Fresco Techniques in painting: Buon (True), Secco, Faux. Step-by-Step Tutorials.

Fresco Techniques are the oldest known form of painting, during the Renaissance it was regarded as "Mother of all Arts". Practicing fresco painting involves thorough knowledge of other forms of fine and decorative arts, mediums and techniques. It involves drafting skills, knowledge of water and oil mediums, understanding of composition, perspective, traditional techniques and history of styles. Fresco also requires confidence and strong organizational skills. Fresco artists are capable of conducting and executing virtually any art project whether it is a buon, secco or faux fresco; acrylic mural, oil portrait, period finish or "free hand" painted decorations for a major event.

Our Vision is to fascilitate the development of New Art Concept lead by New Breed of Artists independent and free in their art, highly educated professionally and spiritually, fluent in traditional art forms and styles as well as open-minded for anything new willing to experiment and discover, but with merit not with arrogance. Somebody once said "The most frightening thing is to see arrogance in action". I see the flight of Imagination in Art matching the beauty and power of Modern Grand Architecture and go beyond, expanding environment from within the structure and far beyond the limits of the new art - old art into the realm of a vision. Fresco techniques have guided thousands of artists on this path!

This site is dedicated to provide you with detailed guides for creating and recognizing Real Frescoes. Whether it would be Buon (True) Fresco, Secco Fresco or Faux Fresco you will have the knowledge and on-hand tutorials to complete a wall fresco, fresco panel or decorative fresco tile. If you are a collector you will be able to competently review and destinquish a work of fresco art, no more walking in a blind!

In addition, our illustrated Art Periods Time Lines will guide you through over 40,000 years of fresco across Cultures and Continents from Neolithic Caves to Renaissance and to Present!

Welcome to Fresco Techniques!

iLia Anossov (fresco painter, sculptor)
FrescoSchool.com




How to make a fresco painting?

Our First Tutorial covers True - Buon Fresco Technique, the main and technically, the only real fresco technique:

Affresco ( In English usage, "fresco" ). Painting done on freshly laid wet plaster with pigments dissolved in lime water. As both dry they become completely integrated.

In true fresco the artist must start applying his colors on the wet (or fresco) intonaco as soon as it has been prepared and laid on the wall. The colors can thus be absorbed by the wet plaster. When it dries and hardens, the colors become one with plaster.

Technically speaking the plaster does not "dry" but rather a chemical reaction occurs in which calcium carbonate is formed as a result of carbon dioxide from the air combining with the calcium hydrate in the wet plaster.

Buon Fresco is the most environmentally sound painting technique ever known to people. There is no worry about contaminating the environment with ANY of the true fresco materials: high calcium lime, the same as we use in agriculture for enriching the soil and in medicine for heartburn medications and dietary supplements, the same stuff our bones are made off... True Fresco pigments are all earth oxides and minerals that come from the soil itself. Distilled water for mixing color and plaster which aside from lime putty contains either sand, marble dust or marble meal, lime stone, volcanic tuff or any combination of those.

continue to: Buon Fresco Technique Online Tutorial...

Our Second Tutorial covers Dry - Secco Fresco Techniques, mainly used as a substitute for buon (true) fresco and for chages/corrections to the existing buon frescos:

Secco, also known as "fresco secco" or "dry fresco," is a method of mural painting in which pigments are applied to dry plaster. The whole work may be secco or secco may be used for additional details or corrections to works which are "true fresco." Traditionally Pigments are mixed with egg yolk or egg white (depending on artist preference) or adhesive such as gum arabic, casein, animal glue ore more contemporary acrylic mediums resulting in somewhat "tempera like" paint. The consistency of the paint should be also as thin as for buon fresco technique and not as thick as customary for an acrylic mural... (Results are not as durable or deep and brilliant as Buon Fresco.)

Planned to be published in February

Our Third Tutorial covers Immitation - Faux Fresco Techniques, variety of techniqes and applications to simulate look and feel of aged authentic fresco painting:

Look and Feel of the true fresco has allways been "in style" and in high demand. However, the limitd availiability of artists and plasterers with specific skill level that real buon or secco fresco require and costs prompted the development of many methods and techniques to immitate the "fresco look". In Recent years rise in popularity of Fresco Painting as a form of art, authentic "Old World" decorative painting techniques and historic plaster finishes lead to especially high demand for a "fresco look" without the "fresco expence" which Immitation - Faux Fresco techniques provide.

Faux Fresco - painting done mainly on non-plaster support using variety of materials, including plasters and faux painting techniques, including distressing to simulate/immitate the "look and feel" of the aged Fresco (Buon or Secco).


Ask Fresco Question. Suggestions and Feedback.
Ask Fresco Question! By now you have explored our Fresco Techniques Tutorials and Guides Published here, but it seems like there is still a question?
Buon Fresco technique online tutorial, step by step guide.
Buon Fresco technique online tutorial, step by step guide. Preparation, Materials, Cartoon, Plaster Sinopia, Pigments & Colors Steps in painting
Buon Fresco Materials and Supplies.
Detailed list of Buon Fresco Materials and Supplies with descriptions of use in buon fresco painting. One stop art materials reference center for fresco projects, includes shopping info.
Fresco Tools and Equipment, mortar tools, plaster, trowels, plastering tools.
Fresco Tools and Equipment - Extended list of tools, plastering equipment and devices for large frescoes. Includes power , plastering tools, mortar tools, trowels, small tool, stucco, venetian plaster
Guide on fresco studio setup. Lighting, equipment, tools, art studio setup.
Guide to fresco studio setup. Provides tips and suggestions on lights and lighting, furniture, shelving, lights, equipment, etc.
Fresco Cartoon - directions and use. Small and large fresco cartoons.
Fresco Cartoon - Directions and Use, guide for creation of the cartoons for fresco details and steps.
Color Studies for Fresco, redering, renditions, colour, sketches
Color Studies for Frescoes, element studies, renderings, color sketches, color samples
Fresco Lime Putty - putty lime, slaked lime, calcium lime, lime putty.
Fresco Lime Putty mystery revealed! Slaking, Chemical composition and aging of the lime putty with special chapter on problems with magnesium in dolomitic lime (common construction lime) for fresco.
Buon Fresco Plaster Coats & Mortars. From Scratch to Intonaco (Vello) Skim.
Fresco Plaster Coats & Mortars. Illustrated guide on fresco plaster and mortar. Includes Pompeii fresco plastering technique chapter , roman cement and overview of sgraffito.
Decorative Fresco Tile - fresco tiles, small fresco, decorative fresco
Decorative Fresco Tile - Guide on selecting and preparing of the fresco tile for small decorative fresco or color study for a large one. The best place to start for a novice in fresco.
Fresco Pigments - Basic List and Traditional Historic Natural Pigments
Fresco Pigments List and descriptions of natural earth and mineral pigments for fresco painting. Modern and historic pigment lists
Fresco Workshops at Fresco School, fresco painting classes, fresco program
Fresco Workshops and classes at Fresco School - information about traditional fresco painting programs and classes taught at Fresco School
Fresco Definition & Glossary - al fresco definition, fresco glossary, terms.
Fresco Definition and Glossary - fresco terminology, glossary, definitions, terms, descriptions.