Thomas Grisaille

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Progress on the underpainting in grisaille for the Thomas panel since abandoning egg tempera.

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DSC_0110I have been working with Tad Spurgeon’s text lately.  It is chalk-full of information on the craft of painting, from technique to philosophy, historical research and criticism to in depth analysis of oils and their endless permutations, pigments, resins, additives, and etc, with many useful formulas and recipes.  I have not explored enough to venture a review, but I am enjoying it.

Crushed By Egg Tempera

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Saint Thomas is now on the easel to receive a grisaille underpainting in oils.   After being crushed by my attempt to make an egg-tempera grisaille underpainting on this panel of Thomas and Jesus, et al.,  I have decided to move my historical experimentations to a panel of more manageable dimensions.  Moses in the Rock is the only picture I have made using egg tempera as an underpainting and it is quite small.  This represents the largest panel I have ever undertaken with the most fully developed charters as well.  Egg tempera is very slow (and I already work very slowly), and having already allowed a 5 year window to make this picture,  I shall try to fully embrace those other challenges in a noble fashion in addition to honoring my time.

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Mixing the medium for the thinning of colors for underpainting.

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Applying a coat of thinned shellac over the absorbent gesso and egg tempera.

Please take a moment to visit my friend Mike Schultz interesting post on his blog the other day.

Grinding Paint

Bellow are some photographs of some very small amounts of pigments being ground with water, in preparation for being mixed at need with egg yolk to make egg tempera.  Having a ready supply of fresh hen’s eggs, it is the logical paint to start making, as well as learning slightly parallel to the western historical progression of the technology of paint-making.

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Grinding vine black with water, using a glass muller and “slab”.

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Collecting a small batch of yellow earth from the muller.

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Four jars of pigment, ground with and then submerged in water.