Egg Tempera



Substrate Preparation

Egg tempera is best applied to an absorbent gesso (Mayer), so that the paint can permeate the surface and form a bond with the substrate. The Golden acrylic gesso, used with oil and acrylic paint samples, is neither chemically compatible nor absorbent enough for use with egg tempera. Golden Absorbent Ground (White) (Golden #3555-2) was used to prime the Masonite panel to create a porous surface on which the egg tempera could be painted. Three coats of absorbent ground were applied with a 1 ½” Robert Simmons White Sable Skyflow brush (278W), each at 90 degree angle relative to the previous coat to ensure even coverage. Lastly, the panel was lightly sanded using 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out any imperfections.



Mars Venetian Red

Pigment: Synthetic red iron oxide (PR 101)

Chromium Oxide Green

Pigment: Anhydrous chromium sesquioxide (PG17)

Mixed Gray

Pigment: Ivory Black, Titanium Dioxide Rutile (PBk9, PW6)

A neutral gray was mixed using 4 parts titanium white to 1 part bone black. The pigments were first mixed thoroughly while dry then water was added to create a paste.

Bone Black

Pigment: Ivory Black (PBk9)

Titanium White

Pigment: Titanium Dioxide Rutile (PW6)

Techniques and Application

Medium Preparation

Egg Tempera was mixed using artist grade dry pigments, egg yolk and distilled water. The egg yolk was separated from the egg white and rolled in paper towel to dry it while taking care not to rupture the yolk sack. The yolk sack was then pierced to drain the yolk, making sure none of the membrane was included. The egg yolk was mixed with about a teaspoon of water to create a thinner consistency. The dry pigments were ground using the flat part of the palette knife to remove any lumps then wetted with a small amount of water to create a pigment paste. Equal parts of the pigment paste and diluted egg yolk were combined to make egg tempera paint.



No varnish or fixative was applied to the egg tempera samples.