Monday, September 21, 2009

09_Fresco with marble dust

Gonzalo Espinosa painted a fresco on with marble dust and high quality fresco lime, aged 2 years, from Sinopia (on 14 September, 2009). That combination made a beautiful intonaco fresco plaster paste, drier and thicker than bread dough, which applied smoothly like butter. However the fresco started cracking severely soon after he started painting. I think the support was too dry. We should have soaked the Hardibacker tile overnight, instead of just for 15 minutes.

Marble dust and fresco lime from Sinopia:

Soaked Hardibacker cement tile for 15 minutes:

Half scoop of marble dust:

Half scoop of Sinopia lime:

It seemed too dry to mix at first:

Thoroughly mixed, the marble dust fresco plaster made a nice paste:

The fresco plaster spread smoothly like butter:

Covered tile:

Troweling polished the intonaco fresco plaster:

Trimmed the edges:

Tile polished and glistening, will dry soon enough to paint on:

Set up with Mayan Blue only:

Maestro Gonzalo begins:

First strokes:

Fills space:

Hair strokes transparent, and blended a bit:

Fresco started cracking while Gonzalo was still painting:

Covered in cracks, days later, after fresco dried:


  1. Is it normal for the fresco to start cracking before you're done painting?

    What effect would there be with a light mist or humidifier? I'm guessing that it would crack eventually when dry.

    What did you do to cover the cracks?

  2. A fresco needs 6-8 coats of lime plaster starting with a larger aggegate and ending with a very fine marble dust. it will dry very slowly. Over hardybacker it is drying to quickly and tend to crack.