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Sketch of Jon version 1, affresco, 15cm x 20cm

In removing the manual aspect of art a loss of its poetic potential is inevitable.  Technique in itself is not art.  However art cannot exist without it.  Only through constant practice can an artist develop a mastery that will allow himself/herself a natural and full range of expression.

The image above is of a sketch done in affresco of my brother, Jon Collins.  He is an actor and story producer in Los Angeles.  You can learn more about him here.  Affresco is ultimately a simple technique with a myriad of variations that range from the classic 15th century ‘Buon Fresco’ (that Vasari descrbes) to the 17th and 18th century ‘Pittura al Calce.'(as practiced by Pietro da Cortona)  The binder is hydrated lime or Calce, as it is called in Italian.  Below is a series of pictures showing the process.

Drawing of Jon, graphite on paper, 15cm x 20cm

Support panel with rough coat of plaster.

Application of ‘intonico’

Image transferred via ‘incisione’ method to the finished ‘intonico’ and ‘velo’ coats

The beginning of the application of the colors.

Second version of Jon

Honestly I am not completely pleased with either version as they current stand.  The true colors will be seen once the plaster is completely dry and then I can retouch with casein paint(secco).  Affresco is challenging as almost everything has to be done in a single sitting.  Depending upon the materials, atmospheric conditions, and preparations,  a painting session typically lasts from 2-5 hours.

I do a lot of affresco studies but usually I simply chip off the image try another.  Guess I will just keep trying.