Faux Marble Columns in Japan (part 2 of 3)

big columns

We had 3 columns to paint.  One was outside in the entrance.  And the other two were for the main space.  Since the interior ones were not ready to be installed, we elevated them with 2 strong poles and horses.


To review from Part I post, the sample on the left is approved.

recipe card

Moo’s recipe card -unfinished. It’s nice to see my students are paying attention in class. This is the recipe card I use in my business Grand Illusion


Step 1: Apply big strokes of bold color in the direction of the marble (with a glazing brush)

background palette

My palette.  I used the local paints that Moo uses for scenic projects.  The pigment is extremely intense, which I liked, but it dried too fast and sometimes too slow.

samina chiquetur

Using fresh water and a rag to clean the brush constantly, I used a samina chiqueteur to break up the colors – without disturbing the original direction.  I smoothed just a touch with a round badger softener.


large scale

blending 2

See how my direction is prominent and the angle is steep (not 45 degrees).

next morning

Rainy season bummer! The next day, my exterior work was damaged.  Jobsite conditions are never fully under your control.

step 2

Step 2:  This is actually 3 steps in one – it was a long day.

glazing step 2

First, glaze medium heavy with a transparent purple red (no white).


Stretch the glaze with a spalter for an even surface

3 headed chiqueteur

With a 3 headed chiqueteur, dip the brush into clean, denatured alcohol .  Crush the brush on your palette, and pounce on to the surface.

negative technique

Watch the alcohol disperse the glaze.

alcohol success

sample 2

The sample at this stage

background vein

Next part, veining with the same transparent purple glaze plus a few dark colors on my palette.  Then I bring in a more opaque peach color for additional fragmenting veins.  These background veins are medium to small.  I used a variety of veining brushes for this (samina veiner, brecher)

bkgrnd vein2

Finished with this part


Finally, the larger fissure-type veins add the drama, quickly.  Since Moo wanted more of a fantasy marble, I played up the fissures more than usual.  I chose a fully opaque white with other colors on my palette.  Look how fissures do not follow the underlying direction of the marble.  Despite this fact, the fissures are thoughtfully placed.

end step 2

Step 2 completed.
Next on the final, PART 3:  See the final step along with a little white marble project …


  1. Hello

    I am interesting to know more how paint royal rouge marbling please

    Any ideas ?



  2. Fabulous blog posts, Pierre. The columns look fantastic, and I always appreciate your generosity in sharing your photos and techniques! Looking forward to more classes with you in the future.

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