[ENG] Construction 107: Lunette of the main door - the fresco

15/03/19 | ۩ |

So we reached the making of the first fresco of the Domus!

As I mentioned in the previous post, this element must be characterized by a strong representative and symbolic value to impress the guests or any passing people on the street.
After a brief study of the subject, starting from the "castle" anciently represented on the Genoese coins and even trying a shield or a family banner, I choose to represent the figure of St. George in the classic horse pose while piercing the dragon with a spear.

This subject, besides being representative of the religiousness of the family, was the symbol of the city, probably since the time of the Crusades.
The image I refer to is that of the city's official banner, still used during official ceremonies and historical commemorations.

The design fits easily into the ogival lunette, as you can see from this first out-of-scale sketch made on paper.


At this point a technical problem arises: how to draw the fresco and on which material?
Time ago I studied a method that consisted in making a very thin surface with white chalk and then painting it in tempera or watercolor and applying it to the bottom of the lunette with glue, maybe applying some pressure with my fingers to create surface cracks...
Anyway, a short time later I happen to visit an acquaintance at home to help clear the apartment.
The walls are in bad condition and in some places the plaster is already peeling off.


The rest comes by itself: when I come back home I have what I need to paint a miniature Sistine chapel...

The material is made up of several layers of synthetic paint and therefore rather plastic and resistant, and the surface has the perfect consistency to make it look like an ancient plaster without further sanding that would make it too shiny.

On this surface I make the pencil drawing, this time with the exact measurements of the lunette.



To paint the fresco I initially try to use diluted acrylic colors, although the tone is a bit too bright for my taste. The size is very small and it is difficult to keep the level of detail of the drawing, even with my new thin brush bought for the occasion.



To better define the figure, once the tempera is dry I go over the edges with a black marker. The result is quite convincing, but more than a fresco it resembles an illuminated code on paper or parchment.


As often happens when dealing with the construction of new elements, the "first take" is not good, so a repetition of the whole process is necessary in order to obtain better results.
I'll try using watercolors instead of tempera, also eliminating the frieze along the arch which would interfere with the stone moldings.

The result looks like this:


No touch-up adjustments this time, only a few pencil strokes here and there. The drawing is less finished in detail but it definitely reminds more of a wall painting.

Thanks to the resistance of the plaster, I can easily cut the fresco with scissors without breaking it and then try to mount it on the stone elements.



To finally assemble the lunette it will be sufficient to complete the structure and glue all the pieces, something I'll deal with in the next post...



MATERIALS:
a fragment of white plaster
TOOLS:
watercolors, tempera, black marker, black crayon, fine-tip brush, 0.5 2B pencil, scissors
SIZE (in cm):
3,6 x 2,4
plaster thickness: 0,1

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