Jennifer Letchet Paintings

My work explores fundamental elements of painting, the relationship between colour and line. I intend my paintings to affect the viewer optically with the illusion of shapes moving and receding. Colour theory is very important to my work. I use specific hues to symbolise ideas or emotions. The contained shapes on canvases seem more like objects than lines. My recent work explores natural and man-made disasters and the impact this has on our environment. I want to record the changing landscape through simplified shapes and colours.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Egg Tempera Paint

For my newly primed boards, I am going to paint using egg tempera.  This has been a new exploration for me, making my own paint.  I have long been interested in colour theory, and this style of painting allows me to mix my own colours very easily from pure pigments.  The consistency you achieve is akin to poster paint, and you can make it as thin or as thick as you like.

I have been mixing a teaspoon of pigment with a few drops of water to make a paste.  In a separate bowl I pierce an egg yolk to make sure all the eggy goodness goes into my bowl and not the egg yolk sack.  I mix half of this yolk with my paste using a palette knife.  You need to work it very thoroughly to push all the pigment into the egg.  If you can, by a muller which is more effective at mixing the paint.  The egg acts as a binder, if it is not properly mixed, your pigment will fall off and become unstable.

I have been mixing pearl lustre pigments (from Cornelissen's - with my raw pigments to get a shiny surface.  These pearlescent pigments are even more unstable, so I recommend adding more egg than usual.  The paint is very quick drying - in a bout ten minutes your surface will be completely dry.  I add a little drop of linseed oil to slow down this drying process and add shine.

Tempera paintings on the chalk ground

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