Monday 10 February 2014

Art: STEP BY STEP how to make a Fresco Painting

This morning felt like a Monday.  It was full of ups and downs, mood swings and temper tantrums!  Eventually, a few hours after we had all woken up, I managed to settle them all down doing something they all enjoyed.
Harmonie was in a drawing and crafting mood so I left her with some bits and bobs and paint and she was happy getting on until Daddy came down and then she was happy on his iPad.  So I was left with the older three...
The two older girls had that face on them that, I have learnt over the years is a face that says: put a workbook near me and I will sulk until it drives you crazy!  So instead I found some plaster of Paris and paint, then I saw some old boxes in the recycling bin and thought I'd give them something a little different to try...

Fresco paintings!
It makes for quite a cheap but effective project and covered History, Art and of course Art History.
If you want to try this for your self here is how we made ours:

You will need:
  • An lid of a shoe box or a lid of a box that is at least 1cm deep.  We found certain makes of ice cream lids work really well with this project.
  • Plaster of Paris (cheap from your craft store)
  • Paints, we used acrylics but watercolours work even better and add that ancient feel to the finished project.
  • Paint brushes
  • An old spoon or a plastic spoon
  • An empty tub of margarine or ice cream or an old container that won't be used for food 
  • Water
  • Paper
  • Pencil
TIP: Please be careful when using the plaster of paris, when mixing with water there is an exothermic reaction, although the dust is an irritant so goggles and dust masks should be used.


Sketch out what you want to paint before you begin.  It is best you have a sketch first as you will be painting straight onto the plaster of paris.

Something like this...


Put some plaster of paris (about 150g) in your old tub and bit by bit add water until you have a smooth flowing paste.

Shuffle the plaster of paris around until it completely covers the lid of the container you are using.  The lid will act as the frame.  You should have something that looks like this...
When the plaster of paris is firm to touch begin painting.  Remember to take your time and enjoy it!

When you have finished painting your project is done!

The earliest Greek paintings are from the Minoan period  ~  1700 through 1400 BC  ~ and were frescoes that were painted directly onto walls.



  1. Oh wow - this looks like great fun. We'll definitely be trying it. Thanks for sharing :)

    1. Thank you Katie, glad you like it! Thanks for the comment! :)

  2. Great fun! You can use ordinary plaster too if anyone has a bag knocking around in the garage!

    It's a great art lesson for leading into or helping with learning about Pompeii.

    1. Thank you Prudence! That's brilliant to know! I will remember that! :D

  3. The dolphin fresco from the palace of Knossos - I went as a teenager and it was so inspiring!

    1. I'd love to take the girls to see a real one! It must have been amazing! :)