Have no fear of perfection, you'll never reach it. (Salvador Dali)

People and their emotions are a fascinating well of inspiration for me.

I try to catch some of this feelings and put them on canvas, stones, showing them off in mosaics or glass-jewellery.

Emotions become pictures.

Since some years I use the period until a layer of an oilpainting is dry, for experimenting with different materials, mainly acrylics.
My style didn’t change so much over the years.

I developed some skills in the mixed technique in which I am painting, but I’m still learning more about it every day.

What is to understand under the term of ‘Altmeisterliche Mischtechnik’ - mixed method of old masters?

It is stated in literature, that the founder of the ‘technique of the old masters’ is supposed to be Jan van Eyck (end of 14th - middle 15th century).

Painters like Peter Paul Rubens, Rembrandt van Rijn, Pieter Brueghel the E., Jan Brueghel the E., Pieter Brueghel the Y., Jan Brueghel the Y., to name just a few, developed their own style but based on nearly the same technique.

Employed by the old masters, the mixed method refers to a painting technique that combines the advantages of tempera and oil paint.

The main advantage of the water-soluble and thin egg tempera is that it dries very quickly.

It covers well, makes very sharp strokes possible, but remains dull. Egg tempera is especially suitable for underpaintings.

Oil paint, which is then applied, intensifies brightness and shine. Smooth transitions of colours, thin glazes as well as saturation can only be obtained by employing oil paint.

Details, such as the lines of hair, can be managed brilliantly when egg tempera is painted into the oil paint.


Egg tempera:

Tempera refers only to pigments bound by an emulsion. Egg tempera is produced by the artist himself.

Pigments (inorganic and organic powder f. i. rutil) are mixed with a self-made emulsion consisting of egg, linseed oil, resin and water.

The old masters' mixed method, which requires a profound knowledge of the paints and their properties as well as the artist’s patience, unfortunately is more and more falling into oblivion.

 How to build up a oilpainting in this method:

  • I prefer painting on MDF-panels (medium density fiberboard) which are available at any carpenter.
  • Sometimes I use old wooden panels or I paint on canvas.
  • The panel has to be ground.
  • Now comes the coating of the underground (several times) and between each coat I always grind the panel.
  • The contours of the sketch are copied with f. i. Indian ink or charcoal.
  • If you use charcoal, you have to wipe over the surface to remove loose parts. I prefer Indian ink.
  • A thin coat of tempera or oil paint mainly in earthy tones is put on.
  • I use occasionally a light, bright red and put over this layer coelinblue, depending on the effect I want to achieve.
  • The sketch is shining through this transparent coat.
  • White tempera is now applied for modelling the forms.
  • The main colours are put on with oil paint. A covering or glazing effect is obtained.
  • Between each dried layer I bring up a thin coat of varnish which is mix together by myself.
  • Varnish: dammar, linseed oil and turpentine.
  • White tempera can be painted into the oil paint, if modelling is still insufficient.
  • Basically you can do that after each layer of oilpaint, if you think it necessary.
  • Various coats of oil paint, also half-covering ones, are added.
  • Coats of oil paint have to be put on as thin as possible in order to preserve the brightness of the colours.
  • Finally, highest lights and details are set on.
  • Tempera highlights should be covered. I use a thin coat of varnish therefore.
  • 1. Basic rule: Paint from thin coats on to fatter ones.
  • 2. Basic rule: Each layer has to dry quite well before applying the next.


A picture painted in this method will take roughly one year until it is completly dry.

Nowadays artists like Anton Lehmden, Fritz Aigner, Friedensreich Hundertwasser, Ernst Fuchs, Brigid Marlin and Joseph Askew are or were painting in this technique. The artists named are just a very small selection of great painters.

Why do I prefer this technique?

The picture is built up slow and that suits my character. I prefer painting on different pictures in various stages at the same time without timepressure.

The technique of the old masters is a craft where you never stop learning.

Referrals and links The Links to other websites are meant for additional information and do not necessarily reflect my own opinion.

The photographs are private property of Herta Masarié