Self-made egg tempera

You always wanted to produce your individual Egg tempera colour on your own? Actually with the following classical standard-recipe from Schmincke-Laboratory, it’s very easy! You need to have following ingredients and tools:

Part 1

For producing a lean tempera-binder, you have to fill successively the egg yolk (or alternatively the entire egg), which was initially separated from the albumen and vitelline membrane, linseed oil varnish, dammar varnish  and water into a bottle of glass, which you have to lock carefully. Afterwards you have to thrill it strongly for a short time – the emulsion is done! (Advice: For a fat binder you only use twice the portion of linseed oil varnish!)

Part 2

In step two it’s necessary, to make a dough out of the tempera-colour. Therefore please mix your own chosen pigment (1 portion in volume) and a little water with the pallet knife on the glass board till it has reached a consistency of yoghurt. 

Part 3

Now then the addition of tempera-binder follows up. Hereby the ideal amount is depending on the surface of the chosen pigment: Initiate with circa two portion of volume of the just now made emulsion. The best way to mix the emulsion is to use the glass pestle – thereby the pigments spread into the binder. The final mixed tempera should be creamy and corn less in consistency. 

Part 4

If the tempera is initially too solid, you may add binder; if it seems to be too liquid, add some pigment.  For checking the colours ability of binding, you should coat a little tempera on a piece of universal-paper and check – after the colour has get dried – by grinding with the back of your hand whether it is indelible or not: if your hand back gets coloured please add some more binder in your selfmixed tempera. And of course: if you like a lower consistency, you are able to dilute your tempera with some more water! 

The tempera binder as well as the self-made painting colour is able to be stored in a locked jar in the fridge for about a week. By adding clove oil, you are actually able to extend the storage stability of your individual mixture! Our Advice: Check out the rubric “Schmincke Media” on our homepage In the chapter “Specialties”, you are able to watch a small movie dealing with the producing of egg tempera with Schmincke finest artists’ pigments.


  • 2 well stirred egg yolk (or one complete egg) 
  • 1/2 portion in volume of linseed oil varnish  (50 014) 
  • 1/2 portion in volume of dammar varnish, glossy  (50 008) 
  • 1 portion in volume of water 
  • 1 portion in volume of pigment (e.g. Schmincke   pure artists´ pigments, series 18)


  • 1/2 empty eggshell (= 1 part of volume) 
  • 1 lockable glass bottle 
  • 1 funnel 
  • 1 palette knife 
  • 1 grinding board 
  • 1 glass pestle 
  • 1 lockable jar for the ready-made tempera