Fred Wessel

Fred WesselAfter taking a trip to Italy to view the art of the Renaissance, Fred Wessel was inspired to explore not only Renaissance painting techniques but the idea, common in that time but almost unknown now, of the painting as a precious object.

His sharply incised portraits, nudes, flower studies and still lifes are often set against patterned backgrounds, at times prepared with gold leaf, combining realist painting with the decoration of surface and the use of precious materials. They are also often displayed in elaborate frames, again with gold leaf as was also a common practice in the Renaissance.

Wessel’s site contains a Technique section in which he steps through the process of creating an egg tempera portrait of his daughter in the traditional Renaissance painting methods outlined by Cennino d’Andrea Cennini’s Il Libro dell’ Arte, one of the respected painting manuals from the middle ages that is still used by artists today. Wessel goes through the process from the base drawing in ink to the terre verde grisaille to the application of warm skin tones layered thinly over the greens to produce the final portrait.

Wessel also conducts workshop tours of Italy, along with watercolorist Jeremiah Patterson, in which he teaches such traditional Renaissance techniques as egg tempera painting, gold leaf guilding, and silverpoint drawing.

Wessel’s site also provides links to some resources including The Society of Egg Tempera Painters, where you will find more information about technique and history of the medium as well as a gallery of artists.

Link via Art Knowledge News.


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