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Old 27-02-13, 08:06 PM
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mona mona is offline
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Default Painting on New Surfaces with Egg Tempera

Perhaps starting a new thread is worthwhile stemming from Koo's questions about painting in egg tempera on copper, or on true gesso on copper. At least I am personally finding the topic fascinating. One alternate surface I've worked on in water-based egg tempera is Kelmscott vellum, which works beautifully for miniature painting and small works of art, and yet there are certain warping issues, which I'm learning better how to problem-solve as I go forward with dryer brush work and clamps as I work.

I'm currently working on my second painting in oil over gold leaf, and I very much want to try oil on copper and possibly egg tempera on copper after Koo's discussion. One artist I've seen use 'egg tempera and oil on copper' is Julio Reyes. See his link: http://www.julioreyes.com/375443/paintings

Currently on Facebook there is a very interesting discussion by our friend and fellow tempera painter, Jeff Gola, about painting in egg tempera on aluminum sign panels. I don't think he'd mind if I shared the essential info. here that he provided (which he shared with a beautiful seascape he had painted on aluminum):

"I'm using Alumalite and Ecopanel: plastic core with aluminum skin that has a baked white finish, available from sign supply dealers in 4x8 foot sheets. Just the ticket for a light non-warping panel that's required for egg tempera and the RSG gesso (not the acrylic stuff).
--adhesion was my biggest concern, and I initially assumed straight RSG gesso on the panel wouldn't work. For my test, I layered a sheet of linen on it using PVA-based medium, and then put RSG gesso on top of that. That worked fine, but since I had a scrap of Alumalite and was curious, I also tried RSG gesso straight onto the panel, but figuring it wouldnt adhere well. I was amazed that it took so well, without abrasion, that even a knife cannot scrape it off. Ivory smooth finish that takes the ET beautifully. I cannot speak to using oils on these panels, but I know David Kassan uses it."

This brings to mind another question. New Traditions Art Panels makes an aluminum panel somewhat similar to what Jeff describes, so I'm wondering if their aluminum panel could be coated with true gesso. Hmmm....many things to explore and try.
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Old 09-04-13, 07:36 AM
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I am still wondering if I should use ET on acrylic primer on panels, myself!
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Old 14-04-13, 06:08 PM
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Koo Schadler Koo Schadler is offline
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Hello All,

With the help of George O'Hanlon (at Natural Pigments) I'm planning on doing a series of experiments of ET on different surfaces, prepared in different ways, and hopefully with some accelerated aging, to see what happens....metals, glass, acrylic gesso, etc. Its going to take time and I don't expect answers overnight, but I'll be sure to let you know what, if anything, we figure out.

In the meanwhile, I've continued to talk to various conservators about working on other grounds and supports. Of the 8 I've spoken with they are equally divided for and against working on acrylic grounds. It highlights how uncertain these issues can be! The ones in favor of acrylic grounds as suitable for tempera favored the absorbent acrylic grounds, such as the one made by Golden. My own experience is that these grounds, even if they are eventually proven to provide good adhesion for tempera paint, do not have the same working properties as traditional, true gesso - I invariably find that the paint slips around a bit, and the layers don't build in the same way. But then again, I know painters who don't mind the working properties of ET on acrylic grounds, so each to his own...

Every conservator I've spoken with so far thinks working with egg tempera on copper is potentially problematic. Lots of different issues were cited, ranging from: lack of absorbency and thus poor adhesion; the fact that metal doesn't move with moisture (unlike true gesso and tempera paint) but does move with temperature changes; the reactive nature of metal, leading to corrosion, and the forming of oxides, possible exacerbated by the sulphur in egg; potential darkening of the paint. No one so far quite approves...but I will do lots of different tests atop copper (in its raw form, prepped, with and without gesso on top) and see what transpires.

