In 2013 I had a bout of paralysis that left me with permanent impairments to my hands. I gradually found ways of working around these impairments to be able to create paintings again.
After a lot of experimenting I found that I could work by having a panel flat on a table, and by supporting my hand on the panel as I work.
My most recent work has been created in egg tempera paints on traditional gesso panels. Here are the techniques that I use to create my egg tempera paintings. I am using the painting PRIDE FOR THE FALLEN, created in egg tempera and shell gold, to illustrate my techniques.
First, I draw the composition onto the gesso panel, and then use thin washes of colour to create an under--painting. Egg tempera can't be used for impasto (thick layers of paint like those applied with a palette knife) as the paint layers will crack. One of the traditional techniques of working with egg tempera is to build the layers of colour in cross-hatched brushstrokes,but I find that very thin layers of washes work for me.
I often change elements of the composition as I work, and the composition of this painting was changed a number of times as the piece developed.
When I have the basic colours and shapes of the composition I start to cut textures into the painting using an engraving tool.
I then place colour washes over engraved areas to give depth and texture. I then continue to create the painting with alternate layers of engraving and washes.
The finished painting.
PRIDE FOR THE FALLEN
Image size 18" x 24"
Egg tempera and shell gold on a traditional gesso panel.
Photos by Heather Carol, Debbie Humphry and Yannick Yannof
Artwork (c) Heather Carol.