The traditional recipe for egg tempera paints usually includes egg yolk as a binding agent to mix with pigments. There are alternative recipes, however, that are slower to dry and are nearer to the character of oil paints. One of these is to use a whole egg (both egg yolk and egg white) and a mixture of linseed oil and turpentine.
When adding the whole egg recipe to pigment, grind the pigment directly with the emulsion medium (see grinding pigments). You can then start painting.
What follows is a brief overview of a whole egg recipe to use for egg tempera. For a more detailed summary of egg tempera, I recommend the excellent book, The Artist’s Handbook, by Ray Smith available from Amazon.
You will need:
- a fresh egg
- purified (distilled water)
- linseed oil
- genuine turpentine
- white vinegar
Whole egg tempera recipe, step-by-step
Other pages of interest
- You will need to use traditional gesso with egg tempera: Read more about traditional gesso
- Before adding any paint, you will need to create an underdrawing: Read more about underdrawing
- Before you can mix up your paints, you need to grind them: Read more about grinding pigments for use with egg tempera
- This is the traditional recipe for making egg tempera paints:Read more about mixing egg yolk with pigment (traditional egg tempera)
- A technique that mixes layers of egg tempera with oil paints: Read more about the Mische technique