Green Heron, Egg Tempera Over the last five years I've been working with egg tempera as my primary medium.  I did some egg tempera work back in the 70's and never could get the hang of it.  A good friend of mine and fellow artist turned me back on to this wonderful medium, and also to the use of "true gesso" panels and claybord.  
Egg Tempera is an ancient medium for painting.  Going back at least 2500 years on panel paintings.  The Eygptians used it extensively for painting tombs and wooden objects of art.   The art of using egg tempera in painting was perfected in the late middle ages and early renaissance.  Particularly by the schools in Florence and Venice.  Benini, Botticelli, Raphael all used egg tempera to great effect.

Egg tempera is made by grinding pigments in an emulsion of egg yolks, water, wine or other carriers as a binder.  The paint is relatively transparent, and it drys almost instantly as its applied, so the technique involves using small strokes built up in layers that diffuse together as they build, married with thin glazes of temper or thinned paint, buffed, more layers added until the desired color, shading, and texture is achieved.  These paintings glow with an inner light of their own.

Because egg tempera is such and exacting medium and requires a lot of practice to develop a technique.  It has largely fallen into disuse my most modern painters.  A small renaissance is underway in its use among a handful of full time artists.  Wyeth, Vickery, Thomas Hart BentonGeorge Tooker are some of the well known 20th century artists who specialized in this as their primary medium. 

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Out of the Twilight

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Groundhog Day Details

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The Dunes