1. Dry ground pigments should be mixed with water to form a paste prior to use in recipes
for water based paint.
2. The various pigments have different sized particles with different
absorption rates making measuring for paint making difficult.
3. By pre-wetting the pigments this problem is circumvented and paint making is made simple.
4. Add water a little at a time and mix or grimd the pigment with it to form
a paste with the consistancy of tube oil paint. Pigment paste looks like paint.
It is not paint; there is no binder.
5. Pigment paste may be kept indefinitely in air tight containers. Premixing pigment paste and
storing for use as needed facilitates the paint making process making it cleaner and faster
Pigment + Binder = Paint
1 part pigment paste + 1 part yolk = egg tempera paint
1. Prepare “pigment paste”
2. Separate yolk from white of egg, drain contents from yolk sack, this will be the “binder”.
3. Mix pigment paste with equal part yolk for each color.
a. Some recipes call for addition of water to the yolk. This is fine the water is going to
evaporate out as the paint dries. Some colors may require a little more or a little less yolk,
adjust as needed. The paint should be liquid and flow in a smooth clean stroke from a brush.
b. Preservatives may be added
ABOUT TEMPERA PAINT
1. Tempera thins and cleans up with water.
2. Tempera dries immediately on the panel surface, you can paint layer on layer without waiting.
It will dry up in the palette as well so it is a good idea to cover it with a damp cloth or paper towel.
3. Paint should be prepared fresh for use, though it can be refrigerated for a day or two it will spoil.
Do not use spoilt paint.
4. Tempera can be built up as thickly as you like if this is done in many thin layers. Do not apply thick
layers which will dry on the surface but remain wet inside as they may spoil.
5. Tempera is not flexible so it is best used on panel, or rigid support, as opposed to cloth supports.