The Great Tempera Experiment, Final Reflection

I. Pictures of the process

I. Answers to questions

Overall, my tempera piece was well done and I think I did a good job and was very successful. For example, I think I have depicted the value of the face very well. I looked at my face and looked at where the darker shadows were looming on my face. I realized that I had a shadow on my left cheek because I had a dimple. That is why when I was hatching, I layered another layer of the peach color to make it have some value and look like it was actually going in and had a shadow.

Another place that I have done well is the green shade on my sweater and the value. At first I didn’t know what else I should add and this was when I didn’t have the green shade on my sweater. Miss. Zaza suggested that I shade it with a little bit of a greenish turquoise color so that it will look like it is behind the hair and not the thing that pops out. It worked perfectly and my piece has added volume, not only to the face but to the clothing as well.

The final place that I did well is using proportion. At first, I didn’t know if we necessarily needed the grids when we were sketching, but as I did, I found out that it was very important because it helped make the proportions of the face like real people. For example, my lips are almost exactly the same place as the picture and it would have looked weird if it weren’t.

Even though there were some things that were successful, there were something’s that could be improved. For example, the darkness of the black paint could be decreased. If one sees that painting one can tell that it is good except that the hair on the insides closer to the face and the neck look too black to be real and create a kind of comic book sense.

Another thing that can be improved is the texture of the egg tempera paint. When you are making egg tempera, the pigment has to be as fine as possible, however, sometimes we didn’t meet this requirement and when we use lumpy paint, the piece come on our paintings and makes a rough texture. Next time I would want to fix that and grind the pigment even if it takes a long time.

Moving on I stated that the goal for my project was: “My goal for this project is to make sure that I get the value right. This is my goal because like I mentioned in my previous blog posts, I have some probably telling the difference between coloring it in the right color and shading with value. I thought it was very hard to show value with a different color and I am going to work on this and make it perfect since this is my weak spot.” I also mentioned that I would practice egg tempera and value scales at home. Although I didn’t have time to make my own egg tempera at home, I successfully achieved my goal of getting the value right because I mentioned in the previous paragraphs that I did get the values of the cheeks and the clothing. However, I could have worked on the value of the hair for it to look more 3D and like real hair. Maybe working on egg tempera at home would have helped.

Even though that the great tempera experiment went fairly smoothly, there were some challenges that went in my way and I overcame and fixed them.

One of them is time. Time was a problem for almost all of us because making the egg tempera paint takes a lot of time since you have to mix the right amount of egg yolk, water, and pigment. At first we didn’t know about egg tempera so we spend about 10-15 minutes just mixing the paint and didn’t have a lot of time to actually paint the piece of artwork. However, as we got used to it and our teamwork increased, we were able to make the paint in an incredible speed.

The second was hatching. Since I was very little, I’ve tried a lot of it because I knew it was for “professional” artists. I tried it with pencil and markers to make light and shadow, but it didn’t work well. At first, when I was working on my piece, I didn’t know how to do cross-hatching with my pencil, let alone with a medium that I’ve never tried before. However, once Miss. Zaza showed hatching and what it was to us, I slowly, slowly improved and that is why my work contains some hatching techniques especially in the neck.


               Moving on, the great Egg tempera experiment helped my understanding of art during the Renaissance in many different ways. One way was that I didn’t know why the renaissance artists took years and years to just finish one painting. But I learned the reason why. Egg tempera is used for thin brushes and to add, they also dry very quickly. Now I understand why they took that much time because I took about a month to just finish this one piece. Another thing that I understood about the renaissance was that it must have been hard to find the pigments. In art, we had an experiment when we dealt with bringing different pigments from home and it was very hard. I could imagine the renaissance artists struggling to find color and just the right pigments and I learned that pigment would have been very valuable and treasure like to the artists.

There were a lot of things that I’ve learned this semester that I never knew before and one of them is how to use value in my painting. Before I’ve been doing art class, when I tried to draw by my self in free time, I noticed that the characters that I drew looked very 2D and I didn’t like what I was drawing. However, I didn’t know how to change it. But because I learned about light, shadow, and the value scale, I have done a great deal of value studying and the result is my portrait, full of value. Another thing that I’ve learned is how to use realism and proportion. Going back to the 2D art, it didn’t only not have value, but didn’t look like a weird person because of realism and proportion of the body parts. From this unit, I’ve learned that grids help you a lot when using realism and proportion to make your painting look real.

When I look back over the entire trimester, I grew a lot as an artist. As mentioned before, I learned about value, proportion, and realism but the one thing that I value the most is that I am taking information about egg tempera that I have never heard before. It is true that I’ve heard hints of egg and paint but I didn’t want to paint with it because it sounded very disgusting. However, I learned how to actually use egg tempera and realized there were so much pieces that were made with egg tempera in the renaissance. That is why I got to know egg tempera as my favorite medium and I would love to do this in the future because I gained new knowledge and grew as an artist by finding out how much I like egg tempera.

I enjoyed many things about this trimester and one of them was the drawing of the hearts. I’ve seen a lot of goat hearts from the shops in Dubai but I’ve never seen one for dissection and it was very fascinating to see the little strings and parts of the heart that also might be in my own. This was a very good opportunity for us to do observation. Another thing that I enjoyed was of course the egg tempera. It was fun to work with my friends to make paint. Our teamwork also increased while doing this so when we took about 10 minutes to clean up, it only takes us about 5.

Even though I enjoyed it, if there was one thing how the class could be improved is by having a short unit on perspective. I know that we ran out of time to do that unit, but everything that we have been doing such as proportion and value, all link in to the perspective part of the arts and I think it would be better to have a little unit on that at the end, or combine the egg tempera unit with the perspective unit so we can draw little mini cities for each of us using egg tempera.

This class changed my view about art a lot. At first I didn’t really know what art contained. The only thing that I could think of was poster color paint or watercolor paint and I didn’t know much else. But this class changed my view and I found out that oil paint and egg tempera paint can be used and egg tempera is my favorite medium thanks to this class. I learned that art was just not all boring paintings and there were different ways that you can make paint and I thought about what other medium we would use next year.

Overall, I had a tremendous and great class this trimester in art.



Works Cited

N.d. Artist and Studio. Web. 28 Mar. 2014. <>.

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