Monday, May 25, 2009

TAOS STEPS - A Work in Progress

TAOS STEPS  12" x 16" Egg Tempera

I've been working on this painting, off and on, (mostly off) for about 6 years.  The medium is Egg Tempera; a mixture of dry pigment, water, and egg yolk. The technique is tedious, at best, if the artist mixes the formula from "scratch", then paint is applied, in thin transparent glazes, layering one color over another using a cross-hatching stroke. That's the "old method"'s modern technology has helped the painter by producing the medium, premixed, in a tube so there's no guess work on the formula....but the process still takes a while.  Painting on a specially prepared rigid board (Masonite), each application of paint dries in about a minute and another layer can be applied over it.  A painting session of 4 or 5 hours is about all I can do at a time.  I work on it for a day, maybe two, then set it aside allowing for the paint and colors to "shift" in value as they dry.  Currently, I have approximately 100 hours in this painting.  It's almost done; I have a little more foreground work, and will touch up the sky a little in a few places.....another 15 or 20 hours ought to do it :-)

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