Today I am featuring a very talented decorative painter, Chris Smith, of Stenciling Etc. Chris and I attended the Decorative Painting/Faux Event together last week. I asked Chris if she would be so kind as to write a review of the 3 classes she took, so today she will discuss the Grottesca class. Here is her review in her own words:
The class I took with Nicola Vigini was called Italian Ornamentation: Grottesca. I really wanted to improve my skills in this area, and learn from the Master. Nicola is an internationally recognized faux and decorative artist. He is originally from Rome and was schooled at the Institute Superieure de Peintre Decorative in Paris. He operates Vigini Studios Inc., and also a decorative painting program in Italy.
Grottesca is a style of ornamentation coming from ancient Roman fresco painting. The designs are of arabesque-like figures of flora and fauna motifs, within architectural details. (panels, moldings, etc.)
Generally the designs chosen are put on the surface by tracing or pounce patterns, or stencil. It is done in a very light color, just to impart the pattern being used. All the work following is hand applied using a variety of color, and brush strokes. Most of the pattern is symmetrical, with minor differences, sometimes inserting monograms, or other personal details.
Shadow and lighting is taken into consideration , just as you do for trompe l’oeil work.
It was a great class, but we could have used a few more days just to listen to all the historical information that Nicola has to share.
The photo above is the sample board Chris made in Nicola’s class.
Just to show you want an incredibly talented decorative painter Chris is, here is a good example of the quality work she provides her clients:
Chris did this work last winter with muralist Kim Senior, another incredibly talented woman! Kim did the mural and Chris did the ornamentation. Chris says, "In this design, the picture was copied from a magazine article, and I designed the ornamentation to go around it. The ornamentation was done in Grisaile, and the work was then framed in a custom mahogany frame trimmed with gold leaf."
Chris will be back here again to discuss her other 2 classes. Stay tuned. Thanks Chris!