What is egg tempera?

Egg tempera is an ancient medium dating back to the 1st century AD. Popular during the Renaissance period with artists like Botticelli, Raphael and Verrocchio, it was the primary method of painting until around 1500 when it was superseded by the invention of oil paint. The process of creating an egg tempera painting is unlike any other painting medium and produces unique results. Pure pigment and egg yolk are built up over many layers to create a luminous colour and a saturated finish, yet a matte and stable surface. It is both a painstaking and rewarding medium. All materials are pure so there are no additives or fillers just simple pigment and binding medium. It's environmentally friendly, so no harsh vapours or white spirit are produces. I only use the highest quality of materials. More about Egg Tempera History


How durable are the paintings?

 Egg tempera and encaustic are the most durable of the painting mediums.  They have been often said to date back to ancient Egypt. Early Egyptian art such as Fayum portraits used encaustic and egg tempera as can be seen in the British Museum. If you've seen paintings by Italian artists such as Botticelli, Fra Angelico and Piero Della Francesca, they all used egg tempera; their paintings have lasted hundred of years. They can be seen at National Gallery in London and Uffizi gallery in Italy. My paintings are on birch plywood that has been sized and prepared with hand made gesso for durability. The colours don't change and do not yellow over time.  


What is water gilding?

Water gilding is the Rolls Royce of the gilding world. It is the pinnacle of this craft and produces the best results with the most longevity. It has many different stages that must be completed for the final finish, and each stage is a skill and craft in its own right. Water gilding, also called gilding on bole, consists of applying loose sheets of genuine gold on a layer of red clay (bole). The bole supplies a flexible surface that allows for polishing the gold with an agate burnisher (stone) thereby obtaining a brilliant and very smooth effect. The bole gives the gold red reflections due to the gold transparency. This technique of gilding requires a significant investment in materials and long practice to obtain good results. See my process here.

What type of gold do you use?

I ONLY use genuine gold leaf of different colours and carats such as 23.5 ct gold, lemon, white, champagne and moon. I don't use any Dutch Metal gold leaf. The gold comes in very thin leaves that I gild using Italian techniques of water gilding. Other gold colours such as white and lemon gold are all varnished for protection from oxidisation and to maintain the same colour.

 Where did you learn your techniques?

I went on several speciality courses in London at The Princess School of Traditional Arts who specialise in gilding and working with gold. I also was taught by well-respected icon painter who specialise in icon painting and by a renowned gilder. Also, I spent many years during my BA and MFA experimenting and honing my craft.

How do I care for my paintings?

Always keep the paintings away from strong, direct sunlight as this may alter the colour over a long period of time. Also keep them away from high humid spaces.  You can gently dust them with a lint-free dry cloth as needed.


How do I hang my painting? 

Each painting has a simple hanging system at the back. All you need is a nail in the wall. The best measurements is to hang the painting at your eye level and give it at least 50cm on each side of empty wall space. Email me if you have any questions


Do you sign you work?

Yes all my work is signed at the back and some of it is signed with my genuine gold signature at the front as well. All work is tilted and dated at the back and comes with a Certificate of Authenticity with my wax seal for investment.


Are the paintings framed?

No the painting is ready to hang without a frame. The rounded edges and the thick birch plywood makes it a complete piece. However I understand that you may want it framed for specific reason. Some paintings will work really well with my hand gilded frame that I make in my studio. I can suggest framing options and offer to frame it at an extra cost. Email me for enquiries.


Where can I see your paintings?

You can visit my studio in Worthing to view my work. Email me to arrange a visit. I also take part in art fairs in UK and Europe. Join my Artletter to stay updated with news of any exhibitions.


What is a Certificate of Authenticity?

It’s a certificate you receive with the painting that guarantees the provenance of your painting and its collectible and insurable value. It must have details of the original work of art, your contact information and the artists’ signature and date. All my original paintings come with a Certificate of Authenticity with my signature and a wax seal.


What if I buy the painting then change my mind?

Don’t worry I’m confident that you will love my work so I’m giving you 7 Days Money Back Guarantee for a full refund or an exchange. Just return the painting in its original packaging and I will refund you the amount. See Shipping and Returns

 Do you offer a payment plan?

Yes I do offer a payment plan for paintings over the value of £1000. Email me to work out a payment plan that fits your needs. I require a minimum of 40% deposit to reserve the painting, then the outstanding balance can be paid by monthly instalments that we can discuss. The painting will be delivered once the payments are paid in full.

What payment methods do you accept?

I accept Credit Card, Visa Debit and Paypal.

What is an art commission?

It's hiring me to have a specific painting exclusively for you.  When commissioning me you are required to pay 50% deposit before the start of the painting, then the rest of the payment when the painting is finished. See full commission terms.


What does “© All rights reserved” mean?

It means that Merna Liddawi is the sole legal owner of her intellectual property and she reserves all of her rights. See Copyright.


If you have any other questions please email me at info@mernaliddawi.com or contact me here