Question asked 2019-10-03 14:13:35 ...
Most recent comment 2019-10-03 16:53:06
Hi maybe you can answer this one. I've always assumed that you could safely paint oil on top of either acrylic, tempera or tempera grassa. But not in the opposite order. But today I met a seasoned painter, who argued that in the isolated case of tempera grassa, you could also paint on top of lean layers of oil paint without it causing any problems. This was because this oil-egg emulsion contained oil as a binder. What you think. I can't find any evidence online to substantiate this.
Answers and Comments
The concept that you mention comes out of the beginning of
the 20th century when many painting technique researchers were obsessed
with the idea that the Old Masters regularly used artificial emulsions (eg egg
and oil, gum and oil) as their paint medium or alternated between those and
straight oil paint or varnish. Max Doerner was a big proponent of this and the
interlayering of soft resins. Almost all of this has been completely debunked
by subsequent analysis. There was a recent conference at the Doerner Institute
that focused on this. Kristin and I both presented at this conference.
As to whether one can paint fatty tempera over oil layers.
The answer would really depend on many factors, including the proportion of
oil, drying time between layer, etc. The short answer is it is not a good idea.
There are many, many examples of works created during this period that have
real structural problems including delamination of interlayers. In fact, the
Doerner has many samples of works created during the heyday of this movement including
works and samples created by researchers and students and many of these have fared
poorly over the years. I know that there are some proponent of this working
method but there is little to no evidence that it was practiced by the Old
Maters, at least those works that have survived long enough for them to be
examined using current methodologies and analytical tools.
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