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Mische technique or mixed technique is a method of painting in which egg tempera is used in combination with oil based paints and resins to render a luminous, resonant realism. The egg yolk of the egg tempera is a naturally occurring emulsion of water and oil. As such, the old masters found ways of extending the natural advantages of its emulsion to create lean, siccative, smoothly transitional, semi-transparent layers of paint. The visual effects created by working in the mixed technique essentially rely upon the phenomenon of light refracting through many subsequent layers of paint.
One common approach is to transpose the main compositional elements of a value study onto a panel using India ink, then slowly build up volume by alternating egg tempera, with an overall glaze of oil paints mixed with resin, producing a jewel-like effect. The technique can be very time consuming and demanding. It is unforgiving of pentimenti, yet full of delightful surprises, since many unexpected colors can naturally arise during the ongoing glazing process.
Old masters such as Albrecht Altdorfer, Albrecht Dürer, Matthias Grünewald and Martin Schongauer used the method, which saw a revival in the twentieth century by artists such as Ernst Fuchs and Egon von Vietinghoff, as well as Surrealist and visionary artists such as Philip Rubinov Jacobson and Brigid Marlin. Nicolas Wacker taught his own version of the technique at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris during the late 1960s and 1970s. Many contemporary painters credit their knowledge of the technique to him.
- Brigid Marlin -- The method and formulas of the mische technique
- Madeline von Foerster -- The process of mische technique
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