I am offering a buon fresco painting workshop on Wednesdays in June '21, in Honley, West Yorkshire.
I am excited to offer this workshop which will enable you to experience one of the oldest and richest methods in the history of painting: ‘buon’ fresco. A famous example of this method is the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome, painted by Michelangelo between 1508 and 1512. I have adapted the 'buon' fresco method to work on small tiles, to enable more people to enjoy the process.
“What will I make?”
I invite you to make your own unique, colourful frescoes on four 10cm x 10cm tiles by following detailed, step-by-step guidance.* Suitable for any level, this hands-on workshop using specialist materials provides a balance of structured, guided learning and individual experimentation. My aim is that participants enjoy a sense of mindful immersion while focusing on the materials and the process.
“What is ‘buon’ fresco?”
Meaning ‘true’ fresco, ‘buon’ fresco is the method of applying pigments dispersed in water onto wet plaster, the ‘intonaco’, to create durable paintings on walls and ceilings. This differs from fresco ‘a secco’, ‘dry’ fresco, which is the method of applying pigments mixed with a binder to dry plaster.
Traditionally, the buon fresco artist prepares the wall or ceiling with three or more layers of plaster, made with varying ratios of slaked lime putty and aggregate such as fine sand. The paint is applied to the intonaco, the final, smoothest and thinnest layer of plaster that contains less sand than the penultimate, coarser layer, the ‘arriccio’. I have worked out the best formula of intonaco for your tiles, and we will be using a combination of marble dust and fine sand.
When the artist paints on the wet buon fresco surface, the pigment particles, carried in water, are locked into the intonaco as it dries. During the chemical process of the slaked lime reacting with the air, the pigments become embedded in a stone-like surface and therefore the artist’s marks become a physical part of the painting-object.
The durability of buon fresco is evidenced in the earliest known examples of the method, made by the Minoans of Bronze Age Crete around 2000 BCE. Imagery depicting Minoan culture, belief systems and their connection with nature has been very-well preserved within the intonaco surface that once covered palace walls and ceilings.
Using the same method and similar materials that artists have used for centuries, I will help you to create unique, interesting fresco artworks without having to re-plaster your walls or ceiling.
“How will the workshop run?”
This workshop is structured as follows:
09:30-09:45 – welcome, coffee/tea, introductions
09:45-10:45 – preparing the intonaco, applying it to the tiles*
10:45-11:15 – coffee/tea and flapjack
11:15-11:30 – mixing pigments, testing brushes, trying ideas
11:30-12:45 – fresco painting
12:45-13:00 – preparing your frescoes for travel, departure
*Participants are invited to make four fresco paintings on 10cm x 10cm tiles. There will be 15.5cm x 15.5cm tiles available for those who feel they can manage the larger size having applied the intonaco to the four smaller tiles.
COVID-19 distancing and sanitisation procedures in place. Four participants maximum.
- the tiles
- hanging fixtures for you to attach later
- specialist, artisan materials required for making the intonaco
- the pigments
- safety equipment including goggles, gloves and dust masks (please bring your own face mask in addition);
- tools including brushes, palettes and trowels
There will also be plenty of biscuits, homemade flapjack (dairy-free and with no added sugar), various teas and filter coffee including decaffeinated options, plus dairy and non-dairy milks.
"Where is the venue?"
1, Church Street
£65 per person. Please contact me at for booking information.