Useful Tips

DIY fresco - a master class for craftsmen


Once upon a time, the execution of the fresco was only possible for masters with a whole team of assistants. After all, it was necessary to draw with special paints on raw plaster - then the soil and the image became one and could be stored for a long time. But because of this, the artist had to finish the work in one day - to paint the entire plot prepared in the morning. If the hand suddenly trembled, it was impossible to redraw, only cut out a damaged piece of plaster and rub a new one. The name of the technique itself comes from the word fresco, that is, “fresh”.

A classic mural involves the use of mixed fine sand and lime (sometimes with the addition of marble dust) as a base. Artists used colored pigments dissolved in water as paints. For retouching a dried image, paints mixed with eggs, oil or water were taken.

Trying to reproduce this process today and at home is very difficult. Firstly, only an artist with a full hand can do a task. Moreover, during operation it is difficult to imagine the final result, because after drying such paints changed color. Secondly, it is already impossible to get the natural components that were used several centuries ago.

Do it yourself

Over time, all kinds of murals began to be called a fresco. In this version, almost any person is able to make a “fresco”. Moreover, ordering such a painting from a real master costs a lot of money.

Homemade mural is most convenient to draw with acrylic paints. They are easy to use, dry quickly and do not require mandatory varnish. If you take gouache or tempera (or paint with watercolor on raw plaster), for safety, you will need to varnish the work.

The first step is to prepare the wall - to level, plaster and sand so that the surface becomes as smooth as possible. The drawing chosen for the mural is copied onto the wall. It is best to draw outlines and borders not with a pencil, but outline them with a thin needle. A pencil mark may be visible under light paint, and scratched lines are easier to hide. Then the wall is covered with soil - special acrylic or just PVA adhesives, slightly diluted with water. After drying, the glue becomes transparent and forms a glossy film on which the paints lie evenly. Then, checking the sample, they color the drawing, allow it to dry and, if necessary, varnish it.

If the drawing is applied with watercolors on the plaster, the surface does not need to be primed, but it is important to choose bright paints and apply them with juicy strokes. Having dried, the watercolor on the plaster fades a little.

Making frescoes in the past and today

Once upon a time, even before the invention of wallpaper, walls were finished in two ways - with wooden carved panels or with ordinary plaster. However, the white or grayish surfaces looked very dull, which prompted homeowners to decorate them. From ancient times, artists covered the walls in temples and palaces with beautiful paintings, even in the Egyptian pyramids it is present, so it was worthless to use such talents for private needs. There are several techniques for coating plaster with paint, in addition to those that have been lost in the distant past and have not been restored to this day. Two methods are most known - on wet plaster and on dry.

Of course, the technology of making murals has always been an expensive process, especially if a well-known master took up the matter. Such wall decoration was present only in rich houses, and even a wealthy man could not always afford more than one or two murals. Today it is far from a rarity of frescoes in the interior, everyone can create them with their own hands, of course, if it is not a complex image that only a trained artist can do. Not possessing great talent, but having several patterns available, you can well decorate the walls with a simple pattern. There are, however, ways in which plastered surfaces can be decorated with small, but quite full-fledged paintings.

The first option is to use paper napkins with a pattern that can repeat reproductions of ancient paintings by famous artists. Thus, you will find original miniatures on the walls. Making frescoes of this kind is extremely simple. A niche or other area should be covered with background paint, then when it dries slightly (but not completely), we apply a napkin in its entirety or a cut-out part with a picture. Dip the brush in the PVA and cover the paper with the image from the center to the edges with glue, but this should be done carefully with soft smoothing movements. When everything that has been applied to the wall dries, we cover the areas between the drawings with another layer of background paint.

Another way, how to glue the murals on the wall with your own hands, involves the use of special films with an image printed in printing. They are called Shockline PS Fresco. The principle of action is very similar to applying children's decals. While the plaster is wet, it will easily take on the paint applied to the film. Then, as the finishing layer hardens, the pigment, which is absorbed into the wall coating, dries. The film can be removed, and there will be a finished mural, the creation of which requires minimal effort, but in this way you can transfer it as a reproduction of a picture, or engraving, or a photograph. An alternative to this method is the finished murals on a flexible or solid basis.

