Medieval Tempera Techniques

 

This is the humble beginnings of another hobby of mine, although nowadays very seldomly practised! The main purposes is to compile my research and learning experiences in the making of pigments and binding medias, as well as using these materials to learn the craft of tempera techniques.

Don't be surprised if very little updates will happen in the near future. Thats probably due to the fact that there is very little tempera in my life!


A Few pigment charts

 

A very methodological experiment with different peroid pigments and a range of binding medias, such as size (made from parchment cuttings), glair, eggyolk, gum arabicum.

To the left: mainly mineralpigments. To the right: organic lac pigments and glazes.


Practising tempera techniques

 

The examples i the Göttingen Modelbuch has been used for practising tempera techniques, using dry pigments. Glair, size and eggyolk has been used as binding medias. Gilding was acheived by metal foil and garlic juice as a binder. The initial M is only partly finished. The papers used are two different parchment imitations, rather though. The imitation used for the initial does not have the colouring effect fake parchment papers usually have, but is slightly transparent and much thicker. Very nice indeed, but probably needs to be moistened and taped to a board to keep it flat, as it is very hygroscopic (just like real parchment) and swells quite a lot when moist. Both parchments imitations are very good for calligraphy work.


Some old, old, old works...

 

These two were made for the very first coronation event of Nordrike in 1996. Unfortunately they are not very sharp photos, but in those days I did not hve a digital camera... I made a couple of more letters between 1996-1999, but either I've lost the photos or I was not wise enough to document them (or possibly, there were never time for documentation ;)

The letter is meant to be a slightly simplified verion of 16th C handwriting/calligraphy. Today I am not quite sure I did get it all correct though. A Chinese "inkstick" has been used, grinded with water on a slate (grinding stone). The colouring and red letters is made uW&N tempera paint that comes in a tube. Gilding is made with a waterbased acrylic binder/gesso and metal foil. A thick water colour paper with raw edges was used this time. Not an optimal choice, the fibres in the paper kept clogging the steel nib of my pen!

 

This is a scroll made when I was still in the SCA, don't really remember when i made it, possibly 1995? I believe it was produced during a period when the King and Queen of Drachenwald where Swedish, but am not sure about the context. All I now it was my very first scroll for a Drachenwald SCA court.

The scroll itself is not a slavish copy of anything, more something I made upmyself and thought was pretty! It is all made by modern painting materials (i.e. W&N ink bottled ink and acrylic paint)on a thick water colour paper. The edges are folded and a goldand blue velvet trim was pulled through... Gilding is made with a waterbased acrylic binder/gesso and metal foil. All stylish and glossy ;)


Myra ©2005