Finding The Perfect, Paint Worthy Egg.

Sandro Botticelli, “The Birth of Venus,” tempera on canvas (c. 1486, via Wikimedia).

Sandro Botticelli, “The Birth of Venus,” tempera on canvas (c. 1486, via Wikimedia).

Egg tempera! A time honoured technique. Many artists have at least played with egg tempera, even if they later chose a more modern and convenient medium. Karen Chernick at Hyperallergic has an article on how to source the very best egg you can for making your paints.

…But there’s also a centuries-old artistic tradition of painting using the eggs themselves. Egg tempera was a ubiquitous technique during the early Italian Renaissance, when it was considered the standard for portable easel paintings. Botticelli, Raphael, and Andrew Wyeth all painted with tempera. Today, the quick-drying medium, which employs a 50/50 blend of egg yolk and color pigment, is mostly in use by a brave few contemporary practitioners (who must not mind the smell of aging eggs in the studio).

These seasoned artists know what to look for in the perfect paint-worthy egg. Some of them, such as Mary Frances Dondelinger, have been known to use hundreds of eggs a month. Others are regulars at particular farmers’ markets, or swear by a specific brand of store-bought eggs. Just in case you’re not able to raise your own hen (which most agree is the very best option), here’s your guide to sourcing the ideal egg, according to six contemporary egg tempera painters.

The full story is at Hyperallergic.


  1. jrkrideau says

    Must find an artist that uses egg tempura. Think of all the meringues one could make. Reaches for Pavlova recipe.

    I may be lacking in artistic appreciation here.

  2. says

    Chigau, doesn’t need egg in to be eaten, they all quite like paint the way it is already! That said, yes, my studio is not safe for egg tempera. It’s fun though, I haven’t made it for ages.

Leave a Reply