
Classic egg tempera would spoil in the tube before they could get it out of the factory. The "egg tempera" made by a couple of manufacturers is really a proprietary egg-oil emulsion, which is much more stable than straight ET. Such emulsions have been in use since at least the 15th century--the Italians called that kind of paint "tempera grassa" (although the stuff you get in a tube isn't exactly the same as classic tempera grassa, either). Egg-oil emulsions do not handle exactly like classic ET made with just pigment, egg yolk, and water, however.

Quote:
I had my doubts i could mix paint more successfully than a company that has been doing it for so long... I can find very little information about the product online. is it not as good? that is to say, are most egg tempera artists people that love the process of working from "scratch", or are the benefits more tangible?
Those companies cannot make classic ET, so you have an infinite advantage over them in that area. If you try the tube paints, I do suggest that you also try classic ET at some point. If you are worried about pigments (which, with reasonable precautions, are no more dangerous than cleaning your bathtub) then get earth pigments, made from dirt which you breathe a little of every day anyway. Andrew Wyeth has done very well for himself in egg tempera with a palette consisting almost entirely of earth colors.

Quote:
Can egg be be used with the sennelier tubes? or only the medium that comes with the set? and how best?
Absolutely you can use egg with tube ET. Just thin egg yolk to the desired consistency with water and mix it with the paints. Play around until you get a mixture you like.

Quote:
Can canvas be used? i had beautifully primed finest belgium linen for oil paintings i've had to put back and would love to use at least one..
You can, although you need to be careful never to roll it. Only paint on canvas or panel prepared with traditional gesso made with hide blue or rabbitskin glue, not acrylic "gesso" or oil primer.

Quote:
i'm trying to convert a few masonite panels that were primed with acrylic gesso in the meantime, and hoped that as i found my way in this new medium (at least new to me) and got a sense for the brushwork that i could eventually take it further. if i use linen would it need to be affixed to a board, or would that cause other problems? i was working the studies on paper...
Acrylic is not a good idea for anything other than studies, as ET will not adhere reliably to it over the long term. Paper is also good for studies. Linen on panel is optional--many just use traditional gesso on hardboard or other panel.

Quote:
are lifting problems inevitable with this premixed paint? and if so, what is the best way to work around them.
Applied to a traditional gesso surface, you will have no lifting problems. If you paint over an area that hasn't fully dried, you will dig a hole. Stop painting in that area, give it a few minutes to dry, then go back over it.

Quote:
any tips for brushwork? and can larger areas of wash be incorporated? hatching and cross hatching are something i have to develop a feel for, and i wondered how far the medium can be pushed? how best to do a blend.. or when was traditional technique preferable?
The only rule is that you shouldn't build up thick blobs of paint (impasto). Other than that, washes and any other application appropriate to water media is OK. The paint dries quickly and doesn't re-wet as gouache does, so it is best to make optical blends by layering.
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Old 04-08-05, 01:46 AM
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thank you very much. :-)
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Old 30-11-05, 01:17 AM
NoraB
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I'm sure there's no exact answer to this question, but generally, how thick is too thick? For example, if I make a brush stroke that leaves a ridge now and then, say perhaps, a 16th of an inch tall, is that too thick? I suppose this is a dumb question, but there might some approximate answer for it. ;) I haven't been using the medium long enough to find out what happens over time to those paintings. Thanks!
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  #9  
Old 01-12-05, 02:27 AM
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Bert Congdon Bert Congdon is offline
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There are no dumb questions. If you knew, you would not ask. If you didn't know, you should ask. Come to think of it, I don't know either. I had to go look at a painting. No, there are no ridges. I use a consistency that feels right...a little like a thin oil glaze, but enough pigment to give me the coverage I want. 50/50 egg yolk and water, then 50/50 with pigment. If your nervous about the thinness, use the test of puting a little stripe on a slick surface; when dry, see if you can peel it off in one piece.
Bert
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Old 02-12-05, 01:54 PM
NoraB
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Thank you, Bert. You're very kind. :-) I did that test on waxed paper, and it peeled up in one piece like a sheet of rubber... that's good, right?
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