Sunday, 12 July 2015

Egg tempera

We kicked off this Summer programme, which will be promoting knowledge to the children about the Early Renaissance period in Italy, which paved the way for the great masterpieces of Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael and many more after them.

We discussed that in the c.1300-1400's, artists did not find ready-made paint from art shops, but instead they created it themselves with the material that was available at the time. We talked about Giotto, Fra Angelico and Botticelli, whose artwork is created of tempera paint. After some brainstorming about how the pigments of colour can be got, we talked about chalk and how it can be broken down (tempered- hence the name it got: tempera paint, before oil paint was available in the centuries to follow.)

The children helped in breaking the eggs and separating the yolk from the white. We also carried out some experiments how the tempera paint (chalk) will look like when mixed with the egg white and/or yolk. Some water was added to make the paint more workable.

The following are the materials for egg tempera paint, which we followed in class to produce the paints the children painted with during the lesson:

  • coloured chalk/ soft pastels
  • egg
  • some water
After children helped in breaking off pieces of coloured chalk, teacher grind the pieces of chalk with a pebble in a bowl. These were distributed in yogurt cups and egg cartons. The yolk and egg white were separated and and the children whipped up the yolk together with some water using a fork. Afterwards, this egg-water mixture was added to the chalk. 

We also used food colouring for some colours as a replacement for chalk.

Children drew pictures of flowers using markers, and then had a go at trying out the egg tempera, which proved to be bold, vivid, very easy to work with and mix. Egg tempera is very smooth, quick drying and translucent. It does not only give colour without covering up, but looks shimmery once dry.

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