DIY fresco: a master class for beginners

Today, in any store that sells wallpaper and related products, you can find ready-made murals painted on a flexible thin layer of plaster, which is applied to a special dense base. The texture of the image resembles a liquid wallpaper. With a do-it-yourself wall mural, the workshop describes in great detail. After applying such an image to a wall, it is difficult to distinguish it from a painting made using ancient technology directly on the finishing layer of plaster.

Step 1: Determine the place to stick

The base on which the canvas will be placed should be perfectly flat, without protrusions and depressions. A slight surface roughness is allowed for better adhesion to the adhesive. The area allocated for the mural should correspond to the size of the canvas, which can exceed the allocated space only not by much, exactly as much as cutting edges is acceptable.

Step 2: Markup

Very rarely, the image applied to the wall is large, more often do-it-yourself frescoing is done in a small space, although you can cover the whole ceiling with the finished painting, or all the walls from top to bottom. In any case, if the plane is not completely covered, you need to measure an equal distance from the ceiling to the two upper corners of the canvas so that there is no skew when gluing. For accuracy, a line is drawn between the marks.

Step 3: Preparing the Canvas

Carefully unfold the roll with the fresco, placing it with the image facing up, and leave it so for a day so that the edges straighten under its own weight. Then carefully flip the canvas face down and, before applying the mural to the wall, smear with a previously kneaded adhesive composition, after which we leave it for five minutes to soak the base.

Workshop on the study of various drawing techniques

Author: Onipko Irina Viktorovna, teacher of continuing education, Kagalnitsky Center for Children's Creativity Azov Region Rostov Region

The master class is designed for additional education teachers, fine art teachers, people who are not indifferent to creativity.

Purpose of the master class:

A) teachers to study with children various techniques of drawing on unusual surfaces,

B) can be used in interior decoration as walls and paintings of any format.

Theme is "Butterfly Drawing".

purpose: Introduce teachers and educators to the technique of drawing on an unconventional surface and how to create fresco imitations.


- To acquaint teachers with the type of monumental painting - a fresco.

- Teach you how to make a mural, draw on an unusual surface.

- Develop imagination, fantasy, interest in creative activity.

- To educate aesthetically - moral attitude to nature through the image of its image in their own creativity.

Materials and tools: sketch of the drawing, detail for the mural (particleboard, ceiling tile, drywall, wall - choice of surface as desired), putty (better finished), glue pva, paints (gouache), putty knife (small rubber), charcoal bag, awl, emery paper, art brushes, construction brush, sponge, hair dryer, breadboard knife.

Workshop progress:

It's true! Well, what is there to hide?

Children love, love to draw!

On paper, on asphalt, on the wall

And in the tram on the window ...

Author: E. Uspensky

Children really like everything unusual. I want to introduce you to the technique of drawing on an unusual surface - we will paint today with putty. Drawing on plaster has long been known and comes to us from the depths of centuries and is called - FRESCO.

History reference: Fresco - (from Italian. Fresco - fresh, raw), a kind of monumental painting. Paints are applied directly to the surface of the wall, ceiling, arch. The area occupied by the fresco and its composition depend on the architectural forms of the building. Usually frescos decorate interiors on the facades of buildings, where they can be exposed to the harmful effects of moisture, they are placed much less often. The fresco includes several techniques: painting with water paints both on raw plaster (al fresco) and dry (and secco), painting with lime-casein and tempera paints.