Koo

Last edited by Koo Schadler; 15-04-13 at 10:36 AM.
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Old 15-04-13, 01:26 AM
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Salamander Salamander is offline
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Try painting on Saltillo tiles. I don't see the point of painting on copper as one would with oils as the oils react with the copper in a very benficial way and I'm not convinced that et would do the same. Saltillo tiles or terracotta tiles with or with out true gesso would be a suggestion I would make... I'm experimenting with them now. Give them a shot. (I'm actually using clay that I have fired, but Saltillos are commercially available)

Last edited by Salamander; 15-04-13 at 01:29 AM.
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Old 15-04-13, 01:42 AM
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There are pics of my most recent terracotta plate with et on it in my profile albums
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Old 15-04-13, 02:32 AM
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Default Accelerated Aging Tests

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koo Schadler View Post
Hello All,

With the help of George O'Hanlon (at Natural Pigments) I'm planning on doing a series of experiments of ET on different surfaces, prepared in different ways, and hopefully with some accelerated aging, to see what happens....
Koo
Koo,

Would you be willing to provide details on what the tests are? I am aware of the cross-cut tape pull-off adhesion test but I would love to hear about any accelerated aging procedures suitable for egg tempera.

I do a lot experiments with materials and procedures and waiting a decade seems kinda daunting.

Ramesh.
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Old 15-04-13, 01:37 PM
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Koo Schadler Koo Schadler is offline
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Hello Ramesh,

I've tested various things by leaving them in my studio for a decade or two, but I've never done accelerated testing - I'm still learning about it, and the extent to which it is possible for me to do so (not least because I'll have to make several versions of the many different supports and grounds we'd like to test - literally dozens - and I have to see how much time all this takes). I'm doing research and counting on George for help in this regard. I feel that without some accelerate aging these experiments will be less helpful. Egg tempera will stick to many surfaces in the short term; its the long term consequences I'm curious about (I agree wtith you - I'd rather not wait decades...). Whatever I figure out, I'll share with you. We're going to start working on this project in May.

Koo
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Old 23-04-13, 11:44 PM
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I'd take one George O'Hanlon's advice over one hundred conservators. By definition conservators can tell you what is tried and true but have no basis to judge something new. George is in the business of creating products based on sound scientific principles and rigorous testing.

Adhesion is not completely understood by science and misunderstood by many. A common misconception is that many adhesives work by mechanical bond. It's the idea that glue hardens and keys into crevices. They recommend roughening surfaces to provide the keys, but think about it. Scouring creates a series of grooves in the surface but no keys. There is nothing to mechanically retain a hardened substance. Except for suction cups and animal feet, adhesion works on a molecular level. A rough surface often does increase adhesion but it works because of increased surface area for the adhesive to work on. Also, in the case of very smooth mating surfaces, clamping can drive out the adhesive. Roughing provides space for the adhesive.
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Old 12-08-13, 04:03 AM
arbrador arbrador is offline
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Default alternative supports

I'm coming into this discussion kind of late so I hope some of you are still interested in the topic.
I'm not so interested in looking for alternative surfaces that eliminate the true gesso as I feel that a lot of the beauty of ET comes from the gesso.

However I am VERY interested in finding new surfaces to apply the gesso to as I've been painting very large paintings and they are awfully heavy on hardboard especially if cradled with more wood. I find them heavy even using 1/8 masonite.

I subscribe to the belief that the panel must be rigid. This first method I'm not interested in but in case some of you have not heard of it I saw the ET paintings of Joseph Edward Southhall in the Birmingham Museum of Art in England. He used loose weave canvas stretched on frame. Gesso was applied to both sides of the canvas in so many layers that a rigid panel was created using the canvas as a sort of armature. The problem I see is that although rigid it could be fragile.

The second method was described to Michael Bergt, as I recall, by an artist. I tried this on very small scale and it seems to work. All it is is applying true gesso to high quality archival thick mat board. Has anyone else tried this?

Any other ideas for making large panels lighter?
Thanks for your ideas.
Lora Arbrador
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Old 27-08-13, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arbrador View Post
Any other ideas for making large panels lighter?
Thanks for your ideas.
Lora Arbrador
Lora, I've started using the aluminum/plastic composite panels, since they are very stable for larger works. A 4’ x 8’ x ”. sheet of "Alumalite" ($86.97 USD) weighs approx. 20 lbs and there is no visible bend or warp in an 8 foot sheet that is only supported in the middle. I determined that a 4' x 4' has absolutely no bend that a straightedge can detect, so no bracing is needed. I do finish the edges of these panels with wood strips, but only for cosmetic and framing purposes. I also adhere linen to it, and then apply RSG gesso to that.
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