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  #1  
Old 27-05-08, 01:57 AM
PixieDust PixieDust is offline
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Question Brand-new to Tempera

I have been doing watercolor for many years and I am getting into tempera because I want to illustrate some work for my mother.

Can anyone advise me on a beginner kit that will allow me to learn the basics? What size boards are good for beginners? I plan on painting the colors of the Sonora Desert.

What kinds of brushes should I use? Is this a watercolor-like medium or more oil in consistency?
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Old 27-05-08, 04:53 PM
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Hi and welcome to the forums.
If you want to go down the route of pure egg tempera there are really no off the shelf kits. You will need to get pigments which are the basis of egg tempera. You could of course initially try out the 'tubed' variety of what the manufacturers call egg tempera, however, it is believed they do contain linseed oil making it more of an oil tempera. There are plenty of posts here relating to this product, Sennelier and Rowney make them. Try a search for the product by name or tubed tempera, you will get all the posts relating to this.
As far as boards are concerned I would suggest you start small, maybe 10" x 8".....do you intend making your own panels or purchasing, again there are links here or on the main web site (www.eggtempera.com) to commercially available products. There is also loads of technical information.
As far as brushes are concerned then I suggest sables and also synthetic brushes, much the same as you use for watercolours.
Watercolour or oil type medium?......mmmmm.....it does not really fit into either category.......I would say it was a medium in its own right.
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Old 27-05-08, 06:56 PM
PixieDust PixieDust is offline
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Thank you, Rob!

When most people buy their first colors, what's the wisest way to go? I have nine kids and a vehicle that gets 12 MPG-- money has to be used intelligently! I promise to not be fuming or even slightly annoyed if you steer me wrong, and I doubt that you will. If I were to buy 5-7 colors to start out with, what colors have the best range? I have water colors in probably 50 colors and my color theory is limited. If I had to get rid of any colors, I would cry!

I NEVER use black, but do we use white in egg tempera? (In water color, white causes a loss of transparency and I only recently started to use it for gouache resistance.)

Are you willing to suggest certain reds, blues, yellows and browns? Is there a better white than others?

As long as I rinse my brushes right away, they should still be good for water color again?

I'll be buying my first panels.
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Old 27-05-08, 09:50 PM
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Think of egg tempera as halfway between oil and watercolor. You need to utilize the white panel shining through for highlights (as in watercolor), but you do mix whites in as you build up to the highlights (as in oils). If you go too dark in the underpainting, all your highlights will look dull and lifeless.

Colors? Ultramarine blue, an earth red (sometimes called Indian red or red ochre), yellow ochre, chromium oxide (green), titanium white and ivory black. Yes, black- a very useful color in tempera, as opposed to oils where it's deadly. Backups: Burnt umber (brown) and cadmium yellow to mix with and brighten up yellow ochre. That's as basic a palette as I can suggest.

As Rob said, check out the techniques section of this website.

Phil
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Old 28-05-08, 05:26 PM
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I totally agree with Phil on the palette of colours although I don't use black myself. I do like Viridian Green....horrendous in watercolour but in tempera it can be modified to make some really nice natural greens. All in all I don't have anymore than 15 colours.
Phil paints with a different technique to me......I do use titanium white to provide my high lights and don't rely on the white of the gesso.
I guess that many of us had to re-invent tempera painting pre this web site with very little information. So many of us developed different techniques.
At the end of the day you will find that there are constraints and you will have to work within certain boundaries but it is just another painting medium to be made the most of.
With brushes, I often leave them (accidentally) still loaded with paint. The following day the tempera has dried but just washes off with no problem.
(12 mpg!!!.......with petrol over here at $11 per gallon I'd have to mortgage my house to fill up for a short journey.....)
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Old 29-05-08, 04:38 AM
PixieDust PixieDust is offline
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(12 mpg!!!.......with petrol over here at $11 per gallon I'd have to mortgage my house to fill up for a short journey.....) __________________

I had dreamt of having no children, never marrying and that I would drive a 1989 yellow Miata. I have nine crazy kids, a swell husband and a 1989 tank. I guess you just can't have everything!

If the Saudi oil well owners were nice guys, they'd pay for my schooling so I'd drive the long trip to town and finish my degree. We are paying $4.50 a gallon. My tank was in the shop for two weeks and I saved more from not buying gas than I spent getting the car fixed! The price of gas has doubled my tuition. I can't afford it.

Thanks for your help on this. I am about to order a book on egg tempera-- which one do y'all suggest? I want to paint like Cynthia Large. What is that style? "School of Ultra Cool Design" sounds right but there must be a proper name for her style!

When you paint, the cross hatching-- is this tiny painting? Like /// then \\\? I'm sorry for asking so many little questions!

