ARTS(F)400 Fresco Painting - Section A, Tiziano Lucchesi, Fall 2019 | SACI College of Art & Design Florence

ARTS(F)400 Fresco Painting - Section A, Tiziano Lucchesi, Fall 2019

Fresco painting is a class where the fascinating and time-proven process of painting on fresh plaster is taught. Beginning with the drawing of the first cartoon, students learn to prepare and apply calce (lime), execute a fresco, and then how to remove it for transportation. This class is of great value not only to studio art majors, but also to art history majors, and persons interested in conservation.

The class includes trips to Renaissance and modern frescoes in Florence.

Project List

See projects below. One fresco can be performed on a special support so that you can easily take it home at the end of the semester. Depending on the number of students in the class, the final project may be individual or a group project, designing a drawing to be made directly on the studio wall (or in a proper location) or individual portable frescoes on panels.

Projects Fall 2019

  • A minimum of two fresco paintings by the great masters on an inorganic support, with relative drawings and chromatic designs, 30x30 cm.
  • A glossy soap fresco (fake marble) 30x30 cm.
  • A sgraffito 30x30 cm.
  • Strappo of one of the frescoes made
  • One or more personal frescoes on a special support 50x50 cm
  • A team project on a studio wall or in an appropriate location, or on a specially assembled support.



Monday, September 9
Introduction. Explanation of the schedule and the tools to be used in the course. Explanation of the “buonfresco” method and the use of the Fresco book.
STUDIO ACTIVITY: Preparation of the drawing in black and white

Wednesday, September 11
STUDIO ACTIVITY: Preparation cartoon (monocromo), of the spolvero and of the mestiche (preliminary colors), preparation of the plaster (rough layer) 20x20 cm.
THEORY: Screening of my videos on the buonfresco technique.


Monday, September 16
Visit to frescos
in churches of Florence (Chiesa di Santa Trinita.)
STUDIO ACTIVITY: Preparation of the cartoon and spolvero. Preparation of the support spreading the rought layer (arriccio).

Wednesday, September 18
STUDIO ACTIVITY: Preparation of the fine plaster and the layer. Execution of the sinopia on the arriccio. Continue studying colors.


Monday, September 23
THEORY: Live Demonstration, so that each student performs the same steps as the instructor.
STUDIO ACTIVITY: First day of FRESCO painting about first copy of Michelangelo.

Wednesday, September 25
STUDIO ACTIVITY: Begin the process for the second copy in fresco. Sketch in black and white, sketch in color, preparatory cartoon of the spolvero and the preliminary colors.


Monday, September 30
STUDIO ACTIVITY: Execution of the second fresco copy.

Wednesday, October 2
EXTEMPORE: Students will execute an independent fresco.


Monday, October 7
Theory and video explanations on Late Renaissance White Lime technique. Preparation of the plaster and all materials.

Wednesday, October 9
Execution of White Lime technique.


Monday, October 14
Theory and video explanations on False marble technique in fresco with soap. Theory on Mural Painting strappo technique.
STUDIO ACTIVITY: Preparation of the plaster and all materials for Marble technique.
Preparation of the Strappo ingredients and materials.

Wednesday, October 16
STUDIO ACTIVITY: Execution of False Marble.
Spreading the ox glue for strappo.


Monday, October 21
Strappo execution

Wednesday, October 23
Conclusion of the strappo process



MIDTERM BREAK (October 26- November 3)



Monday, November 4
Theory and video explanations on SGRAFFITO technique
STUDIO ACTIVITY: Execution of Rough Black layer 30x30 cm.

Wednesday, November 6


Monday, November 11
Wednesday, November 13

Personal Final Project


Monday, November 18
Wednesday, November 20

Personal Final Project


Monday, November 25
Wednesday, November 27

Personal Final Project


Monday, December 2
Wednesday, December 4

Team Final Project


Monday, December 9
Wednesday, December 11

Team Final Project


Monday, December 16
Team Final Project

Wednesday, December 18
Final Exam



Attendance is mandatory, absence will impact the final grade. For every two unexcused absences, your grade will be lowered by 1/3 of a letter. Two late arrivals to class are considered the equivalent of one unexcused absence. Students who do not stay for the duration of a class session should be marked absent. Students who miss more than 20% of a course owing to unexcused absences cannot be given a passing grade for the course.


Grading is based on attendance, proficiency, effort, and improvement.

Grades range from A+ to F.  The SACI grading scale follows:
A+    Outstanding
A      Excellent
A-     Nearly Excellent
B+    Very Good
B      Good
B-     Nearly Good
C+    Above Satisfactory
C      Satisfactory
C-     Below Satisfactory
D      Unsatisfactory
F       Failure

Graduate Students
Students in MFA, MA, and Post-Bac programs are expected to produce work at a level appropriate for students in a graduate program. They are required to additionally complete an in-depth study on one of the assigned topics by writing a short paper and by making a visual slideshow presentation in class. If they successfully complete the requirements for graduate students, they will receive graduate-level credit for the course. 

General Safety & Emergency Instructions

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