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THE TECHNIQUE OF THE OLD MASTERS IN CONTEMPORARY ART

Edwin uses the same technique as that of the old masters. An aesthetic and functional choice, because most contemporary artworks have to be restored within a few decades. But with the ingredients gelatin, chalk, egg yolk, traditional pigments and linseed and safflower oil, he creates paintings that survive centuries. It is not for nothing that the technique of the old masters has already proven itself in countless famous works of art. Edwin makes, by the way, the required paint and varnish all by himself, because besides artist I am also an 'art chemist'.

WHY PAINTING ON WOODEN PANEL?

Edwin's Home Jewelry® collection.
What the most people don't know is that linen on itself is not a very suitable support for a painting. Oilpaint and linen react differently on temperature changes and air humidity. The result is craquelure of the paint layer. Wood is much more resistent to these climate changes but the nice texture of the linen is not present. The marouflage is a technique that goes back to the icon painting tradition, where linen was glued on wooden panels. Then, it was treated with a traditional gesso and polished, where the linen structure got lost. This technique Edwin uses for his Home Jewelry® collection using the best materials available. The combination of this traditional gesso (according to his secret recipe) grounding and genuine pigments result in a very convincing skin texture. This process is very time-consuming and making a painting this way is a process of more than 2 months.


Edwin's Home Exclusive collection.
However, also linen texture has its charme. Therefore, the traditional gesso cannot be used. To solve the problem of the working of the canvas, Edwin re-invented the marouflage by glueing the best linen in the world (Belgian Linen® from Roesselaere, Belgium) on panel. Then, he applies a special grounding before starting the painting process. Despite all is handwork, this method is significantly faster than the one used in his Home Jewelry® collection.

MAKING PAINT

Paint you can buy in many qualities and colors in shops for art materials. The advantage is that you can start immediately after you purchased a tube. The only disadvantage is that you never know how the paint is made and with what ingredients. Often, more in special the cheap brands have additives to dilute the expensive pigments and additives that let oilpaint dry faster (siccatives). This has negative consequences for the quality of the painting, often expressed by discoloring and cracking of paint layers. This is not acceptable for me and therefore I only work with museum quality products and I prepare paint myself. Also for genuine pigments I make my own paint. These pigments I can access since I have a BSc degree in chemistry. Artists who don't have this diploma are not allowed to access them.

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Figure 2. Making genuine Lapis Lazuli paint.