The Mische Technique

The Mische TechniqueAfter a visit to Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood, I decided to create a painting based on my sketches. The Mische technique sounded like such a bizarre thing to do that I had to try it. The name “Mische” means mixed in German and refers to using two different types of media; egg tempera on top of oil paints. The idea of the Mische Technique is that you paint the highlights and detail with egg tempera and use oil paint in a series of glazes (red, yellow and blue), before adding local colour on top to finish. Having overcome my initial scepticism, I’ve actually grown to love the Mische Technique, as it suits my desire to paint in detail. Follow my step-by-step guide to the Mische Technique below:

For this project you will need:

  • mdf board primed with gesso
  • black Indian ink
  • oil paints
  • brushes
  • damar varnish
  • linseed oil
  • egg
  • white pigment
  • frosted plate and muller (or improvise with a palette knife on a sheet of glass)
  • turpentine (for cleaning brushes)

Verdict for the Mische Technique

The Mische technique is certainly time-consuming, but rewarding when finally completed. I think it would be ideal to learn it from going to a workshop rather than trying to do it from what you’ve read on websites. I had to experiment and guess what I was meant to do half the time, but I think it is the type of technique that can be adapted and experimented with. The artist Brigid Marlin has certainly mastered the Mische technique and I learnt how to do the Mische technique from her website steps for painting in the Mische Technique.

Pros

This technique enables you to build up quite a detailed painting that can look three-dimensional and with lots of depth. I think it needs a lot of practice though.

Cons

It takes quite a long time to do and you feel like you are obliterating what you’ve already done and then painting it in again. I suppose this is why it appeals to those wanting to create very in depth detailed paintings as you are continually refining your subject in each step.

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