Well, the idea was to post a video of Helen talking about Santa Maria Novella. However, since my camera battery has decided to be finicky and not charge, you get a look inside fresco painting instead. Fresco is by far one of the most fascinating forms of art in my opinion, and since none of you are studying it you don’t get one… just kidding! Seriously though, fresco is probably my favorite class. I have it all day Friday and I enjoy that– that says a lot. So in order to make a fresco (we’re making them on terra cotta tiles at the moment instead of on the wall), you need to apply three layers. The first is really rough and you have to let it dry for a week (hence the once weekly class). On top of the first layer you put the sinopia, a red clay-like paint-resembling substance that you essentially paint your entire fresco in for practice. Normally when you work on a huge wall-sized fresco, you work in ‘days-work patches,’ and the sinopia enables you to see what’s still left to complete.

The second layer is somewhat smoother and you let it dry for a few minutes and then add the third layer, which you make very very smooth. Applying these layers is harder than it sounds; if you screw up, you have to resmooth everything, and it can get kind of tedious (which, I suspect, is why Mario so often takes the tool away from us and helps us out).

Then, while the third layer is still wet, you start painting. It’s somewhat like watercolor– you paint a base color, then go over it to make the correct shades and such.

Above is my fresco. Below is mine side by side with the original (well, technically a copy of the original).

Pretty impressive, I think, for someone who’s never done fresco before. Ever.

On the realm of other news, Miss Rachael Gray is coming to see me! Rachael and I were roommates in China almost two years ago, and so we’re really excited to reunite in Europe for a week over her spring break. So YAY! Very exciting news. I’ll try to get that vid up soon… hopefully my camera battery decides to cooperate. Ciao!


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