Wall fresco part two

I decided to divide my fresco design into six giornate (painting days) as fresco has to be painted onto a damp plaster- and it dries quite quickly. I had already done a drawing of my garden and a quick colour sketch with egg tempera on gessoed paper, to get a feel for...

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Wall fresco part one

Having made dozens of portable frescoes on panels, I thought it was high time I tackled an actual wall. Fresco is, after all, a mural technique. Brick is the best and my studio building is made of brick. Unfortunately, it means working outside, which is not the best...

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Broken but not Beaten

I had just put the finishing touches onto my fresco self portrait. As the plaster had already dried, I used secco (pigment and casein binder) to correct a few offending features and to add a tasteful floral cardigan. I was pleased with the result. It would be just the...

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Rome, Naples and Pompeii

. Last winter, I- a Scottish fresco painter, and Carey Mortimer- an English fresco painter, made a trip to Rome, Naples and Pompeii with the intention of examining Roman wall paintings. We are both fascinated by the fine polished technique of this particular era of...

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Visual Poem

I write poetry from time to time. In many ways it is similar to painting: imagery develops through experimentation; taking bits out and adding new bits is crucial; form and rhythm create dynamic; the desire to have a final outcome that surprises me is what keeps me...

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Sgraffito

Sgraffito is an old technique which involves scratching through a layer of lime plaster to reveal a different coloured layer below. It is a bit like scraperboard! It has been used since classical times and was popularised in the 15th and 16th centuries and again...

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Studio rearrangement

I have been in my WASPS studio for twenty and a half years. I was in the first group of people to take a studio here in October 1995 when the building became available. I was immediately attracted to this studio because of its pitched roof, windows and skylight. It...

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Man in Pink

For my latest test fresco, I am doing a figure from Pierro della Francesca’s Legend of the True Cross. I chose it because I had a good sized copy of it in a library book. I love his pink outfit and how the folds look so complex. Julia talked me through how to build up...

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Roman fresco technique

I have become slightly obsessed with the frescoes at Pompeii and Herculaneum. I have never been there, but have got hold of some books with excellent reproductions. There has been some debate about the techniques they used to get the smooth, polished surface. I won’t...

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My uncle’s exhibition

My Uncle Bill has an exhibition at the Scottish Gallery in Edinburgh. William Irvine was born in Scotland and went to Glasgow School of Art. He lived in London as a young artist and then moved to Maine where he has been for the best part of fifty years. This is the...

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