This week I had the last lesson in my five week course on egg tempera painting... so it seemed like a good topic for Five on Friday. Five weeks and five little paintings! To be fair there are six but I don't like one of them so you're not seeing that!
1. In our first lesson we learned about the pigments and the various binders that are traditionally used. The binder doesn't have to be egg but we were using egg yolk mixed with wonderful powders with names like Terre Verte, Ultramarine and Cadmium Red. Our first little project was an illuminated letter and I chose an A. Yes, I know I've shown this before but I was quite happy with this as a first attempt!
2. We were still tracing designs given to us by the tutor at this stage, and as I had finished my first one at home in the second week I painted a D.... Probably my favourite so far. (Before you ask why an A or D... these were the only choices!)
3. Although I was enjoying painting the letters I was keen to try the paints and techniques on something I had designed myself and so my third painting was this teacup. It is still only a couple of inches high and in the style of the illuminated letters. It is far from perfect, and already just a few weeks later I would do it differently.
4. In class we progressed onto gesso panels and painted designs onto these little roundels. The gesso surface feels completely different to paper, drinking up the paint as it is applied. My first attempt (on the reverse... the one you won't see) was very patchy and I wasn't happy with it but I quite like my second attempt.
5. After class this week I came home and worked on another illuminated letter... A little surprise for a friend. This one was just a bit larger than the others and I thought that would make it easier but no! Much harder to paint the longer straight lines!
It has been a really enjoyable course, especially as it was something I have wanted to learn for a long time. I would love to continue and do more - I have a small postcard sized gesso panel and intend to try an icon at some point. But the problem is actually finding the time. I aspire to be as good as my tutor Juliet. I know I am not happy just "dabbling" ... I'm too much of a perfectionist but don't think I can spare time for serious study and practise... not just yet anyway
However I am rounding off this five week course by treating myself to a day out at the V & A today where I am attending a lecture on art techniques all about egg tempera... It seemed fitting!
On a completely different note, my stepson James is getting married today... the two of them have flown off to Venice on their own for a very private ceremony. Congratulations James and Lizzie!