ArtistMum: Art Club-Day 6

This art session was devoted to fresco painting. What is fresco painting?

“Fresco is a way of painting pictures. A fresco is a painting that is done on a wall. All wall paintings are sometimes called frescoes by mistake. A true fresco is painted onto plaster that is fresh. The plaster has been laid on the wall that day and is still damp. The word fresco comes from the Italian for “fresh”.” (Wikipedia)

Students planned their drawing first on a piece of paper. In Renaissance times, this form of preparation for fresco painting was called a ‘cartoon’, which was a larger version of the initial drawing. Small holes were then made outlining the main lines of the drawing. The cartoon was then placed against the wall and the artist would then pounce charcoal powder through the holes so that the outline would appear on the wall. Sometimes the cartoon was placed on the wall and holes were poked through directly onto the plaster. Michelangelo was known to use this method on the Sistine chapel.

Each day’s work was called a ‘giornata’, from the Italian word ‘giorno’, meaning ‘day’. Artists had to work quickly before the plaster would dry completely.

For the students to get a feel of what it was like to paint on plaster, each student was given a plaster tile that was made the night before. We used watercolors to paint our designs. The plaster was slightly damp and absorbed the paint very well.
Below are some pictures of our fresco painting experience!






When the paint and plaster was completely dry, the students applied a coat of ‘Modge Podge’ onto the surface. This gave the tiles a slightly glazed look. And here are the finished pieces! I think they came out very well!







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