Notebook, 1993-

MATERIALS & METHODS - Pigments - Approved Pigment List - The Permanent Palette - Restricted Palettes

Color Properties - Pigment Properties - Purity - Permanence

Classification - Grades of Artists' Paints -

From: Kay, Reed. The Painter's Guide to Studio Methods and Materials. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1983.

Pigments and Equipment for
Fresco Painting

In the buon fresco technique, dry pigments are ground with water only and brushed on wet lime plaster. When the plaster dries, the pigment is permanently bound to it but is not varnished and hence protected from the acid effects of the city atmosphere. Furthermore, the lime in the plaster is a strong alkali which bleaches out many pigments.

Therefore, the list of pigments available to the fresco painter is comparatively limited, containing only those colors that remain unaffected both by acids in the air and the alkaline action of lime. [p. 6]

Pigments for fresco painting should be resistant to the strong alkali action of lime and must also set well in the plaster lest they powder off like pastel.

The following pigments can be used:









On a glass slab all colors are ground with distilled water to paste consistency, using a muller or a spatula. Then, like pastes for egg tempera painting, they can be stored in clean screw-top jars. A little water should be gently poured over the top of the paste to keep it from drying out. The jar covers should be made of plastic, rather than metal, so that they will not rust.

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



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