Pigment table small

Egg Tempera Workshop

Monday, June 20, 2016

Bishop’s Stortford Museum is running the hands on one day course for adults with guest tutor Simon Barnes on Wednesday July 13th, 10am-4pm. Tea and coffee will be provided and you will get to learn about the basic techniques of painting in egg tempera-the primary painting medium of the classical and medieval periods. The course will cover the history of egg tempera painting, mixing your own pigments, surface preparation and basic painting techniques. As part of the day you will paint a small piece of your own to take away with you.

£35, limited numbers


Traditional and Contemporary Egg Tempera Painting

by Essex based artist Simon Barnes


The art of egg tempera painting has been in existence right back from the times of the ancient Egyptians, Greek and Romans.

In fact it was still widely used by artists until the middle of the ‘Renaissance’ period in 14th Century Italy. When medium of oil painting began to be more popular as styles changed and patrons wanted to see subjects in a more realistic style. So egg tempera fell out of favor.

Tempera means mixture in Latin. Short for tempera (painting in) distemper, derivative of ‘temperare’, Latin, to mingle.

Start with an egg yolk separated from the white. The yolk is more viscous and

makes a better binder for the pigments, which are plant matter, minerals and

ores, ground to a powder and when mixed with the egg yolk to create paint.

  1. Break open the egg to separate the yolk.
  2. After separating the white from the yolk pick up the egg sac between thumb and forefinger.
  3. Pierce sac and allow yolk to flow into a container.
  4. Place the pigment on the tile ready to be mixed with the yolk.
  5. Pour some, not all, of the egg yolk into the middle of the pigment powder.
  6. Mix the egg and pigment together with a glass mullar.
  7. Gather the tempera mixture into a pot using a scraper.
  8. Now apply the tempera to the picture with quick short strokes of the brush.


For more information about this medium

and painting technique and to view an

online gallery of my work, please visit:



Friends of Rhodes

Do you love the arts and culture? Are you interested in local history?

Then why not become a Friend of Rhodes and take advantage of the many benefits membership offers you? Find out more

Corporate Sponsorship

Rhodes is a vibrant, successful venue in the heart of Bishop's Stortford which attracts more than 100,000 visitors per year. Sponsorship of the arts offers excellent value for money! Find out more