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  #1  
Old 15-05-12, 01:09 PM
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Koo Schadler Koo Schadler is offline
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Default Tempera Grassa

Hello All,

Someone just sent me this fun link that shows Pietro Annigoni mixing his tempera grassa paint:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-iNa7klC1I

Also on the subject of tempera grassa....There is a website devoted to Van Eyck's Ghent altarpiece:

http://vaneyck.kikirpa.be/

It allows for high magnification and you can get very close to the work. There have been writings of Van Eyck and others in that transitional period using oil and tempera, and/or TG, but it all seems rather fuzzy, how precisely they combined things... Looking at Adam, his skin tones are smoothly blended (as they would be in oil) but on top of him sit innumerable, crispy rendered, fine hairs (very linear, as if done in tempera). As I was scrolling over Adam I came across (above the knee cap and below his fig leaf) hair lines that aren't crisp but instead have beaded up - i.e. like a water media applied atop oil. I'm presuming this is tempera or TG on top of oil? Any other thoughts on what would cause the paint to behave that way; or what mediums are in play here, in what order?

Koo
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Old 15-05-12, 01:47 PM
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Salamander Salamander is offline
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Annigoni's video is great Koo, Thanks. I think you might be right about that beaded up hair lines. Sure looks that way to me too.
-E
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Old 16-05-12, 01:26 AM
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I think you've seen this video right?
>http://youtu.be/pQmAbO6Kt5s
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Old 17-05-12, 03:14 AM
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So the big thing with alot of these emulsion formulas is that there needs to be about 2/3 yolk(or yolk and white) to 1/3 additional material. One of the best handling formulas I have used is with 2/3 yolk - 1/3 (1/2 damar varnish-walnut oil). Walnut oil, it seems to me,companions the best with egg. You might find otherwise.
What I would like to find is a recipe that allows some blending of the paint.... especially in the secondary layers. I find I can get some blending early on if I dampen the substrate first.
These are just a few thoughts I had today to share with y'all.
~Eric
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Old 17-05-12, 11:36 PM
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Koo Schadler Koo Schadler is offline
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I don't know a lot about emulsions, being in the experimenting phase and still learning about them. I'm currently playing with...

1.Egg/oil emulsions - in which egg predominates (i.e. at least half, generally more of the emulsion is egg; the rest is oil and/or varnish) and the paint is water based.

2. Oil/egg emulsions - in which oily ingredients predominate and a thinner is needed.

My limited experience thus far is that the egg oil mixes (more egg) behave similarly to egg tempera - not easy to blend, a matte finish, fast drying. Its only when I tip into an oil egg (more oil) emulsion that I get some painterly blending. But then these oil egg emulsions don't dry that quickly - they really are more like oil paint in many ways.

So I'm not sure yet if you can have both the crisp linearity, fast drying time of tempera and the blending capabilities of oil - all at once, in a single paint. In fact I don't yet understand what are the significant advantages of emulsions - one sort is enough like ET that I'd just assume use ET; the other close enough to oil that one could use oil. But people like Annigoni and Richard Thomas Davis have great success with emulsions, so something is working for them, something made them choose those mediums. Hey, Richard, if you are out there - chime in!!

Eric, I too have been working with walnut oil in my emulsions and it makes lovely paint - but I find it slow to dry, particularly in the oil egg mixes. Have you experienced that at all?

Koo
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Old 18-05-12, 01:33 PM
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Here is a "new" egg tempera medium

>http://www.calcitesunoil.com/CSO_EGG_TEMPERA.html
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  #7  
Old 18-05-12, 07:13 PM
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Thumbs up Tempera Grassa

Koo, thanks for these links. That Ghent Altarpiece website is AWESOME! That is one of my all-time favorite masterworks. Around 1980 I bought a monochromatic print of the singing angels portion which has hung in my Brooklyn apts. ever since, and in 1989 a friend gave me a small book from Belgium on the Altarpiece with colored photos.

The detail on the website is astounding, giving me new appreciation of this great work.

Mona
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Old 23-05-12, 02:14 PM
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Here is some tempera grassa information from a totally different source, just substitute the olive oil with your drying oil of choice.

>http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/23/di...it_th_20120523
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Old 23-05-12, 07:10 PM
VK VK is offline
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Here are some observations based on my experience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koo Schadler View Post
My limited experience thus far is that the egg oil mixes (more egg) behave similarly to egg tempera - not easy to blend, a matte finish, fast drying.
One of the main differences between emulsions and pure egg tempera is the ability to paint thicker. Not necessarily impasto but more like the thickness of gouache. This does require a slightly different touch..

Also, the matte finish depends on the actual recipe used. Here is something I did with Venetian Turpentine only and it does not have a matte finish at all, especially the darks: http://likefallingleaves.blogspot.co...her-study.html. The photo isn't great but hopefully you can also see that there is a gouache like thickness to the paint. Here is another: http://likefallingleaves.blogspot.co...ack-again.html.

Both paintings are heavily layered and done fast. It is much easier to do this with egg-oil emulsions. (They are studies, their low quality isn't due to the medium).

As for blending -- I find the egg oil emulsions support a limited form of blending: the actual paint on the panel is "open" for about 15 seconds for me (depends on humidity and amount of water used). During this time, it is possible to blend cleanly. But since the layer underneath has very likely dried, the blending is more like a glaze/scumble or softening of the edges. One of the techniques to get really smooth transitions is to paint in very small areas (since there isn't enough time to blend a large area) and only feathering the edges. There was a demo from RTDavis floating around which showed something like this.
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  #10  
Old 07-06-12, 12:06 PM
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Koo Schadler Koo Schadler is offline
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Hello VK,

Beautiful paintings - thanks for sharing them. Your thoughts on tempera grassa are helpful. It doesn't seem to be any sort of magic bullet to the dilemma of smooth blending that tempera poses. I've developed a working method with tempera that I like and gives me the transitions I want, but still I often hear from students that they would like tempera to blend more readily, and maybe TG is the answer...but I don't think it is. But it has other nice qualities, as your paintings show.

Koo
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