Egg Tempera Workshop

Grounds of Cowdray House

Five day Traditional Egg Tempera Painting Workshop

During this workshop students will be taught the traditional art of egg tempera painting as practised in the Florentine and Sienese schools of the 14th and 15th centuries.

Exploring the painting techniques of such artists as Duccio, Fra Angelico and Botticelli, students will discover how these masters prepared their pigments from the earth, rocks and plants and mixed with egg yolk to make their paint. Today egg tempera is becoming increasingly appreciated for its remarkable qualities of luminosity and durability. Egg has a unique quality of transmitting light, giving to colours a luminosity and depth of tone unattainable in other mediums.

Students will be carefully guided through the different stages of the technique. Commencing with an outline drawing (cartoon), this is then transferred onto a white gesso panel; over this the painting is then developed in layers of pure tone (verdaccio) working from darkness to light. From out of this tonal composition the subject of the painting is gradually modelled in shades of light and dark, through which the image of the painting gradually emerges.

Pure colours are later applied over the completed underpainting in layers of transparent glaze. Gradually the form and colours of the painting are developed and are brought to life. As a result of the subtle interplay of tone and colour, light reflects through the layers of tone beneath, giving a beautiful luminosity to the subject. The unique quality of this classical technique resides in this profound interplay of tone and colour, structured in multiple layers of transparent paint.

Underlying these classical painting techniques and craft practises is a traditional philosophy which has its roots in Plato and the Hermetic wisdom of Alchemy; traditionally the craft practices are an embodiment of traditional knowledge and wisdom. It is through the discipline and training in traditional craft practices and technical disciplines that this craft wisdom is gradually revealed.

Tutor biography:
David Cranswick is an M.A. and PhD tutor at the Princes School of Traditional Arts, as well as on their public programme. He lectures internationally on traditional painting methods and has been giving workshops in traditional painting materials and techniques for twenty five years. David is currently writing a book on traditional painting materials and techniques.

Cost £400 – places limited to 10 students

This course will take place at Cowdray House Studio, Cowdray Park, Midhurst, GU29 0AY.

David is currently unable to access the Tower Room Renaissance Art Studio.

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