June 13, 2024


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How To Make Tempera Paint Into Acrylic

How To Make Tempera Paint Into Acrylic As an artist, your creative endeavors often lead you to explore new ways of working with your paints. You might find yourself blending different mediums on canvas or experimenting with unconventional combinations. One intriguing possibility is the fusion of tempera and acrylic paint. If you’re considering this artistic venture, you’re likely curious about its feasibility and effects.

Is it possible to use tempera paint alongside acrylic paint? The answer is affirmative – you can indeed combine tempera and acrylic paints. To undertake this artistic experiment, it’s recommended to use matching colors of both mediums. When mixed, you’ll gain insights into how acrylic paint interacts with tempera and observe any transferability.

It’s important to note that this combination won’t adversely affect the quality of the paints themselves. However, the resulting texture might differ from the smoothness typically associated with each individual medium. The reason for this lies in the distinct compositions of tempera and acrylic paints.

Differences and Similarities between Tempera and Acrylic Paint

How To Make Tempera Paint Into Acrylic
How To Make Tempera Paint Into Acrylic

Tempera and acrylic paints serve as two popular mediums in the world of art. Each has its own merits and drawbacks, making them suitable for diverse projects. Here are key distinctions and commonalities:

  1. Composition: Tempera paint is a traditional medium composed of pigments and waxes with a food-based binder like egg yolk. In contrast, acrylic paint is a modern medium containing an acrylic polymer and gum arabic binder, lending it flexibility.
  2. Usage Surfaces: Tempera is often used on surfaces like cardboard, plastic, or paper, while acrylic is commonly applied to canvas or paper.
  3. Durability: Once dried, acrylic paint boasts greater durability compared to tempera. Unlike tempera, acrylic paint resists being wiped off even after drying.
  4. Lightfastness: Tempera paint is prone to discoloration over time due to its lower lightfastness, whereas acrylic paint exhibits better lightfastness.
  5. Cost: Acrylic paint is generally more expensive than tempera paint.
  6. Consistency: Acrylic paint has a thick consistency, whereas tempera paint has a creamy texture. Texture can influence color appearance.
  7. Drying Time: Acrylic paint tends to dry more quickly than tempera paint.
  8. Finish: Acrylic paint dries with a glossy finish, while tempera paint typically dries with a matte finish.

Using Different Types of Tempera Paint with Acrylic Paint

How To Make Tempera Paint Into Acrylic
How To Make Tempera Paint Into Acrylic

It’s possible to use various types of tempera paint alongside acrylic paint. However, not all types of tempera paint will interact seamlessly with acrylics.

Egg Tempera Paint and Acrylic Paint: Egg tempera paint, due to its water-based nature and distinct composition, doesn’t mix well with acrylics. Combining these paints can result in poor adhesion and potential damage to your artwork.

Casein Tempera Paint and Acrylic Paint: You can use casein tempera paint with acrylic paint, provided you apply an acrylic primer before using the acrylic paint. Priming the casein tempera painting with acrylic ensures compatibility and better adhesion.

Painting with Tempera on Wood Using Acrylic Colors: Acrylic paint, when combined with tempera, offers a versatile option for painting on wood. By mixing these mediums, you can create decorative effects that resemble oil painting. Allow your painting to dry for at least 24 hours after completion.

Painting with Tempera on Canvas Using Acrylic Colors: While it’s possible to paint on canvas using a mixture of tempera and acrylic, outcomes depend on the surface’s matte or glossy nature. Matte surfaces work well with both acrylic and tempera, while glossy surfaces require matte acrylic paint to ensure proper adhesion and prevent cracking or fading over time.

Why Combine Tempera and Acrylic Paint?

How To Make Tempera Paint Into Acrylic
How To Make Tempera Paint Into Acrylic

Combining tempera and acrylic paint presents a practical approach for artists aiming to optimize efficiency and save time. While the two paints do not naturally blend harmoniously, with careful technique, impressive results can be achieved. Maintaining separate brushes for each medium and considering the timing of application are crucial aspects to remember.

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Achieving Smooth Blending with Tempera Paint on Acrylic Paintings

How To Make Tempera Paint Into Acrylic
How To Make Tempera Paint Into Acrylic

To achieve smooth blending when using tempera paint on acrylic paintings, consider incorporating a slow-drying acrylic medium into the mixture. Continuous blending with a palette knife, aided by the acrylic medium, can lead to a harmonious fusion of both paints. This method enhances the likelihood of achieving a smooth, visually appealing outcome.

Determining the Right Proportion of Tempera Paint

Knowing when you’ve used too much tempera paint involves observing changes in color intensity. If the color darkens excessively, it’s an indication of excess tempera paint. Conversely, adding too little tempera may result in an undesired effect. Testing with a brush and monitoring adhesion can help you strike the right balance.

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Limits and Considerations of Using Tempera Paint with Acrylics

While using tempera paint with acrylics offers benefits, it also comes with limitations to consider:


  • Enhanced color vibrancy
  • Texture and pattern creation
  • Potential for unique effects


  • Shortened shelf life of tempera and potential impact on acrylic paint
  • Unsuitability for outdoor projects due to fading and cracking concerns
  • Compatibility issues on textured surfaces
  • Different adhesion properties between tempera and acrylic paints

Incorporating tempera paint alongside acrylics can unlock creative possibilities, producing captivating artworks with dynamic qualities. Familiarizing yourself with the potential advantages and limitations empowers you to make informed decisions when blending these two mediums.