Monday, June 27, 2011

Egg Tempera I

We are already painting! Ya, really! Selecting an image to paint, reviewing it individually with Koo, mixing pigments, and applying paint to gesso board. Done! Maybe that's how I got so excited that I forgot to bring home my notes. No worries though, as I can wing it.

A good part of the day's start covered material similar to that presented the previous week, particularly the characteristics of individual paints. We did go more into detail regarding the handling properties, particularly transparency versus opacity. Some pigments are quite simply bold as brass, others meek and shy--important to remember when mixing.

Koo demonstrated how to handle the egg, mix it with pigment, and apply to the gesso board. She showed how to pick up paint with a cosmetic sponge and apply using dabbing motions. Then came glazing layers using alizarin crimson as well as viridian, both transparent pigments. Lastly, she scumbled on titanium white.

I have picked a rather simple model for my painting, an egg on a piece of cloth on a piece of stone. There will be a radially gradated background around the egg. Although not complex, this model will embody a good many practices--gradated background using mixed pigments and glazing, faux finish stone work, repeated masking, and form detailing (on the egg).

There are to be many more demos and a good deal of painting. Along with forgetting my notes, I just now realize that I have nothing to scan. My gesso board, along with all my supplies, are left behind in the store. (This week we are working out of the Collins Art Center, not the restaurant.) So what I will do is take occasional pictures of my gesso board for a work in progress.

After the morning session, I felt that I had already picked up a couple of gems:
  • Seeing the art of proper tempering was illuminating. I've been lax in adequately mixing the egg with the pigment. 
  • Sponges are used to dab on paint, not spread it. Somehow that practice had eluded me!
If some of this sounds vague, I hope it clears up later this week. Additionally, I can envision expanding on egg tempera long after the workshop completes. More tomorrow!

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