Using Acrylics to Look Like Egg-Yolk Tempera
Complied and written by ©Claes G Lindblad on December 22, 1996.

This "N-Dragon" was made entirely using a matt acrylic binder and pure pigments.

    You will need:

  • White acrylic gesso.
  • A fluid, matt acrylic medium (which is our binder).
  • Some pure pigments, including white...
  • ...and lots of water.


  1. Sketch a design with a brush, filled with diluted colour (a faint line is all you need).
  2. Lay a base coat of white acrylic gesso. This will make subsequent, coloured layers stand out better.
  3. Take a little pure pigment, grind it in a fluid acrylic medium and add *lots* of water.
  4. Add a touch of white to each colour, to make it opaque.
  5. Build up the design by applying coat for coat. You can either go from light to dark or the other way around -- you will be able to alter the over-all appearance in the very last stage (see below).

    When you are satisfied with your high- and lowlights, lightly wash a very thin layer of a colour which is just a trifle darker than any of the ones you have used all over the design. This is a magic trick to ensure the typical lustre of a real egg-yolk tempera painting.

Back to Table of Contents.