Fresco is the painting onto fresh plaster that’s why it is called fresco. It is the technique used by the old Byzantine iconographers, whereas in our time it has almost disappeared. From its result we find that fresco is the most durable painting, because most wall murals that have survived until today are kept in excellent condition. The old craftsmen plastered only a small portion of the wall, so that it could be painted before the plaster dried off. The plastering was done with a blend of lime, river sand and hay. The work required great skill and speed, because the work needed to finish before the plaster dried off. Mistakes are not admittable in fresco, because the color penetrates the wet plaster and paint can not be erased.
Painting on dry plaster:
Nowadays new materials that allow to paint onto dry plaster are available to iconographers. The most ideal colors for the painting on the wall are natural earthly colors powders which are mixed with glue. Plastic colors, which are incorrectly used by some iconographers are inferior and unsuitable for portable icons, images, painting and wall paintings.Not all colors sold in shops, are suitable for iconography and the artist has to choose very carefully in order to ensure his work’s quality and durability over time. Before the wall painting, the iconographer should scrub the wall with coarse sandpaper.Afterwards, the wall is primed with diluted glue Vinilit Vinavil. If the surface of the wall is too rough it has to be repaired with acrylic stucco. Once the preparation of the wall is done, we can transfer the pictures to the surface and begin the wall painting. In recent years, it has become a common technique to paint murals on canvas in the laboratory and then stuck them to the wall. This technique is currently applied by the majority of the Greek iconographers,because it protects the canvas picture of possible future damage to the wall such as cracks, delamination of the plaster plaster, moisture, etc.
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