Lapis Lazuli

Lapis Lazuli-Tutorial

Final piece for Lazuli

This faux lapis lazuli panel was completed for a specific client.  Lapis lazuli is a deep blue semi-precious stone (not a marble). Most lapis lazuli contains calcite (white), sodalite (blue), and pyrite (metallic yellow).  Since the stones do not come in boulder sizes (the largest sizes rarely exceed 12 sq. ft.), a larger panel like this needs to be broken up into sections.

In this tutorial, I will demonstrate the step-by step of the center square of this lapis lazuli.

With a 2-headed, pointed marbling brush, a very minimal background is created with a bright, yellow ochre to mimic the bright golden flakes encrusted in the lapis.  This is a guideline for the entire composition.


Begin marble brush-lazuli

Once dry, a slightly tinted blue, slick coat is applied to the entire surface.  With a 2-headed, flat badger brush, add an overall texture of a blue glaze (using a mixture of Proceed ultramarine blue, black and pthalo Blue), leaving about 25% uncovered.

Slick Coat applied-Lazuli

Switch to a samina chiqueteur and chiqueteur or “sponge off” to further soften and change the texture using a simply damp brush.

Samina Chiqueteur-lazuli

Deep “white” areas are created by removing glaze in a jagged, worm-like shape.  Here, a small, 2-headed pointed brush was used on its side to create this effect.  Soften the entire section with a softener (round or square)

Veining 2-lazuli


Finally, using a 2 headed, flat squirrel brush, dipped in alcohol and on its tip, add some dark areas (black, raw umber, ultramarine blue).  Soften and let dry.   Step 2 is complete.

Flat squirrel brush-lazuli

Once dry, glaze on a transparent, ultramarine blue and a dash of pthalo blue to give it that extra pop, and break up the glaze with a chiqueteur (we like the samina chiqueteur for small projects like this)

blue transparent glaze-lazuli

Create texture, stippling-lazuli
The palette for this project.

Palette colors-lazuli

Using a small, 2-headed, pointed brush on its side, create a few fissures, placing them in the lighter, white opening sections created in the previous steps.  Soften lightly, as you go.

veining fissures-lazuli

Continue making finer network of veins, connecting the larger fissures, with a small but long veiner.

Secondary veins-Lazuli
A close up. Over glaze the entire panel with a chicqueteur and transparent blue, applying in various spots.

Close up of details-Lazuli

The square is finished.  Let dry very well and reverse the tape to complete the other areas.

Finishing piece 2-Lazuli



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  1. Dean Olkowski says:

    This is fantastic. Thank you for taking the time to teach this and all the other demonstrations. Very informative.

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