Archives for April 2013

Reference book: Identifying Marblemarblemarlbe

After just getting back from teaching a class on faux marble, this book has been on my mind.   I used it as reference when mixing all of my colors.  If you decide to invest in this book, you will be reaching for this indispensable reference book over and over again. It contains over 160 different […]

Cutting methods for real marble

The way in which marble is cut plays a large part in the appearance of its surface. There are two principal methods to cut a block of marble: With the pass cut (also known as the “with-the-bed cut” or “vein cut”), the marble slab is sliced parallel to the main direction of the veining, creating […]

Versailles Palace from a decorative painter’s eye: Real marble

The Palace of Versailles is a rare find when it comes to examples of real marble.  The halls, rooms, and exterior are packed with fine European and French marbles.  What is particularly exciting is the care that was taken to place certain species next to one another.  Also, the type of “cut” of marble was […]

Pounce pattern

A “pounce pattern” is a method for transferring a design to a surface.  It is the oldest way to reproduce a design, known to date.  Before there was such a thing as carbon paper or a stencil, the only way to transfer a drawing or cartoon was with a pounce pattern.  In the old days, […]

Versailles Palace from a decorative painter’s eye

  We recently took group of 17 students to tour of Palace of Versailles.  The students were painting a panel for 8 days in a studio near by.  Check out the class photos. As a child growing up in Paris, it was mandatory for students to visit the Palace once a year.  It’s fair to […]


We all have used ammonia in our basic household cleaning kit, but there are other uses in the decorative painter’s studio. Ammonia is a compound of nitrogen and hydrogen.  You know it by the smell that can fill a room, quickly.  Be careful, ammonia is  a hazardous material.  Don’t leave a container open for long […]

60’s Revival, Manhattan Office Stripe Mural

We were hired to create a modernist office mural for an investment banker on State Street in Manhattan.   The client wanted to liven up the employee lounge area.  His ultimate goal was to offer a place for relaxation but also to casually discuss projects.  The finished product was well received by employees as a “non-corporate” […]

Gold Rehaussé – Gilded highlights in trompe l’oeil and ornamentation

Gold Rehaussé is a classic French term refers to method in which the highlight is executed in gold leaf. In decorative painting, this technique was used a lot in the late 18th and early 19th century over polychrome or grisaille ornamentation to replace the “white highlight” in order to give more distinction to the trompe l’oeil. […]

PFI Woodgrain Contest Winner: Jeremy Taylor

Congratulations Jeremy Taylor! “In this woodgrain panel, I wanted to show the darker heartgrain with the lighter sapwood. The heartgrain was painted in with a sable writing brush. First, I made the basic heartgrain shape with a two inch mottler. The colours where mainly Raw Sienna, Burnt Umber, and Black with some Burnt Sienna added […]