How to Make Egg Tempera Paint

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Egg tempera paint dries quickly to a matte finish. It doesn't fade over time and is water resistant and permanent. Make your own tempera paints instead of purchasing them at expensive art or crafts stores to use in creating your paintings.

Things You'll Need

  • Egg
  • Egg separator
  • Paper towel
  • Knife
  • Container or jar
  • Teaspoon
  • Water
  • Tempera pigment powder
  • Sheet of glass
  • Eyedropper
  • Palette knife
  • Egg medium
  • Pigment paste
  • Paint brush
  • Shallow container or palette

Making the Egg Medium

  • Crack an egg into an egg separator to remove the yolk from the white of the egg. You can also transfer the egg back and forth in each half of the shell to separate the yolk.

  • Place the yolk onto a paper towel and nudge it gently to the edge without breaking it.

  • Hold the yolk at the edge of the paper towel by pinching the top of the towel. Gently puncture the yolk with a sharp knife and let it drain into a small container or jar.

  • Place a teaspoon of water into the container and stir into the yolk. Use the egg medium immediately.

Preparing the Pigments

  • Put some tempera pigment powder onto a flat surface. A sheet of glass works best because it is very flat and the pigment won't stain it.

  • Make an indentation with your finger into the middle of the pigment.

  • Add a bit of water with a spoon or eyedropper into the indentation to make the powder into a hard paste.

  • Mix the pigment and water with a palette knife.

Make the Paint

  • Add a small amount of the pigment paste you have made into a small, shallow container or onto a palette.

  • Add the same amount of egg medium to the pigment.

  • Mix it well with your brush to illuminate any lumps.

  • Add a small amount of water to the mixture to get it to the consistency that you want. The best way to do this is to use an eyedropper to avoid adding too much.

  • Stir the mixture with your brush, adding more water if needed.

Tips & Warnings

  • You may need to grind your pigment with a muller and plate after adding the water if the pigment is too gritty to make into a paste.
  • You can store your prepared pigments in small jars with tight lids.
  • Only make enough paint that you need for your project that day. Since it contains egg, it will spoil so you cannot store it.
  • You should wear a dust mask to keep from inhaling the pigment dust. Wear gloves and an apron as well to prevent staining your hands and clothes.

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