Tempera and Gold Leaf Workshop / by Aditi Nayar

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Tempera and Gold-Leafing Workshop

With Arvin Ombika at Kerala Museum

Tempering pigment paints with specific binders like gum arabic, animal skin glue, casein and egg yolk were some of the traditional methods of producing tempera works.  Egg tempera is artist Arvin’s focus. At the Tempera and Gold Leafing workshop, he shared the basics this particular technique. It is well known to have been widely used in the Medieval European Art, throughout the Middle Ages as well as part of the Renaissance period.

You can see more of artist Arvin’s work at his website www.arvinombika.com

Tempera allows for some fine brush strokes as each layer of paint (egg yolk and pigment mix), dries very quickly

Tempera allows for some fine brush strokes as each layer of paint (egg yolk and pigment mix), dries very quickly

Arvin began with a little historical background and plunged right in to the technique of separating yolks from whites and mixing pigment on palettes. The first day was spent practising the strokes, layers and cross hatching work that goes into building up the tempera surface.

Here’s our youngest participant laying foil on a world map she painted in tempera

Here’s our youngest participant laying foil on a world map she painted in tempera

Coupled with the egg tempera, participants also discovered the exciting and extremely delicate technique of gold leafing, many examples which can probably be seen in Christian Icon paintings.  

The intensive two day workshop saw some extremely focused work by our 7 participants who worked quickly to pick up the basics on the first day and plan for execution of their final idea on Day 2.

A happy group of 7 who really pushed the limits with their brush work and conceptual skills. It was absolutely amazing to watch each one produce completed pieces to carry home with them.

A happy group of 7 who really pushed the limits with their brush work and conceptual skills. It was absolutely amazing to watch each one produce completed pieces to carry home with them.


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