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Murals & Frescoes & Trompe L'Oeil-

No one needs to be told that murals are popular; they're everywhere, embellishing the interiors & exteriors of homes, buildings and offices. The recent revival is not perhaps suprising, since we live in times where decoration of our homes and workplaces has become one of the m ost accessible ways of expressing our individuality as well as offering an escape from an increasingly uniform environment. Playing visual tricks is a critical part of mural painting, with the careful use of perspective, and painstaking representation of objects, it is possible to create an illusion on a grand scale. You can fool the onlooker into thinking they are stepping up to a huge window overlooking an exotic view or looking down a hallway that doesn't exist.

The Technique employed is centuries old, it is known as Trompe L'oeil or deceiving the eye. In some ways it is not very different from what is for many artists the central purpose of painting: To create an illusion of 3 dimensional reality on a 2 dimensional surface

Affresco ( In English usage, fresco ). Painting done on freshly laid wet plaster with pigments dissolved in lime water. As both dry they become completely integrated. Known as true fresco, this technique was most popular from the late thirteenth to the mid-sixteenth centuries. The common assumption that all mural painting is fresco painting is an erroneous idea. It is true that one can in fact paint on fresh plaster, or intonaco, to make a painting in affresco or a fresco. In true fresco the artist must start applying his colors on the wet (or frescoe) intonaco as soon as it has been prepared and laid on the wall. The colors can thus be absorbed by the wet plaster. When it dries and hardens, the colors become one with plaster. Technically speaking the plaster does not dry but rather a chemical reaction occurs in which calcium carbonate is formed as a result of carbon dioxide from the air combining with the calcium hydrate in the wet plaster.