Tag Archives: casein

Untitled 2 day

I’m impressed by what egg can do in less than 2 days. Let me show you the first day. I drew it and painted an underpainting – on terrible drawing paper! – the 1st day:


Now on that terrible drawing paper, which gave me awful problems, like weird circular spots that wouldn’t take paint, the second day:


That’s several layers of egg glazes on the face (in 1 day). The background is almost completely casein. I’m probably going to quit working on it. I was in such a hurry, I didn’t even know I had grabbed a piece of cheap wood pulp sketching paper. 9 x 12 in. (22.9 x 30.5 cm)


Update, 29th of June: I can’t believe it! After working and working on it, I have almost the exact same result as the one I originally posted! Here’s the latest, with the earlier below:


I’m working on a real portrait, of a beloved. I can’t quite get the exact perky look. And every time I change it, I get further away from what I want. So, while I almost have the look, I’m posting a photo of the WIP (work in progress). Oh and of course I have to look at a photo, because I’m not good enough without staring at a photo long hours.



I tried coating paper with gesso and glazing with casein. Sure enough, the casein lifted from the gesso. 🙁 So, I switched to egg. Same problem. So the paint is coming completely up while I change every feature.
Oh note – I’ve always hated my ground charcoal (as a true black) in every medium. But in egg, I actually like it.
Well, that’s an opaque I’m using now –
According to Daniel Thompson, of The Practice of Tempera Painting, the fact that I’m using transparent pigments means that I’m just watercoloring with egg. Just kiss my grits, D. Thompson!

Maybe I’ll have something better to present her……in a few….days….

compare egg and casein

In my previous post, I painted an egg tempera dahlia and then the same dahlia in casein to compare.
I also started it in acrylic, but my mixed up acrylic is a pigment hog and it is too permanent. I switched immediately to casein.
My comparisons of the egg and casein dahlias:
1. I was surprised at how similar the glazes were. (Very surprised that I could glaze with casein, since I usually can’t. The difference: bare paper. ?)
2. The casein colors were more saturated; intense. (Homemade casein.)
3. On paper, the egg layered in washes easily, similarly to the casein application. (With ox hair, soft synthetic and Styletto!)
4. I used marble dust as a white paint in both. It worked great in both and gave texture to the egg.
5. I preferred details with egg. The egg vehicle seems ‘firmer’.

My conclusions are: I love paper! Everything seems better on paper. (Back the good ones with a board and varnish them.)
I’d like to use casein and egg together. No reason to use just one. I’ll see how it plays out.

p.s. This is the traditional painstaking method of painting with egg tempera: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4y2NVVCpDU . That is NOT what I’ve been doing. That is why I stayed away from egg tempera for so long. What I’ve been doing is using actual wet paint. The paper has been absorbing the water, I guess, so that I can immediately put more wet paint right over that. With brushes of a nice size. Honest to goodness.

Migraines and dahlia month


1st of June: It’s migraine awareness month, and guess what? I pulled weeds I know I’m allergic to, and am fighting a migraine. Well, they won’t pull themselves. This is the egg painting I’m working on:

and when I ‘get back’, I want to tell about a book I’m reading and immediately start comparing acrylic glazes to egg glazes.

4th of June: Well, I’m back. I, of course, don’t have more to show on the painting. The book is “The Acrylic Painter’s Book of Styles & Techniques” (Seven successful artists show you how to master the versatility of acrylics). Chapter 3 with Barbara Buer. Here’s her website: http://www.bkbfloralart.com/ Yep, I’m applying her tips to egg.
Anyway, in the book, Barbara Buer explains her technique for using acrylic like watercolor glazes. Work each petal individually, then touch up later to unify – I’m trying that. Have you gone to her website? Jawdropping.

7th of June: I’m finished with the dahlia in egg paint:

eggDahliaI’m very happy with glazing with egg tempera on paper. I put wash over wash.

Next, I’ll do a dahlia in acrylic glazes.

14th of June: I didn’t like the acrylic paint I mixed up (from gloss medium). I almost didn’t get a spill cleaned up from my tile floor; it dried and wasted, etc.


I thought, “Forget this; I’ll finish it with casein.” So:


Actually, I ran out of paint and didn’t bother to mix more, because I was so close to being finished. So, I’m comparing it with the egg tempera dahlia and….the casein dahlia looks sharper and more focused – and brighter. Other than that, they both have a lot of depth; I like both. I glazed in the same way.

Oh yes!!!! Always before, I’ve had a problem glazing with casein. This time I glazed with no problem. The difference must be that I painted on bare naked paper.
Folks, I just got a vote for the egg tempera one.

paper plate

I’m working on an underpainting in casein for a still life.paper-plate-underpainting
It’s a paper plate with one of my creamers on it. Of course the light keeps changing. I’m looking at a cardboard box ‘stage’: http://www.wetcanvas.com/Articles2/2514/127/
That box would really help and I love the tip about slits to hold drapery! People upload their good ideas and I get to enjoy secondhand brilliance.
I’ll have to keep kids away. “No, this is my play-house, not your playhouse!”
“No, you may not put the dog in there!”

I’m using Bristol board again. Paint drags on it. 🙄 Not great for the creamer.
The 25th of March:
paper plate
This is a terrible photo, but I give up. I put oil glazes over.


In the previous post, I had started a drawing. I was offline and used a PD photo I had downloaded from:
https://pixabay.com/en/woman-sad-face-portrait-human-244179/ It’s public domain. Apparently, Andi Graf is the photographer. Thank you!
I did an underpainting of that drawing in casein on bristol board.

Underpainting in casein (milk)

Unfortunately, I had thought it a good idea to paste the bristol to acid-free cardboard. The egg in the egg tempera overpainting did NOT think it was a good idea. Instantly, the corrugation showed through. I had problems with a mottled face. The face became more spotted because of my stupid reluctance to squeeze all the water out of my brush while I dry-brushed glazes.
I’ve got that situation better now,

Midpainting in egg tempera (egg yolk)

but I’m thinking about switching to oil, because I’ve lost the brightness. Should I? Would that make the corrugation look worse? Ug. Arg.
I don’t know. All I can think is, ‘This woman is on a diet of milk, eggs and oil. Should I feed her so much?’

I say it’s done.

Hands Clutching Cloak by Moon
After touch-ups and varnish.

Some of the skin is too opaque now. I wish I could have kept the beautiful translucent glazes.

I’ve convinced myself that the corrugation is organic. Charming. I want you to say, when you look at it, “My golly, this is charmingly corrugated!” If you’re a museum curator, I want you to say, “After having seen this, I’m going back to the museum to crumple all the paintings!”