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A site devoted to Painting and Decorating Techniques

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Hand painted signs, furniture and murals.

 

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How to create decorative techniques:-

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Ged's Marble

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Keith, Andy & Steve

ASSIGNMENTS

 

HOW TO CREATE DECORATIVE TECHNIQUES

SIENNA MARBLE

  Sienna marble is quarried in Northern Italy in areas around the town of the same name. It is one of the most beautiful of all the marbles having a colour range from Violet; the Italians call it the Violet Marble because of its striking veins, through Indian Red, Sienna, Prussian Blue and White.

The marble manufacturer working on the real marble, cutting and polishing, must choose the best vein shapes and design for their aesthetic quality. Some slabs of this marble may have large areas of very little veining while others have masses of dark blue/violet veins. The marbler, when choosing a model to imitate, must also consider the balance of colour and veining.

Whichever design is chosen the overall appearance should be one of large and small areas of sienna clouded colour fused in a petrified liquid of violet veins. The colour strength can change but if the colours, which will be listed, are used it will always be recognized as Sienna marble.

First attempts at imitating this variegated marble will produce similar shapes and sizes but with practice and growing experience, shapes that are more natural will be achieved.

The ground coat must be a hard white eggshell finish without brush marks, nibs or any undulations in the surface.

TOOLS REQUIRED

Several hog’s hair fitches of which one should be a No. 8 Flat. Clean lint-free white cotton rags. Palette board. Small paint containers. No.6 and No.4 sable writers (pointed). 75mm hogs hair softener. Paint kettles. Varnish brush.

MATERIALS

Oil based white eggshell. Raw Sienna in oil. Prussian Blue in oil. Indian Red in oil. Zinc or Titanium White in oil. Purified Raw Linseed oil. Turpentine or White Spirit. Terebine or Liquid oil dryers. Pale or White varnish.

  METHOD

To initiate any natural material the student must first acquire the skill of copying. But just to copy is not what it is all about. The student throughout the many hours of practice will acquire an inner sense, a feeling for the material. This brings us to the most important aspect of imitating marble and that is the sense of depth, which gives marble its beauty and wonder. It is depth, a three dimensional appearance on a two dimensional surface that is paramount.

First with a piece of lint free rag about 300 mm square soaked in gilp (Gilp - Two parts refined raw linseed oil and one part turpentine with about 10% to 20% of the oil content in terebine dryers).  Wipe over the surface to produce a thin coating.

The colours must first be mixed and checked against the sample of real marble that is being copied. Enough colour should be mixed to complete the work, if this is a large wall area then the colour can be kept in containers with lids.

For practice purposes a small amount can be mixed on a palette board.

The surface must now be `clouded  in` with a mixture of Raw Sienna and gilp.

At this stage the work should give a sense of depth.

The colour for the veining can now be mixed.  With the Prussian Blue and the Indian Red, mix a colour, which, when the brush holding the colour is wiped onto a clean white rag, it is virtually black or very dark grey.

At this point it must be noted that if a large job where to be undertaker more than enough colour and gilp must be mixed to ensure completion of the work. With the veining colour, and bearing in mind were the main veins are going to be placed, a faint cloud effect is produced with the No. 8 flat Fitch.

The work is then softened with the hog’s hair softener. If too much colour is applied to the surface the softener becomes laden with oil and the colour will not soften, just smudge. To alleviate this problem on large jobs use two softeners. When softened the surface will have no brush marks, no hard lines of colour and will already appear translucent. The colour can now be `opened out` by splattering with drops of turpentine or white spirit on to the surface or with a natural sponge soaked partially with turpentine and dabbed onto the surface keeping to the paler areas of colour. A dry clean lint free cotton rag can be dabbed on the surface to soak up any excess turpentine. A small amount of softening may be needed at this point.

 `Opening out` - this is an expression used when drops of turpentine creep over the surface from the centre of the drop pushing the colour with it revealing the white eggshell ground.

The initial veining is done with the No. 6 sable and the veining colour of Prussian Blue and Indian Red. The veins follow loosely, the accidental shapes created by the change in colour of the clouding. Do not follow every shape but create some of your own. Charge your sable with some gilp and mix with the veining colour, not too wet. Hold the sable across the four fingers with the thumb on top and manipulate the brush to create a wide and thin vein, remember, you are creating a painted line that does not look like it has been painted with brush and paint. The veins must be kept, most of the time, within the clouded vein colour (Prussian Blue and Indian Red) giving depth  to the veins.

A secondary vein is created with the No. 4 sable and the veining colour with additional Indian Red mixed in. This vein is kept to the confines of the paler clouded areas and although follows mostly the changes in colour sometimes has a mind of its own.

Some of the clouded areas can now be wiped out. With a veining horn and a piece of clean lint free cotton rag the colour is wiped out to expose the white eggshell ground.

When dry the surface must be protected with at least two coats of pale or white varnish.

 

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