Medieval Painting: What do we Worship? with Egg Tempera Long before the invention of plastic and other manmade chemicals, artists created their own paint out of natural and found materials. When creating these paints, the subjects chosen were usually of religious content, images of the Virgin Mary and Jesus, Shiva, and Buddha were made for places of worship or the palaces of royalty. Students will be creating their own paints by mixing crushed natural pigments with egg yolk and vinegar or water, adding clove oil to freshen the smell and lengthen the life of the paint. Using these paints, students will be asked to define for themselves what the word worship means to them and to reflect on what they now “worship” in their lives: Is there an item, an idea, a person, who you are devoted to? Creating an image with pencil on softwood, students then use the various pigments to paint their image, using gold leaf to add accent. How do I get an A+?
Clarity of Concept- The student’s “idea” of what they think people might “worship” is clearly defined and easy to understand for the viewer. 30 points
Craftsmanship- The student took time painting, adding layers of paint to build color, taking care to paint nearly or all of the surface of the wood. 30 points
Participation- The student helped grind pigment, crack eggs, clean the mortar and pestle and generally clean up! 40 points
_______/100 points Essential Questions
We live in a modern age with paints that we can purchase from Wal-Mart: Why should we create paint if we can buy it?
Why do we no longer create our own paint?
Why do we create images/art of people, things,or ideas that we worship?
Does the word “worship” have different definitions?
Student Learning Objectives
Students will grind, mix, and create their own paint from natural materials, water or vinegar, and egg yolk.
Students will classify various materials to create pigment that is ultimately used for painting.
Students will assess the effectiveness of each pigment to produce a color of paint.
Students will define the word “worship” and question its meaning by creating an image of something or someone they “worship.”
Students will critique their own finished artwork and that of their peers by analyzing how imagery can create an individualized idea about “worship.”
Wisconsin State Standards Met A.12.6 Use art as a basic way of thinking and communicating about the world B.12.1 Demonstrate how artists and cultures throughout history have used art to communicate ideas and to develop functions, structures, and designs B.12.3 Relate works of art and designed objects to specific cultures, times, and places C.12.8 Use the natural characteristics of materials and their possibilities and limitations to create works of art
Eggs (dozen large)
mortar & pestle
pin or needle
paper toweling (the white kitchen kind)
palette knives (5-6)
clove oil (as a smell-get-rid-of-er)
containers with lids to store the paints once mixed
gold leaf (optional)
Materials for Pigments
Brown - strawberries
Green - mix black and yellow pigments
Red - paprika, chili powder
Orange- ground up terracotta or dried up clay
Yellow- turmeric powder
Blue - blueberry juice with vinegar (must develop with time)
Purple- berries, blueberries or blackberries
White- talcum powder
Black- charcoal (old bits of vine charcoal will work)
Day - By- Day Instruction DAY ONE- Introduction to the project: Show slides of how paint was made back in medieval times, what paintings were used to create it, what artists used tempera, and explain why churches were the only ones around with artwork. Introduce theme: What do you worship? Essential Question: Why do we create images/art of people, things,or ideas that we worship?
DAY TWO - Show students how to create the paint using the materials. Put them in pairs and have them sign up to make the different colors. While one group is making the paint, the other students can be sketching ideas or drawing on their wood with pencil. Create a log of how the paints were made, (with water or vinegar?), if the paint was bright or mediocre, and who made it. Essential Question:We live in a modern age with paints that we can purchase from Wal-Mart: Why should we create paint if we can buy it? andWhy do we no longer create our own paint?
DAY THREE - Continue as above until all paints are made and stored in containers.
DAY FOUR- Students should be done drawing their compositions on the wood and begin using the paints, applying them in layers on the wood.
DAY FIVE- Continue to paint! Make more pigment if it’s needed.
DAY SIX- Students should be finishing painting. The paint will start to rot.
DAY SEVEN - The option to apply gold leaf with adhesive and tweezers comes in here… Artworks are dry and ready to be critiqued!
DAY EIGHT - Critique day! Students will be doing a Literacy Critique, using art and extended English vocabulary words to describe each other’s work and then to take time, reflect, and write about their own artwork. Essential Question: Does the word “worship” have different definitions? -Continue to critique if time is needed-