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 - Secco Painting

The term secco painting is used to indicate any one of a number of methods by which color is applied to a wall after the plaster is dry. In all cases the wall must be structurally firm, dry, and clean.

In one method the wall, prepared as for fresco painting with a rough cast, brown coat, and sand finish, is given several coats of lime wash. This is made by diluting with water good quality lime putty, like that used in fresco painting, until it has the consistency of house paint. Three or four coats of lime wash are applied over the floated sand-finish coat, which has been sprayed thoroughly with water. The coats are laid one over the other, as soon as the preceding coat is damp dry, in somewhat the manner that gesso coats are laid on. Then work proceeds as in fresco, using colors prepared with lime water and bianco sangiovanni. The final effect is rather like fresco.

Casein, egg tempera, glue distemper, wax-casein emulsions, and synthetic vinyl and acrylic materials have been used in secco paintings on dry plaster walls. In all cases the color should be kept reasonably thin. In the case of glue painting and egg tempera, areas of heavy impasto are sure to powder off or crack. As already indicated, secco retouches are used over fresco to correct small errors and to hide the joints between sections of intonaco.

[Kay, Reed. The Painters Guide to Studio Methods and Materials. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1983. p. 186]



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