The fresco was already widespread in Aegean art (2nd millennium BC), it reached a great rise in ancient art culture, where multilayer polished soils with the addition of marble dust were used. From the first centuries of our era, murals close to the fresco were created among the peoples of the East (in India, Central Asia, etc.). Ancient masters finished the mural dry with the help of tempera. This technique was also characteristic of the medieval fresco, which was developed in the art of Byzantium, Ancient Russia, Georgia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Italy, France, Germany and other European countries. The art of murals experienced a new flourishing in the works of Italian Renaissance masters (Giotto, Masaccio, Piero della Francesca, Rafael, Michelangelo and others). From the 16th century in Italy, a “clean” fresco (“fresco bud”) spread without the use of tempera, the top layer of soil (intonaco) in this type of mural was applied only to the area that the painter hoped to finish before it dries. The fresco traditions subsequently lived in decorative murals of the 17th-18th centuries. In the XIX century. the Nazarenes in Germany addressed the fresco, as well as individual representatives of the "modern" (F. Hodler in Switzerland and others). Many progressive artists of the 20th century work in the mural technique. (A. Borgonzoni in Italy, D. Rivera in Mexico, etc.).

In the USSR, V. A. Favorsky, L. A. Bruni, N. M. Chernyshev, and others made a significant contribution to the popularization of frescoes.

Fig. Michelangelo Delphic Sibyl (fragment of the mural).

The process of making imitation murals

On a large scale, a fresco requires a very large multi-stage surface preparation, and the process itself also requires knowledge not only as an artist, but also as an architect, sculptor, builder, etc. There is a lot of information on the Internet about murals, about manufacturing both on an industrial scale, and for creative people who are just keen on decoupage, for example.

I systematized the material and adapted it to school age. I really like to give children something unusual, because it captivates them, develops imagination, imagination! The process of making the mural is not complicated, preschool children will also cope (subject to safety precautions). Therefore, I offer you this technique and I hope that it will bring you pleasure, and you, in turn, will infect your students (pupils) with this pleasure.

So: Imitation of a mural (on dry plaster)

We will need materials and tools: a sketch of the drawing, filler, putty, glue glue, paint (gouache), a spatula, a bag of charcoal, an awl, sandpaper, art brushes, a construction brush, sponge, hair dryer, a breadboard knife.

And, of course, if this work is carried out with children (depending on age), you need to talk about safety when using pricking and cutting tools, about the purpose of putty (instructions for use). If you think that the use of any tool is dangerous for the child, then it is better to show or use the dangerous tool personally by the teacher.

The first stage is surface preparation - applying putty.

1. Surface preparation.

A) Put a putty on a wooden (any) surface (composition = dry putty mixture + paint for the background + pva + water) Consistency of thick sour cream. The surface where the putty is applied is suitable for any - we used both fiberboard and drywall. My workshop uses ceiling tiles. Putty should be applied with a very thin layer of not more than 4–5 mm and in irregular, frequent movements, no need to try to level the surface. The more there are no equalities, the more spectacular our fresco will look. You can use a ready-made acrylic putty. Dry 24 hours (see factory instructions for use).

B) When the putty dries, lightly sand the surface with sandpaper, not strongly, slightly along the protruding surface, where there are bumps. Remove dust with a dry brush.

C) Coat a thin layer of dry putty PVA + water. To part adhesive with water about 1 part of glue and 1 part of water. Allow glue to dry.

The second stage is the preparation and transfer of the drawing.

While the putty is drying, you can select a drawing, draw a full-size sketch (according to the size of your creations).

2. Preparation of the drawing. Select a picture. I chose a butterfly.

Why a butterfly?

In the ancient Greeks, the butterfly was a symbol of the immortality of the soul, and in the names of butterflies the names of ancient Greek gods and heroes are often found. Even the goddess Psyche was portrayed as a girl with butterfly wings.

With special trepidation, butterflies are treated in Southeast Asia. It is believed that to see a butterfly in your home is fortunately.

In India, at weddings, lovers give each other butterflies as a sign of fidelity and love.

The expression "butterflies in the stomach" means unlimited feelings for a loved one.

Thanks to butterflies, mankind received silk.

The Buddhists are very respectful of butterflies: after all, it was the butterfly who addressed the Buddha with his sermon.

