Yes, another homeschooling blog...

P'once a little time there was a girl. This girl grew up to be a Mamma to three little girls all very much like herself. And this little Mamma knew she just had to have a place of her own to keep all things home school right at her fingertips.

Friday, August 20, 2010

School hasn't started yet...

However, I might make this a mandatory field trip.  It looks like a great opportunity to expose Mara to some Fine Art prior to arriving in Rome.

Who knows, maybe I can have her plan and create her own buon fresco after the trip.

I found this tutorial on Fuori Borgo. We might have to give it a try after we see the exhibit.

Supplies we will need:

  • heavy cardboard (for the frame) cut into one rectangular piece 7½ x 9½ inches, and four 3/4-inch-wide strips, two of which are 8 inches long, and the other two are 7½.
  • glue
  • a transfer image drawn on a piece of paper measuring 8 x 6 inches (ie the same size as the inside of your frame)
  • toothpicks
  • a firm sponge
  • a charcoal blotter (we put some charcoal in a little piece of fabric, tied it closed, and crushed the charcoal inside.  But you can also just use a cotton swab dipped in charcoal)
  • 1/3 cup plaster (use regular plaster, as plaster of Paris will dry out too fast)
  • 1 cup sand
  • water colors (natural pigments would be the ideal thing to use)
  • a mixing bowl
  • a spoon for mixing
  • a thin paint brush
  • a little water 
Step 1 - preliminaries  
First make a cardboard frame by gluing the heavy cardboard strips around the rectangular base piece. 
Draw a simple image on your paper.  Use other famous works for inspiration.
When the frame and image are complete, the fresco is ready to begin.Plan to set aside a couple hours for the duration of the project.

Step 2  Mix up the fresco mixture: put plaster and sand in a mixing bowl, then add a very small amount of water at a time, until the mixture is thick but pourable, and about the consistency of cake batter.

Step 3  Pour the mixture immediately into the cardboard frame, shake it gently from side to side to smooth out the surface, and set it aside for about an hour to dry a little.  It will need to feel firm to the touch, moist but not wet.

Step 4  While the fresco mixture is setting,  prepare the transfer drawing.  Set the piece of paper on the sponge, and punch holes in the paper with the toothpick, following the outline of your image.  Push the toothpick all the way in, making the holes as large in diameter as possible (not just the tip of the toothpick).  Space the holes carefully so that the paper won't tear.

Step 5  When the surface of you fresco feels just right (again, firm but slightly moist), lay the image over it, and blot it repeatedly with the charcoal blotter.  When you remove the image, the dotted outline of your drawing will remain on the fresco surface.

Step 6  Now to watercolor!

Let your fresco dry out completely for a couple of days on a flat surface, at room temperature.

Instructions courtesy of Fuori Borgo. 

Important terms in fresco painting:

arriccio the equivalent of the brown coat in a three coat plaster wall; the surface on which the sinopia is painted

bozzetto the small scale full-color model (also modello) for the fresco composition; often in oil or watercolor

buon fresco “true” or “good” fresco; fresco means “fresh” in Italian, and a fresco is a painting into fresh plaster (the intonaco, or finish coat of plaster laid on the wall that day)

cartoon from the Italian cartone, or large sheet of paper, it is the full-size drawing used to transfer the design onto the intonaco

giornata a day’s work—usually about 8 hours, but can be longer—determined by the length of time the plaster remains “fresh” and able to absorb the pigments when brushed on the wall; a large fresco is composed of many giornate, the seams between which often remain somewhat visible in the final painting

intonaco the finish coat of plaster upon which the fresco is painted; composed of roughly one part lime putty and one part aggregate (usually river sand, but also pozzolana [volcanic ash], marble powder, etc.)

lime the aged, slaked lime putty--burnt limestone combined with water --used in fresco cures slowly on the wall, and remains relatively soft throughout its life

lime milk latte di calce in Italian; watery lime formed either naturally or by mixing water and lime; can be used instead of water in fresco painting; also used to brush on the sinopia, and for lime wash wall painting

mezzo fresco literally "half-fresh," it is a technique using lime milk and pigments on an already dry intonaco; not as absolutely permanent as buon fresco, it became more common in large interior frescoes during the Baroque since artists were not constrained by giornate

sinopia derived from the name of a red pigment (from Turkey) often used for this kind of painting, it is the outline of the final fresco painted on the arriccio coat; any pigment can be used, and it is applied with lime milk to adhere to the “dry”arriccio; the sinopia principally provides guidelines for the various giornate

Terms from Fresco Trail

1 comment:

  1. This looks like a lot of fun. You'll have to let me know how it goes.
    I also really like that blog. I hadn't read that one before.


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