It’s no secret that I love doing crafts with my kids. It might be that I am a kid at heart and just enjoy making crafts myself. Whatever the case I couldn’t resist the chance to make homemade tempura paints.

At school my kids were learning about different art mediums and we came across tempera paint. Now I am not talking about the type of tempera paint that you can purchase at your local craft store. I am referring to the ancient painting medium made of pigment and a binder. In early medieval times that binder was generally egg yolk. {The tempera paint you can buy is usually made of glue (a binder) and pigment, hence being called tempera paint.}

Therefore to make your own tempera paint, you need egg yolks and pigments. This is not an experiment your kids are likely to do at their schools, due to so many kids with egg allergies. Because of that, I think it is a great activity to tackle at home. Get yourself some egg yolks, one for each color you plan to make, and some food coloring. Seriously, that is all you need. We put our yolks into small plastic ramekins, and I let my kids scramble the yolks. Add a few drops of food coloring to each container. You can teach your kids a bit about color theory here, adding blue to the yellow yolk makes green for example. When you have mixed your colors to your likening, get some brushes and let your kids go to town. We found the paint to be a bit prone to dripping, but not in a way that was impossible to use. Because it was a touch watery, we first drew pictures on our paper and then used the paint to color them in. It is not necessary, but my kids had a bit more fun this way.

One of the coolest things about making this paint is the fact that it dries shiny. My daughter found that to be quite amazing. Keep in mind that tempera paint is generally considered to be permanent, so dress accordingly.

To round off your experiment check the Internet for examples of ancient paintings made using this kind of paint. Pretty cool!
-Stephanie Wright

Leave a reply

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>