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Old 15-01-10, 07:44 PM
Leviathan Leviathan is offline
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Default Egg Tempera as underpainting for Oil

Greetings,

i wanted to try an Egg Tempera as an underpainting for a still life in oil. I have seen in a book of Max Doerner and Kurt Wehlte that this is a simple, fast and good way to build up an oilpicture. But there are some questions remaining.

As receipt for the emulsion i want to use 1 part egg, the same amount of water and oil. Or is dammar varnish instead of oil better?

1.) I want to start with an imprimature and i have seen that tempera should be applied with fine lines. But i want to apply the imprimature i one layer (all-over flaked?). Can i make a wash with tempera?

2.) After the imprimature i want to highing up some areas with white. That should also be made with fine lines and in layers. But there is also a problem. How long should i wait until the next layer can be placed?

3.) And after the tempera part - before the oil - i wanted to apply a fine layer of a varnish. How long must the paint dry befor i can add the varnish? The varnish should be a thin selfmade varnish with 1 part dammar and 4 - 5 parts of turpentinoil.

I ask about the time between the layers because i have read that the tempera is dry within a few hours but i takes weeks until it is setting. I am afraid that i destroy my work because i havent waited long enough. But i dont understand, tempera should be a faster (and better) alternative than a underpainting in oil. But when i have to wait weeks until i can paint the next layer, then i takes much more time than an oilunderpainting.

Maybe someone can help me with this problem. As so far, thanks for reading!

It is possible that i cant answer until the next weekend.


Greetings, Leviathan
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  #2  
Old 16-01-10, 07:10 PM
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JeffG JeffG is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leviathan View Post
Greetings,

i wanted to try an Egg Tempera as an underpainting for a still life in oil. I have seen in a book of Max Doerner and Kurt Wehlte that this is a simple, fast and good way to build up an oilpicture. But there are some questions remaining....
Hello;

Robert Massey's "Formulas for Painters" is what I usually go to when I want to research various emulsions. It's a clear, no-nonsense book. He has 8 recipes alone for various egg-based paints, including oil with egg, and damar with egg. I do not have any experience in using them with oils, so I can't give you first-hand information.

However, I can tell you from experience that you can do broad washes with tempera. Be aware that they come out very streaky and cannot be reworked and smoothed like a watercolor wash. Since you're doing it as an underpainting, that probably shouldn't matter. I do pure tempera washes all the time with 2-inch wide brushes in my underpaintings and often midway through.

Also, referring to what you've heard that "tempera should be applied with fine lines"; I would say that only refers to the best use of tempera to control shading and modeling. Actually, I've found that using a variety of techniques other than the traditional "fine line" crosshatching gives great results. As far as I'm concerned, the only rule for applying tempera to ensure it will be archivally sound is to not apply it thickly.

PS: do you have a real name? I feel silly talking to a mythical sea monster.
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Old 17-01-10, 12:57 PM
dbclemons dbclemons is offline
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I would not recommend using a medium of egg and OIL for underpainting since it'll make a fat layer. Keep it lean by using only egg, or egg and varnish. The varnish can help keep the paint in place as you paint over it. It should be diluted with solvent rather than water.
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Old 19-01-10, 06:38 AM
VK VK is offline
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I am not really sure that egg+oil would act like a "fat" layer of oil. For one thing, egg yolk already has plenty of oil. Also, I would expect the egg+oil to *cure* rather than dry by oxidation like oil. That said, this is only hearsay (apparently mische technique starts this way).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQmAbO6Kt5s

Incidentally, I paint with egg yolks like goauche -- alla prima for an hour or two with no drying periods at all and the trick to this is to almost no water but mix the pigments directly with the yolk. This is nothing like the traditional ET work but a) you can get strokes without too much streaking b) you can blend well (though I rarely do it) so long as you blend within a minute or two after putting a color down and c) you can layer easily without serious liftoff problems. It seems to me that this could be used for underpainting...
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Old 12-02-10, 07:24 PM
Leviathan Leviathan is offline
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Thank you for your answers and sorry that i havent wrote back such a long time.

Here is an example what i want to receive with the tempera colour. For this example i used an acrylic umbra and fast drying oil colour white. I started more pictures in this way and i think it works well for me. I just want to change the acryl and fast drying oil colour white to egg tempera.



(The picture is not my own idea, itīs from Justus Juncker)

But can i achieve the fine white veil with lines?

And, my doerner book tells me to use gypsum as ground. Is there any different between gypsum and true gesso?

Greetings,

Daniel (the sea monster)
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Old 10-04-10, 12:17 PM
marrydavidson10
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At the encouragement of a few colleagues, and to see if others may share my interest in reviving this art form, I have just started a new blog showing the eye portraits I am painting and offering the possibility of commissions. Hopefully there will be more to see as it goes forward. Since I am painting these in egg tempera on vellum, here is the blog link to see the eye portraits so far:
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Old 20-04-10, 07:24 PM
antonia acock
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Default tempera under oils

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leviathan View Post
Thank you for your answers and sorry that i havent wrote back such a long time.

Here is an example what i want to receive with the tempera colour. For this example i used an acrylic umbra and fast drying oil colour white. I started more pictures in this way and i think it works well for me. I just want to change the acryl and fast drying oil colour white to egg tempera.



(The picture is not my own idea, itīs from Justus Juncker)

But can i achieve the fine white veil with lines?

And, my doerner book tells me to use gypsum as ground. Is there any different between gypsum and true gesso?

Greetings,

Daniel (the sea monster)
Yes, you can use tempera under oils...it works very well. I use it as a way to put down my values...mostly in monochromatic paint. I do not use an isolating varnish but if I want an isolating layer I use shellac here and then paint with oils then finish with a varnish. I learned this from the Natural Pigments seminar with Peter and Olga. It is very helpful. I also do not put an oil into my egg. only minerals, egg and water. That is all you need. I like to paint pretty dry so maybe the linseed oil or other additives slow down the drying time.(?) The subject you have chosen is a lovely one and yes, laying down the white is great with fine lines and will give you the effect you want although you may have to transition out of the original ground a little.
It does take egg tempera a long while to fuse but it dries sufficiently to varnish in a shorter time than oils. There should be no problem with the tempera....if the oil is dry the tempera will have dried long before that.
Good luck with this!
Toni
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