Painting tips 101 ~ Tempera

Candle and Poinsettia Design

Candle and Poinsettia Design


For Holiday Art I recommend *Tempera Paint.

Tempera is non-toxic and as far as I believe it is biodegradable. Having a *Green* substance to work with is important in this day and age.  Though there are other mediums to work with such as acrylic and lacquer, I have found the Tempera to be the easiest for me to adapt my art from. It is great for glass paintings because it sticks well and it is quite durable. 

I use the student Tempera from Dick Blick Art Stores and have been happy with the results for years. The range of colors is wonderful and there are sets of primary colors available for just starting out. Yellow, Red, Blue, White, and Black are a good foundation. For ease of not having to mix tints and colors go ahead and get Green, Brown, and a few smaller bottles of whichever color strikes you for details and highlights. Buy large bottles of the White, Red, and Green because those are the ones you will get the most use of.

*Tempera (not to be confused with Japanese Food TEMPURA)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Tempera, also known as egg tempera, is a permanent fast-drying painting medium consisting of colored pigment mixed with a water-soluble binder medium (usually a glutinous material such as egg yolk or some other size). Tempera also refers to the paintings done in this medium. Tempera paintings are very long lasting, and examples from the 1st centuries AD still exist. Egg tempera was a primary method of painting until after 1500 when it was superseded by the invention of oil painting. A paint which is commonly called tempera (although it is not) consisting of pigment and glue size is commonly used and referred to by some manufacturers in America as poster paint

Paintings I have done ages ago on private home window glass are still bright. The few colors with dark pigments do tend to fade if exposed to sunlight as most paints will disintegrate. 

Applying Tempera is simple and the clean up is quick. It doesn’t have any harmful or vaporous chemicals in it and it can be removed with water and rags or in a razor scrape method where you strip out sections of the paint and wipe the scraps onto paper towels. This has been the easiest way to get the windows back after the holiday is over. 

When I paint using  Tempera Paint  I can get either a cartoon fill effect or I can layer colors and achieve realistic style images. It depends on how I apply it and the brush I happen to use. You can use it thin or thick. I prefer it to have a consistency of gravy for the Holiday windows. Any thicker would have it cracking and chipping off. Thinly diluted Tempera can be used as a stain over other colors to mimic shadows or light effects as needed. Sprinkle in a little Holiday Magic and you have a very interesting piece of temporary art!

Cleaning up after doing holiday art is EXTREMELY important if you want to keep a client. I have lost accounts because I trusted a window cleaner to take care of that for me and they left a nasty mess behind. Paint splattered on windows, ledges, and sidewalks do not make a good impression. 

When you go back next season you would rather them remember you for your artwork!

For additional information and some fun images see:

More: So, You want to Paint Holiday Windows? 

Website: Holiday Window

Facebook Page: Holiday Window Painter

Thank you for viewing!


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