Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Three Graces Fresco on Canvas

The Three Graces
18 x 18

Hmmm where do I begin with this one?
Okay I will start with technique.
I got some Golden Crackle Paste because I felt like experimenting.   When it came in the mail I looked at it and thought what am I going to do with this?   So I went on the Golden website and looked up product info and it said that you could use the paste to do Fresco.   Now my heart was starting to beat.  
I used a palette knife and spread the paste all over the background- not the women at first because I knew I would have to work fast.   I then spritzed the canvas and my paints with water to keep it wet.   You don't need a lot of paint - a little bit tints the plaster.  

After I did the background, I did the same thing with the graces.

Now the challenge with Frescos used to be that if you wanted to change or glaze anything cracking could be a big problem.  Since I was using crackle paste and looking for some cracking I didn't worry about that.  I did lots of water/acrylic washes over the whole thing to achieve depth.

I let it cure for quite a few days - close to a week to see how much it would crack.

It cracked just like an old fresco.

I love it.

Oh- and - I did not mean for it to turn out so close to the original (Raphael) but I got so lost in the technique.   My husband said it was very common for the old masters when they were trying out a new technique to paint close to who they were studying so I guess I am in good company.


  1. Looks lovely!
    you are describing using the crackle after it was painted, right?
    there were no copyright laws back then, and the masters learned from copying their teachers, and then figured out their own style. you are in very good company!!

  2. I know it was common practice. We can use the masters now because they are so old. The Raphael painting is over 500 yrs old - no copyright - it's in the public domain- like singing happy birthday and I think if he is watching he's getting a kick out of it :)
    But no to the other question....I painted it like a fresco and used the crackle paste as the plaster - I laid it on the canvas - kept it a bit wet and tinted color into the paste. Thickness of the paste you lay and humidity determines how much it cracks.

  3. I'm still learning so that's what I have so far....