From life drawing to the good fresco technique


The fresco portrait seminar has as its objective the theoretical and practical understanding of all the executive phases (real life drawing of the model, realization of the preparatory cartoon, preparation of the plaster and polychrome fresco painting) necessary for the realization of a fresco elaborate depicting a face from a preparatory cartoon made from life with the living model.

The seminar is divided into two modules (drawing from life and fresco) which will alternate during the last two weekends of June 2022.



Carlo Alberto Palumbo

Ennia Visentin


Life drawing module

18 and 25 June

Drawing from life is an ancient practice of reworking reality through one’s cognitive and emotional baggage. The complex transposition of three-dimensional objects onto the two dimensions is in itself pure work of translation and differs well from the mere reproduction of a two-dimensional image. In order for the aforementioned translation to turn towards desired results, knowledge of a method of simplifying the forms and understanding the intrinsic proportional, volumetric and chiaroscuro dynamics of the represented subject is necessary.

The portrait from life brings about further complications due both to the continuous even if minimal variations in the positioning of the model and to the need to render it natural and similar.

The course of life drawing aims to provide a method of reading the different physiognomies through the understanding of the main geometries and consequent chiaroscuro dynamics that underlie the correct representation of a face. To this end, the study of anatomy becomes an indispensable support for a mature understanding of external morphology.

During the seminar the student will learn to geometrically set up a portrait from life and to solve the chiaroscuro analysis in a synthetic way. This chiaroscuro synthesis will be functional for the realization of the preparatory cartoon necessary for the subsequent fresco work.



  • Life drawing – theoretical concepts and practical implications.
  • Geometry – inclinations, axes and planes of the face with consequent rotation on the vertical axis.
  • The form – the line as a language.
  • The chiaroscuro – theory of shadows, shadow separators, constants and chiaroscuro synthesis.
  • Notes on anatomy – incidence of the skull on the external morphology.
  • Life drawing portrait demontration.
  • Realization from life of the definitive cartoon for the fresco work.


Fresco module

19 and 26 June

Painting on ‘fresh’ plaster is one of the oldest and most widespread artistic disciplines which consists of painting over a plaster composed mainly of slaked lime and sand, just spread and still fresh, hence the name fresco. The pigments, mainly natural, carefully ground, are diluted and diluted in water only. The color penetrates into the plaster, the water evaporates and, through a chemical process, the applied color crystallizes forming a whole with the plaster itself. This increases the brilliance and transparency of the color, compactness and durability of the entire pictorial support.

During the seminar, the different fresco techniques and the different plaster workings that have characterized the different artistic schools in different historical periods will be analyzed.


  • History of the fresco technique, with the use of images, describing the fresco technique in different historical periods.
  • Analysis and study of the single elements that make up the mortars.
  • Analysis of the pigments used in fresco.
  • Preparation of mortars and plastering.
  • Transfer of the drawing (cardboard) in real scale on the support.
  • Demonstration of a fresco portrait
  • Fresco painting exercises.
  • Explanations on medium-fresh, dry finishing, retouching and conservation.


Dates and times

The seminar will take place on June 2022 during the following days: Saturday 18th, Sunday 19th, Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th.

Hours: from 09.00 to 17.00


For info and registration:

Felice Arte

tel 0434 899501  cell 335 6627734