Egg tempera isn’t nearly as common as oil paints these days, but it’s still the medium of choice for Alex Garcia, a San Antonio portrait artist.
Since egg tempera dries fast, Garcia uses many cross-hatched strokes of color to build up layers upon layers of medium—and although it’s certainly a long process, you can see the beautiful results in each and every painting.
Be Still, above, is one of Garcia’s larger egg tempera paintings at 16″ by 20″.
Just visually, I love the solid, rich colors in this piece; and of course the flawless details throughout. If you’re interested, you can see some absolutely amazing work-in-process photos of this particular painting here on Garcia’s website.
The background of this next painting shows the hatching I mentioned a bit more clearly. Since egg tempera won’t blend directly on the surface of the painting, that’s the only way to achieve gradients and variations in color.
But going beyond technique, I was also fascinated by the thoughtfulness, the gravitas, present in most of Garcia’s paintings.
It’s more than just a mood—each portrait hints at a deeper story, with clues to those stories hidden just inside the boundaries of the frame.
In La Despedida, a young man gazes outward, far past the morning sun, watching. . . something. . . slip away. Behind him in the shadowed doorway, she looks down, seeing nothing but the past. Although I can’t know for sure, it seems that wherever he’s going, whatever he’s doing—he must do it alone.