My Experience With Egg Tempera

Finals are finally over and the spring semester has come to its end. Congrats to everyone who has made it through another year and yay for me for finishing my freshman year! This past week I have been looking over my first year review to see what I should write about this week. Last semester I had the opportunity to experiment with egg tempera, a painting technique that was used almost exclusively before the popularity of oils.

What is Egg Tempera

Egg tempera is a painting technique commonly associated with the Renaissance, most of Michelangelo’s panel paintings were done in tempera paint.  Although oil paint had mostly replaced tempera paint after the Renaissance it was and still is used. Egg Tempera paint is made with egg yolk and powdered pigment. Most pigments are made from minerals, the most valued made from precious stones.

Working with egg tempera was really fun and interesting. I had to separate the yolk from the membrane and then mix it together with some pastel dust. I made a simple sketch of an apple, something that I felt I could draw from memory on a wood panel. The paint dries really fast so you have to move quickly. I thought it was an interesting experience, it is not easy at all to work with these materials but it was a change from painting with acrylics or oils.

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