Faux Marble and Marble Effect Painting
Traditional Painter for Yorkshire, Lee Simone, is a specialist painter and decorator with a very artistic streak. (He inherited his talent from his father, Neil Simone, an accomplished artist.) Lee shares with us his passion for faux marble and marble effect painting.
When I was introduced to the art of decorative painting nearly 15 years ago, I instantly fell in love with faux finishes and faux painting. To paint an illusion that ‘tricks the eye‘ really appealed to me and seemed to suit my style of fine art painting perfectly. A quality faux finish is not only a piece of art, but can also offer a practical solution to logistically difficult areas. Where a natural product might be too expensive or difficult to install, faux finishes can offer the perfect means of achieving just the look you want.
A bit of decorative painting history
Over 3000 years ago, the Ancient Egyptians became fascinated by colour and decorative painting. They employed almost every technique we use today, pioneering marbling, wood graining and faux stone work. Their artists spent years discovering different coloured pigments and studying the form and pattern of specific marbles, wood and stone.
Nowadays many of the finest faux finishes across the country were painted during Victorian times, when new found wealth was being invested in the arts. Master craftsman would spend years ornately faux painting the grand houses of the time.
For my part, I too have spent years experimenting with oodles of techniques, materials and paints. Spending hours playing alchemist in my workshop and reading dozens of books. Things didn’t always go to plan but then that’s the fun of decorative painting – sometimes even the less successful attempts opened up a new possibility or took me in a new direction.
Now, with tried and tested techniques in place, it’s all about expanding on the basics and tweaking things for a particular finish.
Faux marble is perhaps the most decadent and luxurious of all the faux finishes and is definitely one of the most popular. There are dozens and dozens or different types of marble, each with their own intricacies and form. Some of the most popular hand painted marbles are Sienna, Vert de Mer and Carrera.
Materials and Tools for Faux Marble Painting –
When I take on any type of faux marble project, there are some essential bits of kit that I nearly always use. These are; oil glaze, oil paint (tube or pigment), white spirit, real feathers from various different birds, hog hair brush, badger hair softener, natural sponge, cling film, an old toothbrush, various artist brushes and lint free cloths. See MyPaintbrush for starters
Here are a few examples of faux marbling I’ve done over the years
If you fancy having a go at faux marbling, then I wholeheartedly recommend it – it’s great fun and makes you really appreciate paint on a different level. Just a quick heads up about veining though – this can be the make or break of many a faux marble finish, as there is good and bad veining practice…
– although the vein may split at intervals to form quite complicated patterns, two veins of the same tone should never cross.
– although really oversimplified, the common faults are: parallel lines, wobbly veins, cobweb effect and lines that are broken.
Good luck with the experimentation, if you fancy having a go!
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