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Intro to Egg Tempera, Materials and Techniques, Part 1

  • Art Students League of New York 215 West 57th Street New York, NY, 10019 United States (map)

Art Students League of New York, NYC

Feb 24-28 2020

9:00am -12:30pm


Tuition: $410 +$50 Material Fee

Egg Tempera painting is an exceptionally beautiful and subtle painting medium that is said to date back to ancient Egypt. It was commonly practiced in the 14th and 15th C. in Italy during the Italian Renaissance, notably, by virtuoso painters like Giotto, Fra Angelico, Botticelli and in recent times most notably by Andrew Wyeth.

This week long workshop is a hands on introduction  to the methods and materials of the 14th and 15th C. Italian Egg Tempera painter. We will walk in the shoes of the studio apprentice and learn how to do the following.

  • Learn how to make “genuine gesso panels" from scratch using glue and chalk

  • Prepare homemade toned drawing paper for silverpoint drawing

  • Grind and emulsify your own egg tempera paint

  • Practice various egg tempera painting techniques

  • Make handmade transfer paper 

  • Learn how to grid and scale thumbnail designs to a panel

  • Use ink on to develop an underpainting on a true gesso panel

  • Paint your first egg tempera painting

polish field.jpg

What is Egg Tempera?

Egg Tempera is made by taking an egg yolk and mixing it with pigment. This emulsion is then painted on an absorbent ground of Gesso. Traditional Gesso was made by heating a solution of glue and water and mixing it with chalk/ gypsum. This solution was then applied to a wooden support in successive layers. After a day or so the panel is sanded and ready to be used for painting. 

Egg Tempera painting is a patient and meditative process. One achieves a result by carefully building up a form with successive layers of very thin paint. It is a natural medium for those that love drawing and the technical process of painting. A finished Tempera painting has a delicate translucency and radiance that is unparalleled by other painting mediums. 

This is the First of a Four week course on Egg Tempera Painting and Practice.