In Japan, the butterfly is a symbol of the country. According to the beliefs of the Japanese, the butterfly symbolizes a young woman.

For Christians, life cycle stages of the butterfly represented life, death, and resurrection, which is why a butterfly was sometimes depicted in the hand of a baby Christ as a symbol of the rebirth and resurrection of the soul.

Butterflies are popular objects in modern culture. Their images are often used in advertising, decor and design elements.

Butterflies as central images appear in a number of films.

The image of butterflies is found in the works of many artists, writers and poets from around the world. The first artistic images of butterflies are known from ancient Egyptian frescoes, 3500 years old.

Question: What options for transferring the pattern to the product do you know?

- Draw or draw yourself.

- Symmetrical butterfly outline cutting.

- Drawing with carbon paper.

I propose this option for transferring a picture.

Preparation and transfer of the drawing to the plaster.

A) On the sketch along the contour of the drawing, put the points with an awl at the same distance.

B) Flip the picture

C) From the inside, lightly walk over the protruding points with sandpaper.

D - D) The drawing is applied to the plaster and we pass through it with a bag of coal (or pastel).

Coal (pastel) wakes up through the holes and a bitmap is obtained.

It is better to use pastel and not too dark shades. It turned out to be very dirty for children to work with coal. The adult will still cope, subject to accuracy of execution.

In practice, we use carbon paper with children.

How to make a bag?

1. grind coal into dust (pastel)

2. pour out coal (pastel) dust on a piece of gauze (gauze folded in 2-3 layers)

3. tie a thread, collecting gauze in the form of a bag.

The third stage is the painting itself. The most interesting! Here you have room for imagination!

3. The painting.

A) We pass along the outline of the picture in black (optional).

B) We paint the picture (background) with color - used watercolor.

C) We paint the color of the drawing itself - a butterfly, used gouache (bred with PVA).

The paint should dry (can be dried with a hairdryer).

You can use paints: tempera, acrylic, watercolor, gouache. If gouache, then dilute it with glue pva.

The fourth stage - the final one - is the aging of the surface. This stage may not be considered with children, but I will show and tell you, and it is up to you to decide.

Mural Tips

Фреска, выполненная вручную по византийской традиции, считается одной их самых дорогих.

Итак, при нанесении фрески на поверхность нужно учитывать степень личных художественных наклонностей, чтобы определиться, каким именно способом вы будете наносить изображение на стену.

If you have the ability to draw, even small ones, you can show your imagination and draw a freehand image. In this case, you yourself choose the level of complexity of the image and its specific details. You can select a plot and sketch it from some source, and then add a few designer details from yourself. Even if the picture turns out to be imperfect, it will be yours anyway, and this indicates its uniqueness.

If you do not have sufficient creative abilities in terms of fine art, then you can make the mural yourself in a simpler way. It consists in the fact that a digital mural is applied to the plaster as a stencil. In this case, the image is simply transferred to the surface from special paper. Then you yourself can give it colors and shades along the contours, to a greater or lesser extent pay attention to small accents. But first you need such a plan stencil or purchase in a special store, or do it yourself using a computer and large format printing.

Now you can decide how to apply a beautiful painting easier and more convenient. You can apply any image to the plaster, starting with a drawing of an ordinary and ending with a complex photo of a real person. It will only be a matter of cost and labor. But, as practice shows, any fresco will not cost too much.

Wall surface preparation

Already on the prepared surface of the wall marking is applied for a full-size mural.

You can get to work on the mural. It is carried out in several stages, each of which is important and necessary in its own way. Pay special attention to preparing the wall before drawing, so that the mural is durable.

So, first we free the surface from the old coating. This should be done as carefully as possible, not sparing the old plaster and putty, which is already starting to crumble or even crack a little in some places. All defects must still be repaired.

When this is done, sweep the dust off the wall well with a dry cloth or brush, and then densely coat the surface with a primer. This is necessary for better adhesion to the plaster composition. Wait until the primer is completely absorbed, and then proceed to the next job.

