My fresco rough scratch coat on the 12x25 scale board with lath is made with: 1 medium sand, 2 large sand, 2.5 white cement, .5 lime and some fiberglass cuts. = 1:1
6-13-4, First Giornate on 12x25 fresco, Sunday. I'm starting the first intonaco giornate on the small scale fresco, the bottom 1/4 will be oak panel, for protection. The grid is on both the painting and fresco.
12;00 PM. Later. It's raining, hard, the river will come up to my original level. Today I plan on painting the first Giornata section on the small scaled fresco panel.
6:30, finished with the first intonaco giornate section.
6-16-4, Three days later the colors are in there solid. Alcohol is a good medium on lime, too much alcohol in the pigment will pit the surface.
Wet the whole area, mix the intonaco 1 lime : 1 sand, lay the intonaco next to the dry first, the cartoon outer edges should have overage that can be removed back to the cartoon edges, later, wet or dry.
2nd intonaco giornate. During the painting I took this photo. Using alcohol medium and only 3 colors plus white and lime paste on lime intonico.
This 2nd giornate is finished.
6-19-4, The 3rd intonaco is made of 1 white cement and 1 sand. I painted on it for three hours with alcohol as a medium. Next day all colors were fast.
6-20-4, The 4th intonaco giornate is a small subtractive change to the 3rd giornate . I'm still working on the scale acrylic and had made a color change on the acrylic color model. To bring this change into the 12x24 fresco I cut out the area and laid a new intonaco making a new giornate section. Below is day 19 and day 20 on the painting and the cut out.
The medium is lime water and the mortar is lime 1, small white sand 1. I won't say it turned out any better, and I won't say you can't feel where it giornate's edges are. I will say the change was easy and that I made two changes not one. Now I know I have to paint big, complete areas. Sorry about the color matching, the last picture is closest to the truth. I lost the picture taken right after painting, in it colors looked fairly close. This picture was taken hours later, the colors have started to change. This is going to be miserable when it's dry. This giornate is the first with all lime, the first 3 were white cement and small sand. It will not get as hard inside.
6-22/4, 5th giornate. Making an outline paper cartoon to scribe onto the intonaco.
6-23-4, 5th giornate on the scale model, the sky. This one is 1 lime, 1 cement, 2 small white sand, lime water medium. Start 2:55, finished laying giornate 3:05. Wait until gloss is gone, re-trowel, paint 3:50. The pigments are absorbing wonderfully, it's the addition of the white cement that did it. It's much better than just lime. The surface is very firm and everything just soaks in. Change any color any time, back to white if you want. Keeping the palette simple yet complete allows you you match any color. I'm really enjoying this. 4:40, finished painting. Now I will cut the edges for the next giornate and finish up the afternoon painting. 5:10 Finished 5th giornate. I don't like the pressed in outlines from the cartoon, I need a better system and I don't want to pounce.
6-24-4, 6th giornate, 9:45. Below the sky, middle third of mural. Start laying the giornate, lime 1, cement 1, sand 2, 10:35 finished laying giornate.
3:15, I'm going to do another small area giornate below the lime giornate #4, with white cement 1:1 small white sand and lime water medium painting into the setting cement.
6-25-4, 7th giornate. This intonaco on the 12x24 will be white cement, 5% lime, alcohol will be the painting medium, painting during the open absorption period, and also after it has dried with an acrylic polymer emulsion. The giornate is from the right top and bottom up to the tree's reflection in the water.
Strokes laid down won't move but you can re-cover them to change or build them up.
9:20, Still absorbing well, take a break. 10:30, still going strong. It's really nice to be able to build color and change patterns.
11:55, Finished painting. It was still absorbing well, I just got too tired to go any farther, this is a very nice painting media. Easier then any other media I have ever used. This was six hours of painting on a very open mortar.
Well.. it seemed open. The pigments I put on in the last 2 hours have not assimilated. I washed it down before I tested it and removed some color from the water area and from the Naples yellow foreground weeds. I'll fix this with pigment and a diluted acrylic polymer emulsion as the medium.
6-26-4, 8th giornate, 12:00 finished laying 1 cement, 1 sand. Acrylic polymer emulsion can be used as the painting medium, or water with the polymer as a sealer on the dry cement. The giornate will be from the tree's shadow to the bottom left edge.
I'm using only three colors. But because I'm painting with water thalo blue doesn't give me a good cyan, I need cobalt turquoise to kick it into turquoise, or switch to alcohol.
The paint sinks in fast on dry cement. While it's sinking in it can be blended very easily. It feels like it's absorbing the pigment when it won't move but it's not really locked in. The last test showed there is a close out time in setting cement and this is on dry cement. The colors are not glued in, I'll wait until it is dry and check before glazing with a thin coat of polymer to seal and lock in the pigments. Dry cement paints just like a 300# newly pre-soaked hot pressed watercolor paper and is just as unforgiving. Soaking a sheet of w/c paper takes some of the internal size out and colors sink in deeper. The paper holds more water so you need a hair drier to keep painting
Finished, tough work, pigment absorbing in dried cement takes a lot longer then just painting on a sealed surface like gesso.
Here is the finished 12x24 fresco, eight giornate cuts. I'm glad I did this scale model, I will change some of my giornate cut lines.
One month later here is the color change. It's not much, about 10% lighter. I replaced the 1/4 inch thick test for the large mural. It's now the same thickness as the rest of the mural, 1 lime, 1 cement, 2 white sand.
I removed the 1/4 inch faux area I first laid and am replacing it with a level 1/8th inch faux marble all the way across the fresco. Later we decided to panel the area with oak for safety reasons.
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