The Great Tempera Experiment, Part 1

What is egg tempera?/ Please include a brief history of egg tempera— when was it first used, who used it, etc.

Tempera, or egg tempera is a type of fast drying paint. It uses pigment mixed with water and yolk. Egg tempera was first made by Egyptians. It was used in some mummy’s paintings. Egg tempera is painted using stripes and layers. Egg tempera dries extremely fast making you have to paint somewhat quickly. You have to use precision to paint with the tempera. Egg tempera was a very popular paint until oil paint started being used.

Please explain how you have made your own egg tempera.

First we cracked an egg and took out the yolk. We rolled it in our hands until all the white was out of the yolk. We then poked it with a toothpick letting the yolk run out of the skin into the container. We then poured water out of the broken eggshell into the same container. After that we had someone mix the water together. We then put the pigment in and mixed it together. We then started to paint the value scale.

What is your goal for this assignment, or what do you hope to achieve?

I hope to make a good painting that uses value affectively and well. I will try to look at the shadow in my drawing and I will make it look realistic. I will try and use the correct painting style with the cross-hatching and doing multiple layers.

How successful do you think our experiment will be?

I believe the experiment will be successful because we have lots of different pigments to try and it will be interesting to see which pigment will work the best.

Do you have any suggestions or tips to help us create successful pieces?

I suggest to have lots of layers. This will make the painting have good value. This makes the painting look good and look realistic. I also suggest taking your time and do not rush the project.

Which of the pigments brought into class do you think will work best for making egg tempera? Why?
(these are located in the Grade 8 tray under the whiteboard, if you take them out, you must put them back)

I believe the green pigment will work well because it looks very fine and will be mixed well with the egg yolk. It is also vibrant so it will be very good looking.

What have you learned so far that you never knew before?

I learned that egg tempera is hard to use and is very interesting. I also learned that it takes a lot of trial and error to get the correct mixture of yolk, pigment, and water to make a perfect paint. It always has to be changed, modified, and made different before being able to use it.


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