The Art of Traditional Egg Tempera Painting with David Cranswick

Egg tempera painting at SAOG Studios


Egg tempera has been practiced by artists for over two thousand years. It is one of the most durable and beautiful paints in the history of art. Students will discover how master practitioners of this art form prepared their pigments from the earth, rocks and plants and mixed with egg yolk to make their tempera paint.

Today egg tempera is becoming increasingly appreciated for its remarkable qualities of luminosity and durability.

Egg has a unique quality of transmitting light, giving to colours a luminosity and depth of tone unattainable in other mediums. During the workshop students will be carefully guided through the different stages of the technique.

Commencing with the traditional gesso making process, participants will then make an outline drawing (cartoon) before transferring it to their gesso panel. Over this the painting is then developed in layers of earth colour, from darkness to light. From out of this tonal composition the subject of the painting is gradually modelled and brought to life. Through the interplay of tone and colour, lighter tones are refracted from beneath, through the transparent layers, to the colours above, giving luminosity and depth to the subject. The unique quality of this classical technique resides in this profound interplay of tone and colour, structured in multiple layers of transparent paint.

Underlying these classical painting techniques and craft practises is a traditional philosophy which has its roots in Plato and the Hermetic tradition of Alchemy. Traditionally the craft practices are an embodiment of traditional knowledge and wisdom. It is through the discipline and training in traditional craft practices and technical disciplines that wisdom of this craft is gradually revealed

Cancellation and a full refund can be obtained up to 2 weeks before the course starts. Start dates may be amended on request.

What's included in the price?

All tuition and materials.
On campus accommodation and meals may be booked seperately if required.
Alternatively, there are several B&B, Airbnb and Hotel options locally that come recommended.


Daniel Docherty at SacredArtofGeometry
SAOG Studios
Emerson College
Forest Row, (1 hour from London)
East Sussex
RH18 5JX

Suitable for

  • Accommodation offered
  • Adults
  • Parking provided
  • Public transport
  • Seniors
  • Teenagers


5 days (10:00am to 5:00pm)

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