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Cennino Cennini's Il Libro del ArteLearning from artists manuscripts, a contemporary artist adapts a 15th century recipe for preparing grounds for oil painting on wood panels. In her book, The Art of Arts, Anita Albus discusses materials and practices of oil and tempera painting that have either been lost or fallen into disuse. Albus makes a poignant observation that ever since the industrial revolution, it has been industry that dictates what materials are available to artists. Gesso production falls into this category alongside the preparation of paints and mediums. Artists have succumbed to the materials handed to us. She reminds us that prior to industrialization and typical of the European artists guilds of the 15th and 16th century; it was largely the artists themselves that prepared their own formulas and concoctions in painting.

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7/1/2014 12:45 AM By Tom Irizarry Grounds, Recipes,

Casein or milk paintCasein paint or milk paint is unlike any other natural water-based paint as it dries water-proof. However, it must cure for a certain time, usually about a week to a month. Despite this, it dries to the touch quickly, if painted thinly, so that many successive layers can be painted in one session. Thicker layers may take about a day to dry.

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6/11/2013 12:00 AM By George O'Hanlon Paints, Recipes,

Dammar (or damar) or soft copal varnishes are soft, very flexible and transparent, but dry slowly. These varnishes have a bright appearance and a faint pale yellow color. The color may be varied from golden yellow to yellowish brown by gamboge, dragon's blood and asphaltum.

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6/9/2013 11:00 PM By George O'Hanlon damar, dammar, oil, varnish, Mediums, Varnish, Recipes,

Part two on preparing a wood panel for painting with the application of chalk grounds and sixth in our technical series on painting icons, this article discusses preparing the glue solution used in the preparation of wood panels for tempera painting—size, pavoloka and gesso—since the earliest Christian period until today. While the series specifically apply to making icon boards and preparing them for painting egg tempera icons, it has application to preparing wood panels for painting in any medium on chalk grounds.

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6/9/2013 3:00 PM By George O'Hanlon collagen, glue, Sizes - Adhesives, Recipes,

Breaking eggs to prepare tempera emulsionNot all tempera painters strictly use egg yolk as the binder for their paint. Here are some of the most popular recipes consisting of egg, casein and gum tempera shared by Russian and Ukrainian painters. What follows are formulas and instructions on making and using tempera and emulsion paints.

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6/9/2013 1:00 AM By George O'Hanlon Mediums, Recipes,

Recipes that we have tried and used. Grind the gallnuts to a fine powder and immerse in half of the water. In a few weeks, mold will cover the top surface. Skim off the mold and pour the liquid through a filter. Dissolve gum Arabic in a small amount of water and add it to the liquid. Dissolve the ferrous sulfate in water and add it to the liquid.

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6/9/2013 12:07 AM By George O'Hanlon Mediums, Recipes,

Tempera grassa, which Pietro Annigoni learned from the Russian artist Nikolai Lokoff, is a variation of tempera painting that some believe to have been used by artists in the 16th century, although there is little evidence so far to support this claim.

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6/3/2013 12:30 AM By George O'Hanlon Paints, Recipes,

Here is a typical recipe to make gouache paint. Gouache consists of essentially water, pigment, and gum binder, the same as watercolor paint. The difference is primarily the addition of a white extender, which creates an opaque water-based paint.

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6/2/2013 9:40 PM By George O'Hanlon Paints, Recipes,

Balsam Essential Oil MediumThe term balsam has been used to designate the resinous exudate from trees of the order Coniferae, which have also been called resin or turpentine. Balsam is a soft, semi-liquid consisting of terpenes associated with bodies of resinous properties. The balsams most used in varnishes or as paint mediums are Larch balsam (a component of Venice turpentine), Strasbourg turpentine, Canada balsam and copaiba balsam. Balsams flow easily on a surface and give a lustrous, pleasing quality when first applied. Unless a harder resins is mixed with them, however, they deteriorate easily. Here are several formulas incorporating balsams.

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12/12/2011 9:00 PM By George O'Hanlon Mediums, Recipes,

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