Fresco (about)
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i LA DESIGNS specialty is a genuine Classic Buon Fresco Techniques. We offer Buon (true) Fresco, Secco Fresco and Faux Fresco. We create frescoes as

  • Full scale walls and ceilings
  • Movable panels
  • Decorative True Fresco Fragments

iLia Anossov is one of the very few fresco masters now living in the USA. iLia is the founder of the Fresco School and Contemporary Fresco Painting resource Center at TrueFresco.com. He is a speaker and a judge for a prestigious Fauxcademy Awards. "Albuquerque Fresco" by iLia Anossov is the largest contemporary buon fresco in Western USA.

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. Known as buon "true" fresco, this technique was a primary choice for Grand Palaces and Public Centers as well as private homes throughout the known hystory. In Western Art it is the formost important technique of the Renaissance (late thirteenth to the mid-sixteenth centuries).

The common assumption that all mural painting is fresco painting is an erroneous idea. It is true that one can in fact paint on fresh plaster, or intonaco, to make a painting in affresco or a fresco. 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.

Visit www.DolphinFresco.com to see step-by-step illustrated journal of the creation of a true (buon) fresco.

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 it is customary for an acrylic mural.

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

Look and Feel of the aged true fresco has always been "in style" and in high demand. In Recent years rise in popularity of Fresco Painting, authentic "Old World" decorative painting techniques and historic plaster finishes lead to especially high demand for an "aged fresco look" without the "fresco expense" which our imitation - Faux Fresco techniques provide.


Steps in Creation of the Buon Fresco:

1. Development of the composition - initial BW rendering/drawing is produced for the client for the initial approval of the composition and to personalize the elements of the fresco. When all elements of the fresco become clear to both parties, final detailed rendering and/or scaled color study is developed and delivered to the patron for the Final Rendering Approval. (When necessary, images of the "work in progress" are also posted in CLIENT CENTER.)

2. Cartoon and Color Studies - after the final rendering is approved by the client we begin the development of the "Cartoon" - full scale drawing of the future fresco and full scale color studies of the major elements of the fresco. There will be a minimum of two (initial and final) scheduled in-studio client screenings during the work on the Cartoon. (For patron's convenience images of the "work in progress" are provided, when necessary for in-town and regularly for out-of-town projects.)

Initial Cartoon Screening - after the initial values of the fresco (background, composition, layout of the details) have been developed client is invited to the studio to confirm the overall appearance of the future fresco. At this stage secondary changes and adjustments can be proposed by the patron. (for out-of-town projects we use high quality professional photographs that are delivered via FedEx)

3. Wall Preparation - wall preparation generally begins after the "Initial Cartoon Screening" and depending on the specifics of the project consists of - building of the Fresco Wall from scratch and/or Building of Supporting Fresco Plaster coats.

Final Screening - before "transfer tracings" of the final Cartoon are prepared client is invited to the studio for the Final Cartoon Screening. (for out-of-town projects we use high quality professional photographs that are delivered via FedEx)

4. Painting - buon fresco painting begins with "Sinopia". Sinopia is later covered section by section with "intonaco" plaster on which the actual buon fresco painting is done. Sinopia serves as a reference guide for positioning "giornatas"  as artist progresses through the work.

--"sinopia" - a full scale monochrome rendering of fresco on "arriccio"
--"arriccio" - plaster coat preceding the "intonaco"
--"intonaco" - final plaster coat the fresco is painted on
--"giornata" - a section of fresco painted in one day

Alternatively fresco can be painted in-studio on our custom designed collectable panels or Decorative fresco fragments and installed on location. Buon Fresco panel is securely mounted on the wall with the frame visible (we offer a selection of styles), or inserted into the wall.


He transformed a thirty-foot wall into a living display of beauty that will outlast most of the art and architecture of the Southwest. He is a creative genius and works with a wonderful team..."
A. B., Emmy Award Winning Documentary Producer (Best Public Affairs) ABTV


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