Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Painting a Fresco

The kids and I are continuing our studies thru Ancient civilizations.  We started with learning about Mesopotamia and are now learning about the spread of civilization.  In one of the many books we are reading I found a project for painting a Fresco that I thought the kids would enjoy.  We have seen many Frescos in our travels while visiting palaces, museums and even Cathedrals.

First I got out some linen cloth (Burlap would have been better) 

I mixed up some plaster of paris and poured it on the cloth.    Place wax paper beneath the cloth as the Plaster of Paris will seep thru

Spread it out and shake gently to remove air bubbles, be careful not to make it to thin  or too thick.   Allow the plaster to dry about an hour until hard but still damp to touch

carefully spray the surface with a little of water and begin painting on your designs.  

We used water color paints

Next step is to add color to age the piece.  The children both refused to do this step saying it would ruin their  art :(

So I took my fresco and added brown and yellow paint to cover the art  
Then I showed the children the next step--which they were equally unsure of--breaking the plaster

Princess face at the thought of breaking her art -- but she did eventually agree.  Gently break the plaster carefully so as not to remove from the linen/Burlap cloth.  Make as many or as few breaks as you like

Next step is to add glue to the surface to reseal the plaster

Spread an even amount of glue on the plaster making sure the cracks have glue.  The glue will also add a nice shine to your project

Princess finished project--Dragons of course:)

Little Man said his painting was of a mountain and birds flying.
My finished piece--the breaks and missing chips of paint make the piece look older.  If only my art work was a little more realistic for the time period:)

 We had fun with this project!  Here is the video where I got the directions for this project--I modified it slightly:)


  1. Interesting! I've never done any art work with plaster of paris, except in college. Then, I made a cast of various people's body parts, including my face. I don't remember what I did with the other body parts, but I did make a candle from my face. I was an art/media major and it was supposed to be a non-permanent self-portrait art performance(or something along those lines). So I lit the candle on fire once I was in class. It was a huge mess, making the thing, as the wax went right through the plaster of paris (I think I used plaster of paris bandages... it is all so vague now).

  2. Very cool. When we did frescoes the kids were amazed by how fast it dried.

  3. Oh....this is very cool!!! I can't wait to do this. I need to go through my artist list!!!

  4. This makes me fondly remember the days when my kids were young. I haven't done activities like this in quite a while. So much fun!

  5. OH what a great post! I found you on the hip homeschool moms weekly linkup and would LOVE it if you could share your post on Homeschooling on the Cheap!


  6. I just love this!! Thanks for such a great idea.