Painting Pietra Dura marble from Pierre Finkelstein

Pietra Dura created by Pierre Finkelstein

For more information on the brushes or paints used in this “how to” please visit

as seen originally on

And for the proper brush holdings click here for helpful tips.

Step 1

Step 2
Then wet I am adding veins. Using a mixture of white peins gray, black and a little yellow ochre. Always smoothing out in order to get a nice background.

Step 3
This shows the veining process being done a little fuller.

Step 4
Using a veining brush to establish the white vein.

Step 5
Showing a close up and what you will notice is I emphasized the cut line by adding one piece darker next to a lighter section. So the flame can read as four different pieces of marble. (see in 2nd pic)

Step 6
Laid over the entire faux marble a low-tack friskit type of paper that I traced off with a precut stencil and I have the stencil available if you are interested. (only a few, call Margarate 888 faux art)($55) The stencil is so thick you can run your blade along the stencil using it as a template. The templates are designed to be used in many ways extending or reducing in size. Easily customizeable.

Once I have cut out my negative pieces whatever is covered will be the white marble.

Now we start the bascoat for the Green Algerian onyx, at the same time I am going to cut out all the other pieces for the other marbles.

Step 7
I start adding with a small brush transparent white and create some movement and light breche in the onyx. We will concentrate on this for now and create some texture. let dry.

Step 8
Once i have done that you can see in third pic I am applying a very transparent emerald green glaze.

Step 9
Over that glaze while wet I am adding carmine veins.

Step 10
I have added a yellow ochre veins all while wet.

Step 11
I then blend everything with a round badger.

Step 12
While it is wet a brush loaded with alchohol I start opening up in a vein like manner the lightest section of the onyx.
I start moving right away the alchohol in one direction creating concentric rings.

Pic two you can see in what it looks like here when it is dry.

Step 13
I do the crytalization by adding very transparent white veins that I blend off with the round badger creating a hard edge to reinforce the glassyness and the transparency of the onyx marble.

Step 14
I am doing the Red Levanto marble in this picture. We start with a dark green basecoat doing a chiqueteur in a deep Carmine Red color to create texture. I also added Chrome Green with White, Ultramarine Blue creating darker green areas using the schicter . Important to have small stronger red values with the green.

Step 15
Creating tight breccia using a creamy white using a veining brush.

Step 16
Still working the breccia, same color

Step 17
Breccia almost completed

Step 18

Step 19
We make chiqueteur and very transparent green composed of Veridian Green and a little Chrome Oxide Green and a little Raw Umber . I do a transparent chiqueteur over the entire marble to break down the breccia and create some transparency.

Step 20
Doing the Lapis Lazzuli. Directly over the white vein marble I use Ulta and Cerileum Blue to do a tight chiqueteur work leaving little open spaces.

Step 21
I have added little transparent light here and there.

Step 22
I am using a fine veiner to create very tight intricate veining.

Step 23
You can see the completed Lapis and Algerian Onyx and the basecoats for the Red Gricote

Step 24
I am doing the Red Griote. Over the red background I glazed with a transparent black and with the chiqueteur brush loaded with denatured alchohol I open up the surface. The alchohol eats thru the glaze and leaves circular space.

Step 25
I used a Samina marbling brush loaded with denatured alchohol to open up further creating certain little fragments.

Step 26
After adding red almond shapes fragments with a brush loaded with Cadmium Red Carmine Lake. I add very dynamic fissures (white veins) I also add in the certain almond shape fragents a dot of white and Pains Gray called quails eye.

See the detail of the Pietra Dura after I have added a Pienese Black marble border. Refer to the latest tool brush tip for the recipe for that. Step 27
I am removing the friskit paper that we laid down before thus revealing the different Pietra Dura work including the white veined marble that is the common element of the piece.

Completed Pietra Dura frame.

Details of this piece.

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