Mische Technique

The Mische technique comes from the Renaissance and it combines egg tempera underpainting built up in layers with carefully applied transparent oil glazes between the layers. Mische simply means ‘mixed’.

The white egg tempera is painted onto a dark red ground or ‘imprimatura’ and produces the tonal modelling for the image. Monochrome transparent oil glazes, the first yellow the second blue, are applied between two further layers of detailed tonal painting in white egg tempera. A cross section of the underpainting would therefore read: red, white, yellow, white, blue, white. Once the final layer of egg tempera has been painted the complete full colour glazing of the painting can be applied.

Light reflects back from the white egg tempera through the coloured glazes in the manner of light shining through a stained glass window. This produces an optical effect resulting in a rare opalescence and luminosity of colour.

Materials you will need for this method are:

  • A hardboard or wood support primed with gesso
  • Titanium White powder pigment
  • A glass ‘muller’ and a small sheet of frosted glass (on which to grind the pigment)
  • The medium consisting of egg, dammar varnish, linseed oil, and water
  • A selection of oil paints

Those wishing to learn this technique with Eve will be provided with the necessary materials to make egg tempera.

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