Antonello da Messina Il Condottiere 1475

Mische Technique Painting

The Mische Technique of painting is a modern revival of methods used by Dutch Masters and early Renaissance painters. During the transition between use of traditional egg tempera medium and the emerging oil paints, artists such as Van Eyck and Messina worked with combinations of the two. Messina and Hugo van der Goes (The Portinari Altarpiece, 1476) were influential in introducting new tempera / oil techniques into Italy.

This painting method is based on the principle of applying pigment in layers which allow light to pass through and reflect off of the white gesso surface of the prepared panel. This effect gives colors a luminosity and transluscence beyond what is obtained from just reflectance off of the painting surface.

One or more monocromatic underpaintings are executed to establish shading and modeling of the subject. The local color of individual objects is then applied in thin oil glazes, taking advantage of the "optical grays" contributed by the underpaintings. Additional shading and shadows are applied, in the final steps, with a neutral tinted glaze.

Painters Ernst Fuchs and Patrick Betaudier have been major revivalists of this technique.

An Example Describing the Various Stages of a Mische Technique Painting:

Mische Example
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