Last edited by PixieDust; 29-05-08 at 04:41 AM.
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Old 29-05-08, 05:34 PM
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Not many 'how to do it' books on ET out there at the moment although some folks here are still finding some.
Have you checked out the main web site...... www.eggtempera.com it has lists of publications and various techniques and demonstrations on tempera. May answer some of your questions.
There are many ways of doing hatching. (Many of us do use other techniques other than the traditional hatching) Yup, we do the /// and the \\\ and combinations and also hatching to follow the contours of the subject......
Alex has a great demonstration at http://www.alexogarcia.com/fineart/egg-tempera-demo.asp with very clear images.
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Old 30-05-08, 03:51 AM
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Default Pixie...

My palette isn't quite so limited. I am definitely no purist. I still mostly consider myself a watercolor painter that often paints with tempera and oil. In watercolor, I often used the most intense colors that couldn't be mixed like Quicacridone Rose or Phthalo Blue. As you know, in watercolor, white has to be used sparingly. I also have a large collection of tubes of gouache...which I love!

So, back to egg tempera, I had to have my brilliant colors in this medium as well. I primarily use dispersions which saves lots of time. You can also buy small amounts of the dispersions (pigments dispersed in water) from several sources like Guerra Paint in NY. I am almost embarrassed to tell you that I probably have 50 (or more) different pigments in varying amounts! I think that if I was robbed, they need to go for my pigments!
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Old 30-05-08, 04:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PixieDust View Post
(12 mpg!!!.......with petrol over here at $11 per gallon I'd have to mortgage my house to fill up for a short journey.....) __________________

I had dreamt of having no children, never marrying and that I would drive a 1989 yellow Miata. I have nine crazy kids, a swell husband and a 1989 tank. I guess you just can't have everything!

If the Saudi oil well owners were nice guys, they'd pay for my schooling so I'd drive the long trip to town and finish my degree. We are paying $4.50 a gallon. My tank was in the shop for two weeks and I saved more from not buying gas than I spent getting the car fixed! The price of gas has doubled my tuition. I can't afford it.

Thanks for your help on this. I am about to order a book on egg tempera-- which one do y'all suggest? I want to paint like Cynthia Large. What is that style? "School of Ultra Cool Design" sounds right but there must be a proper name for her style!

When you paint, the cross hatching-- is this tiny painting? Like /// then \\\? I'm sorry for asking so many little questions!
i love the cross hatching visuals. it's something I'm trying to get a handle on myself.. i'm told it's not necessary but it is traditional. I'm going to do some studies of old masters to warm up. Also being more a painter than draftsperson it's new to me.

Nine kids!!! My two monkeys keep me so busy I'm struggling to fit painting around it, but I guess after the first few they can help with the housework and babysit. (The one nice thing about the north over on our side of the border is that they get one year of college free for every four years we are here.. but I digress.)

I started with the premixed tubes, but found them so frustrating with lifting problems (which may have something to do with the gesso I was using) that I am switching to dispersions and dry pigments. Koo Shadler has an amazing book (or so i'm told.. i'm still waiting to receive it. Things tend to get held up here while the ice roads melt and before the ferry's start up.) Check out some of the demos on the site. They are very helpful. There are other books listed on the resource section of the main site. I found the Luminous Brush quite good. There are lots of step by step pictures, and several artists styles are profiled.

Just don't make the mistake I did (I was in tears of frustration because of the paint lifting), and invest in chalk gesso. You can make your own, used a pre mixed dried version, or have panels shipped to you ready made from realgesso.com. Not a bad deal, if you start with smaller sizes, which is common for egg tempera. Wyeth worked up to three feet, but that is huge by usual standards. If you are doing illustrations for reproduction smaller may be much better.

You can also work on paper sized with gelatin. I find moleskines take the tubed tempera quite well, and I'm using them for studies and sketches.

Good luck.

I've asked a hundred questions here and am still getting started. You can follow my trail of breadcrumbs and read all the good advice that everyone has been so generous to share.

Pixie dust, I have to smile, because a good friend (and hardened journalist) used to refer to me as an art fairy (can't believe I just admitted that. :blushing:) I hope you sprinkle some magic... and look forward to seeing what you do.

When i have a moment I'll look up Cythia's work. Thanks for sharing that...

cheers, jp

p.s. Here is a good thread about brushes:

http://www.eggtempera.com/forumnew/s...ighlight=brush

If you have any question, just do a search and you will be amazed with how much information and advice will turn up. The hard part is to stop learning long enough to start painting... which I'm currently working on. If it is an art degree you've had to give up I truly believe you can do as well or better on your own. Many of the best egg tempera artist's are self taught... even the ones that went to art school. And think of all the time and money you will save driving. You can even save up for a trip to Florence or Amsterdam or put it towards art supplies like me instead... (-:

Last edited by jpohl; 30-05-08 at 06:41 AM.
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  #10  
Old 22-09-08, 10:43 PM
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Dimitris C. Milionis Dimitris C. Milionis is offline
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PixieDust how are you going along with you ET exprience
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