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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Fresco Art, How To

In a hallway of the Castello Estense, in Ferrara, Italy, you can admire a fresco in close quarters.
What a surprise! Except for the image, the fresco had the same texture and appearance as those that I have painted and have shared with my students at our local college workshops.

Close-up of my Fresco Technique

Location of Fresco ... stairs to the Cellar

The Swag

The Secret is the Sand, it gives it the "Fresco Look"

Here is how:
Same recipe as in an earlier post for Stone Walls.
12 cups of 35 grit builders sand to one box of dry wall compound.
(Sand is essential, prevents fresco from cracking)
Apply in broad strokes (not in circles) with 6 inch trowel
Let dry and paint image with acrylic paints
Here comes the hard part: you have to cover part of your art work with a thin layer of mud (dry wall compound with sand) again using a trowel. Let dry.
Wet an ordinary kitchen sponge (one that has a scrubber on one side) and scrub across the part you want to reveal or bring out. Soon you will accumulate some of the sand on your sponge. That is good because it helps remove some of the paint and some of the base. Let dry.
Last layer. Mix dark beer with colorant (artist guache or Universal tints) and with large soft brush cover entire surface. Use colors such as burnt umber and burnt sienna for an antique finish.
Admire your masterpiece


  1. Hi,
    It's Monica. I have been tracking your blog. It reminds me of home. Keep on going.

  2. Hi Monica,I thought that was you. Thanks for commenting. It is always so much fun to hear that my blog is being read. I receive the most wonderful e-mails from people from many parts of the world.

    Will be leaving for Paris in two weeks. In the meantime, please check in on me now and then.

    Love, Gina

    Love, Gina

  3. Hi Gina,
    I just came across this post while looking at today's post (7-28-10) and am amazed- you gave us your recipe! Can't wait to try it...

    Thanks, Ann