Painting eggs step by step

Painting eggs with 2 different techniques

Eggs or eggshells can form a very classical, but also very interesting and instructive subject for a still life painting. You have to do a lot with not so many colors. Or better said: when painting eggs, you have to look very closely at all the color gradations on the shell. Otherwise you will never be able to suggest volume.Painting eggs fine art

So, painting eggs sounds simple, but it can be pretty tricky. Not as tricky as painting a real life tiger or… well, you get the point.

Fine art egg

I’ve painted two ‘eggy’ still lifes with two different techniques. The first approach is the technique used by fine art painters. You’ll need a very thin brush for this. A soft and small synthetic brush of the DaVinci 1610 series will do just fine. Besides a brush, you will need a few basic oil colors (titanium white, ultramarine blue, yellow ocher and burnt sienna) and oil painting medium.

I made my fine art egg still life on a piece of wood with a layer of gesso. Be sure to paint on an underground with not too many structure. This is because of the thin layers of oil paint you will be using. The first step is to define the most important lines of your egg. You can use a simple pencil or charcoal for that. You should not only draw the contours of your egg, but also the shape of the casting shadow(s) made by your egg and the shadows on the shell. Once you’re happy with your shapes, you can give them a first layer of oil color, thinned with white spirit.

In steps 2 and 3 new layers of oil color are added to create depth. These layers should be mixed with enough medium, to keep them transparant. Between the different steps, you should give your paint some time to dry (up to a week). Satisfied after three rounds of egg painting? Great! If not: just give your painting another layer for even more depth and complexity. You should wait with the highlights on your egg till the last step!

Alla prima eggs

In a hurry? Painting eggs ‘alla prima’ (wet-on-wet technique) is also good fun. This is the technique I normally use. ‘Alla prima painters’ try to finish their paintings loosely in one session. This gives you the opportunity to mix oil colors directly on your canvas, without using medium.

Challenge some eggs!

painting eggs alla prima

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