Recipe: Natural Glair Paint

Recipe: Natural Glair Paint

Glair paints were popularized in the 5th century to create illuminated manuscripts and have been used for over fourteen centuries in Europe. Many of those manuscripts are still vibrant and well-preserved today. A simple blend of two ingredients, glair paint is a transparent, watercolor-like paint but with a slight gloss and sheen when dry. It works best on paper, and is perfect for small, detailed work, art journaling or small paintings. 


Step 1: Separate the yolk from the white of one egg. You can make tempera paint with the leftover egg yolk!

Step 2: Beat egg whites into a froth with mixer or whisk until you reach the consistency of meringue.

Step 3: Let the egg whites sit at room temperature for several hours. The egg whites will begin to separate. Then, gently remove the foam from the top of the mixture or pour out liquid glair while holding back foam with a knife. The liquid that remains is called glair. Optional: add a drop  of vinegar to help preserve it.

Step 4: Measure 1 part Earth & Mineral Pigment (we used Terre Verte!) into a mixing container. 

Step 5: Add 1 part glair to the pigment

Step 6: Mix with spoon or paint brush until the glair and pigment are fully combined. 

Step 7: Paint away! If you need to thin the glair paint, use water. 

Storage: Glair paint does not store well, so make enough for one painting session at a time or store in the fridge for up to a few weeks. 

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