Monday, October 25, 2010

Sponged Tempera

The intent for a botanical representation of a fern quickly went by the wayside; it was simply one of those sessions when things didn't go as planned. Remembering guidance from a couple of books regarding the sponging of tempera...

A clipped off piece of kitchen sponge, a bit of egg yolk, three greens and a yellow ochre for a base, titanium white over the frond, and a border of Holbein Brilliant Gold gouache.

This is the fourth panel of six, all so far with pin holes. A similar order from Realgesso--six 9"x12" gesso panels--shipped this morning.


  1. The colour balance and mix works very well here for me, and I am intrigued by how the background looks something like a speckled glaze on ceramic. May I ask, how did you get the gold edge so crisp by contrast? -- did you work along a paper edge?

    I prefer your meticulously observed and delicately coloured pieces, but this has its own impact and verve.

  2. Sometimes it's just fun to PLAY! I think I learn just as much about my chosen medium when I do things like this as when I am striving for perfection. There is such a freedom to take chances and experiment (and hopefully make positive discoveries) when one's work is no longer precious. It's good to go wild once in a while and I think this piece is very cool!
    ~ gretchen

  3. Thanks, Katharine! That was with artists' tape. There was a tiny bit of creep where the tape wasn't stuck down quite enough. Sometimes that stuff can pull up paint and paper but it behaved perfectly here.

  4. Well said, Gretchen! :-)

    Those fern leaves were driving me nuts! I couldn't tune in with proper brush strokes for the veining. The color was wildly off. This piece was my release from frustration. And, it was a lot of fun too. :-)