Painting Demonstration 2

Many may have learned the techniques of egg tempera at art school, many more have had to ‘re-invented’ the techniques of the medium with just a few ‘how to’ books and a lot of trial and error. There are many ways of using egg tempera, of course certain rules have to be obeyed, this demonstration is just one way of using the medium. I am working on a panel 12″ x 8″.


Having established the composition the first task is to commence on the underpainting of the material. I used ultramarine blue and titanium white and mix up about 6 different tones. First I establish the darks, then the mid tones, the lights and then the in between bits. I use a No.6 sable brush. The brush is dipped into the paint, squeezed out and the hairs shaped to a chisel point and slightly splayed. Layers of thin paint are then applied.
A close up showing the marks made with a splayed brush. Altering the direction and overlaying previous brush strokes will lead to a solid color being produced.
This image shows how the folds of the cloth are rendered. Layers of the made up tones are painted on in the manner described above.
The finished underpainting of the cloth. It took about 4 hours. This bit will aid me towards the final painting knowing where the darks and lights are. Also the underpainting will subtely show through the next stages adding the darks and light, I hope!!!!!
I made up some pigment paste mixing cobalt blue and red ochre.I then made up some paint and mixed some different tones by adding titanium white. Because this stage would span a few days the pigment paste was made up so that I would not have to guess the proportions of the colours used.
Using a No 3 sable I commence to render the material with hatch marks using the different tones of paint.
Time taken was 5 hours which was more than enough for one session!I later completed the stage which took a further 3 hours.
Detail (to right of right hand stone)
The final stage was a repeat of the previous using a mix of cobalt blue and cadmium red. This took another 7 hours. This is the most time consuming part. From here on things will happen quickly!
In this stage I will use art masking film which has a very low adhesion. It is mainly used in airbrush work. I place a piece over the area where the stone is positioned, mark the outline with a pen making sure that it overlaps the painted cloth. I then transfer the film to a cutting mat, cut out the shape of the stone, then re position on the panel.I underpaint the stone quite crudely to suggest the form.Care has to be taken not to get the paint under running the film. It will happen to a lesser degree but small amounts of repair work can be done once the film is removed.
I mix varying tones of cobalt blue mixed with white and then splatter the area using a toothbrush. This is probably repeated about 5 to six times until the right texture is achieved.
Slattering with a toothbrush produces some interesting textures.The size of the splattering can be ‘adjusted’ by the speed at which you run your finger along the bristles. Pretty scientific really!! Slowly and you get a very fine spray, quickly and you get a more crude spray.
Also by altering the dilution of the paint before applying the glazes produces some good mottled effects.
I hold the brush between my thumb and middle finger leaving the forefinger to pull back on the bristles.
It is adviseable to work upright when splattering and cover any unprotected parts of the painting.
I then mix up glazes of yellow ochre, burnt sienna and burnt umber. These are applied by the splattering method with the toothbrush. Once dry, the mask can be removed.
The details in the stone are then painted in.The stone took just over an hour to complete.
This stone was painted using a dry brush technique with the hairs splayed.Described above in the initial underpainting.
The finished painting.