Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tuesday's Art Adventure: Egg Tempera

Holy smokes, I'm a little later than usual getting this up! I've started grad school and I'm still trying to get used to the schedule.

Another art history adventure. Artists used oil to bind pigments to make paint, hence, oil paints. In the Renaissance, artist began making a new paint, tempera using egg as a binder.
So today we will make our own paint!

Egg tempera

  • different colors of chalk
  • egg yolks (for four colors, I used 2 yolks)
  • zip-top bags
  • some type of hammer or mallet
  • paper
  • brushes
The kids can help with the prep. First, pick some different colors of chalk, you don't need a lot. One stick of regular chalk or just an end of sidwalk chalk. Place them in separate bags, and smash into a powder.

Separate your eggs, you just need the yolks (have an egg white omlet for lunch later).

Add a tablespoon of water and stir it together.
Pour the powder of one color into a small container, 

add about 3 teaspoons of egg mixture to the powder, 

and stir. It should be smooth and paint-like, not too runny, not too thick.

Once all the colors are mixed, it's time to paint.
My boys are really into Star Wars, so I heard fantastic stories about what they were painting while they worked.

Gabe made a ship that is going into hyperspace being chased by a Republic cruiser.
And Chi made a tie fighter battle.

Once it dries, it will be all set because the egg is binding the pigment. You will notice that we still have a few chunks. The more you grind the smoother it is; you could also strain it if it bothers you.

For older kids and those of you with a mortar and pestle, you can go find things from nature to grind up to make your colors. Berries, flowers, leaves. It is a lot of fun to make your paint completely from scratch, but it is difficult without that mortar and pestle.

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  1. Little masters are trying to do something new.. Good:)

  2. i love this so much! no need to worry about toxins! great post.

    i would love for you to come link up this or any other amazing project at my creativity party going on right now!


    thanks so much for sharing!


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