Notebook, 1993-

MATERIALS & METHODS - Painting - Fresco

Limitations & Advantages - Painting Procedure - The Wall - Sketches, Cartoons, Transfer - Secco Painting - Brick Walls - New Walls - The Aggregates - The Lime - The Mortar - Making the Lime Putty - Mixing the Mortar - Intonaco - Brown Coat - Plastering the Wall - Rough Cast / Trullisatio - Sand Finish

Pigments - Brushes & Tools - Bianco Sangiovanni

Fresco - The Mortar

The mortar used to surface the wall for fresco painting is most important since it corresponds to the gesso or oil ground in other techniques. The ingredients of the mortar and the way in which it is applied to the wall determine the durability of the final picture, the length of time the artist will have to finish the painting, and the final surface texture of the fresco. High-calcium lime is the binder of the mortar. To it are added various aggregates--namely, brick dust, fine sand, marble dust, or marble meal. The fresco painter normally works with a mason or helper who can take expert care of the plastering operations. But since the requirements for the fresco wall are quite different from those for the normal building wall, artists must know the process thoroughly so that they may intelligently supervise and control the preparation of materials and the production of the walls on which they are to work.

[Kay, Reed. The Painters Guide to Studio Methods and Materials. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1983. p. 172]



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