23 Nov HOW TO MAKE A FRESCO (FIRST PART)
The choice of the subject could be addressed from the costumer or the painter directly decides. The composition and the colours could be decided depending on the context where the painting will be make, that is to say according to the size and the shape of the surface to paint, the type and the intensity of lighting, the architectural features, the interior decoration and whatever concerns with the painting.
Sometimes the architecture suggests the composition, whereas in other situations it is better take the observation point into account.
The total look of the painting is normally decided by one or more full-scale sketches, more or less precise, which can be used in preparatory cardboards phase.
Sometimes it is useful to delve some particulars of composition with careful sketches that will be employed during the fresco painting.
This work can be done in two steps: in the first step the artist can draw with brush and colours directly on the plaster ready-to-paint; the second step is done drawing the subject on full-size paper, it’s here that the real spaces of the work the contours and possibly the most part of “charoscuri” are defined; sometimes the definitive sketch is done using the method of “quadrettatura”.
The paper with the draw can be lean on the plaster and pushed with the tip on it to obtain an engraving, whereas in order to avoid the furrow the contours of the draw will be perforated with thin awls and passing by on the opposite side a piece of thin abrasive paper so that the holes will not close again and the “spolvero” does not scratch the plaster.
Before to beat the “spolvero” on the wall it has to create some reference points so that you can exactly lay the draw upon every time.
The typing of the “spolvero” is done tamponing the draw with the pigment powder (generally a red-ochre or “terra d’ombra”).
This operation is done at least twice: on the “arricciato” in order to draw the “sinopia”, then on the “intonachino” of every “giornata”.
The perfect composition of the wall for the fresco is made by bricks or porous stones and lime mortar.
It has to leave out at all surfaces made by cement, wood, plasterboard or plastic materials, unfitting with the fresco technique.
In case of walls made by “scagliola” ( a type of thin chalk), if the prop is appropriate it will be enough to remove it and to wash the wall; the wooden fragments and the chalky plastering also need to be removed since the humidity increases the volume and any plaster over the wall will be destroyed.
It’s important to make a rough surface because it’s better for the layers of the plaster that will be stick on it.
After these operations, the wall is cleaned with a “seggina”(type of plant) broom and then it is abundantly wet in order to start the drafting of “intonachino”.