Subsequent decoration consists of fixing wall defects. For this purpose, ordinary cement plaster and good putty are used. Using these tools, you should repair all cracks and potholes on the surface of the wall, and then gently sand these places with a flat board moistened with water.

When everything dries, cover the wall with a primer again, and after soaking, proceed with applying the main layer of plaster. You can use the usual high-quality plaster based on cement with sand. But to improve its properties it is better to add a little astringent, for which you can use gypsum or a small amount of plasticizers. The plaster is applied with a trowel or trowel. Try to do everything smoothly right away so that you don’t fix errors later. Immediately grind lightly using the above method.

Next, to achieve perfect smoothness, coat the wall with putty. After the putty has dried, it is necessary to cover the wall with a primer again. To do this, choose a primer composition of a higher quality so that it can not only contribute to the fixation of the paint, but also prevent the appearance of dampness or fungus on the wall. The preparatory work can be considered finished.

Application of murals by various methods

A relief mural is applied to the entire wall and is made in one color scheme.

Now you can get down to creative work. Regardless of what method you apply the mural (on or without a stencil), you will definitely need acrylic paints of the right colors, a brush with artificial pile and two brushes with natural.

Choose immediately the thickness of the brushes that is more convenient for you, depending on the selected pattern.

You will also need to stock up with a soft, clean rag, high-quality transparent varnish and a brush for applying it, a wide stylus, a sharp pencil and a washcloth.

If you want to see the effect of antiquity, you can buy paint based on craquelure (gives cracking), golden or silver powder.

DIY wall painting

The fresco drawing can be on both traditional and contemporary themes.

Begin to apply the pattern from above, gradually moving to the bottom. So it will be much more convenient, you will not smear the paint and do not get dirty yourself. First, larger elements are worked out, and then smaller ones. It will be even better to deal with very small details after drying the main part of the picture.

If you want to make cracking, gently apply craquelure paint to this place. If you want to slightly age the picture or give it more grandeur and classics, then use gilded or silver powder. However, remember: craquelure is applied to dried paint, and dusting powder is still slightly fresh. After drying by troweling with a washcloth, you can easily remove its excess.

After the entire drawing has completely dried, the matter will remain small - to cover the surface with a protective transparent varnish. To do this, use a wide brush. In this case, varnish serves both as protection and as a means of additional decor. So, if you want a glossy picture, cover the image with two or even three layers of varnish. But to achieve a matte effect, a single layer will be quite enough. This is also enough for reliable surface protection in the future.

Slate Mural

Consider the process of applying a mural on a stencil. This work is not much different, since the basic principles of applying paints and varnish remain exactly the same. But before working with paints, you need to make a sketch of the drawing.

So, flip your sketch upside down and paint it completely with a wide stylus. Then the sketch with the shaded side is applied tightly to the wall, and on the front part of it all the lines are drawn with a pencil with force. Do not be afraid to scratch the sketch, this is even better in some cases, because the outline will be visible more clearly on the wall surface. It is better to work together, as one person must hold the sketch so that he does not move during the translation of the drawing.

When the sketch is translated, take up its decoration by the method described above, but do not draw the picture yourself, but work along the contour. Feel free to experiment with different shades and the degree of thickness of the lines.

Other simpler mural techniques

There are also stencils that are made of very thin paper. Such paper is first coated with special glue for stencils on the back side, after which this side is applied to the wall and gently pressed in all places. And after full setting and drying right on it, how the application of paints is done.

There is another simpler way of applying murals to the wall. This refers to gluing a regular canvas with a pattern, which will hold just like a wallpaper. To do this, the surface is pre-painted, glue for non-woven wallpaper is applied to it, on which the fresco on special paper is immediately glued. After drying, the cloth is leveled, it needs to be varnished.

The mural work can be considered finished. It is simple, and even interesting and exciting, especially for people who like to do art. Therefore, do not be afraid and take up the frescoing of individual walls or their parts in any room.