Natural Earth Paint Recipes

Egg Tempera:

History:  Tempera painting predates oil painting as a professional painting medium. It has unique characteristics:  it produces a crisp, luminous, almost linear effect that’s quite different from oil. Using egg yolk as the binder, this ancient technique makes a water-soluble paint that dries quickly, allowing for over-painting with more tempera or other mediums. If you have never tried it, we thoroughly recommend the experience! See a detailed Step by Step of the Gold Egg Tempera

  • Ingredients: egg yolk, water, earth pigments (oil paints)
  • Preparing Time: 5 minutes per color

Process:

  1. Separate the yolk from the white:  Break open an egg, cleanly separating the yolk from the white. Keeping the yolk whole, dry it by passing it back and forth in the palms of your hands, drying the palm with each pass (or roll it on a paper towel).
  2. Remove yolk from the sack:  Hold the yolk over a dish or jar with your thumb and forefinger, and pierce the sack to allow the contents to flow out. Discard the empty sac.
  3. Mix with pigments:  Mix yolk with earth pigments (start with 1:1 and then add more yolk as needed), and use water to thin the paint. A drop or two of Clove Oil can be added to slow spoilage. Tempera paint does not store well once mixed, so paint away!

1. Crack egg & pour out egg whites, keeping only yolk in shell.
2. Pour yolk onto paper towel to gently dry.
3. Puncture sack around egg yolk and squeeze yolk out into dish.

        

4. Mix yolk with pigment around 1:1, adjusting as needed depending on pigment type (all pigments absorb liquid differently)

5. Mix & Paint!

6. Dilute paint with water for thinner paint.

Note: A drop or two of Clove Oil can be added to slow spoilage. Tempera paint does not store well once mixed, so paint away! Once painted on paper, this is a very archival paint; once used by the Medieval Monks to create Illuminated Manuscripts.