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In it’s essence, fresco or fresco painting is – an application of natural mineral pigments to a surface on which a following chemical reaction takes place:

Ca(OH)2(s) + CO2(g) —-> CaCO3(s) + H2O(l)

Calcium Hydrate (burned lime stone or marble mixed with water) combined with carbon dioxide resulting in the formation of Calcium Carbonate – lime stone, marble. The pigment gets trapped within the newly formed calcite crystal. It is like “Painting with molten Marble”.

The Lime Cycle and Fresco Painting time chart.

Lime Cycle Diagram and Fresco Painting Time Chart.

Those elements naturally surround mankind from the beginning of time. Calcium Hydrate – moist lime stone walls of the caves at first and plaster walls and ceilings of the buildings later. Paints prepared from natural pigments made of minerals, earth oxides and clays and mixed with water. Painting in Fresco results in a painting being a part of the newly formed stone/wall rather than being a “film on a surface”.

How To Paint a Fresco?

You can find a number of “guides” online on the subject, which will briefly outline and even illustrate main steps of the fresco painting process.

Fresco Painting Video Tutorials by a practicing fresco artist iLia Anossov

In-depth Tutorials by a Practicing Fresco Painter

– Making of the Fresco Plaster
– Application of the Fresco Plaster
– Transfer of the Drawing
– Selecting of the Natural Pigments
– Making of the Fresco Paint
– Steps in Painting a Fresco
– Touching up in “Secco” fresco
– Brief History of Western Fresco

Most of these guides are the record of school research or transcripts of a fresco painting experiment or an introduction workshop performed by a fresco enthusiast and a lot of guesswork. Very few are written by a professional artist and even fewer by a practicing fresco artist. Authors are just scratching the surface of the fresco painting and often misinform the reader. Not to mention that it usually ends right there – at the end of the article – there is no follow-up option or support to answer more in-depth fresco questions on the technique of the fresco painting.

Our History

ilia fresco lecturing at the fresco schoolWe started the same way about 25 years ago – a 600 years old “articles” from the “Cennini’s Treatise of Painting” by Cennino Cennini, an early 20th century book by an unknown author (the book was missing front and back covers) found at the yard sale and prior introduction to fresco from Russian Art School.

Since then there were several large scale frescoes and numerous smaller ones. Hundreds of students have attended our workshops enrolling from US, Canada, Europe. Fresco School is the only Art School that offers ongoing fresco curriculum throughout the calendar year. Our buon fresco technique programs have traveled to many US cities. We teach our outreach classes in major museums, art colleges and professional art industry events.

iLia Fresco teaching fresco workshop at the Getty InstituteOur fresco video tutorials were created by our founder after over 20 years of practicing on a large and small scale and teaching fresco painting to all levels of artists. You should begin the study with a clear understanding of the medium, terminology and process. You will be able to take full advantage of our advanced fresco programs after watching the tutorials (yes, tutorials enable you to work on your own successfully and with confidence).

Our method is a style independent approach. Every student gets a personal curriculum based on their work and desires. We use and referring to a variety of traditional fresco styles to illustrate the principles and technical details, Our goal is to enable and assist you in adapting your own style to a new medium, to propel your career and enhance your art through fresco. Our goal is “To see fresco being painted in every town!” and we don’t want them to look the same 🙂

Fresco School – How it Works? (new window)

Our Fresco Curriculum Subjects

  • Fresco Plaster Foundations
  • Fresco Cartoon Foundations, Form and Value Range Principles
  • Fresco Pigments & Paint Foundation
  • Fresco Verdaccio Foundations
  • Fresco Color Foundations
  • Worldwide History of Fresco
  • Forms of Art in relation to Fresco (mural, ceiling mural, painting-panel, sculpture)
  • Styles in relation to Fresco – their affect on the technical application of the medium of fresco
  • Fresco Plaster Variations and Sgraffito
  • Fresco Cartoon for Sgraffito
  • Opaque, Transparent and Combined Fresco Methods
  • Fresco PLASTER – for Opaque, Transparent, Airbrush and Combined (Renaissance) methods
  • Fresco Cartoon for Opaque, Transparent, Airbrush and Combined (Renaissance) methods
  • Transparent – fresco methods (Rivera/Pompeii)
  • Opaque – fresco method
  • Combined – renaissance fresco method
  • Airbrush – fresco method (Siqueiros)
  • Mezzo Fresco Techniques
  • Support for Frescoes – Walls, Panels, Tiles, Clay Lath and 3d
  • Strappo – fresco removal methods
  • Secco Fresco methods

Fresco School OnLine Apprentice Program

At last, we are launching our Fresco School OnLine Apprentice Program to give everyone an opportunity to receive a continuing support and guidance throughout their “Fresco Journey”.

How does it feel to be backed up by the years of experience from our practicing fresco artists and plasterers!?

FS Membership with FSOA Student Level Pre-Release Promotional Subscription Offer

FS Membership – BFF Tutorial Set, Bi-Annual Free Consultations, Materials Discount ($325)

FSOA Student Level Access Regular Subscription is $27 per month.
Get it now for $24 every 3 month – that is only $8 per month!


FS Membership + FSOA Apprentice Promo Subscription
$349.00 now + $24 every 3 month

Buy it Now!

We are adding content and refining our new Fresco School OnLine Apprentice system.
For a limited time you can get in at the Promo Rate that will NOT expire when everything is ready to a full launch.
Your feedback will help us to prioritize the content creation.
Be one of the first and be active – you will be rewarded with more discounts and personal perks!

Still Sitting on the Fence?
Click here to Register Free!

You will be able to access fresco painting technique lessons and other free content. Read, and comment on “How to paint a Fresco?” – Newsletter articles, beginner guides, FSOA Freshman forum discussions and fee based options.