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Italian Artisan Courses in Florence, Italy
Decorative Painting courses

Courses list | Schedule & fees | How to register | About the teachers | Accommodation

These courses each have a specific focus for decorative painters who wish to learn a historical style or concentrate on a particular technique. They can be requested as private lessons or incorporated as part of a customized course.


 Intro to Florentine Decorative Painting
Dates and prices

Example projects:

Traditional techniques for producing genuine Florentine artisan decorated panels, furniture and frames.

Course description:
This course is useful for those who wish to understand the processes involved in producing traditional Florentine painted decoration, mostly intended for wooden surfaces. Several hands on projects help to illustrate the aspects of this type of decorative work. The focus for the first exercise panel is on creating one small example of dimensional ornament, ( for example: a rosette), using two different approaches to shading or chiaroscuro work. Antiquing techniques will also be explored using this panel. We will then move on to a simple monochromatic decoration, concentrating on the aspects of decorative brushwork. In the meantime we produce a number of small sample panels and mouldings to cover various aspects of surface preparation, antiquing and finishing.
During the course you will learn about:

how to prepare wooden pieces for painting
techniques for making a traditional gesso ground
use of casein paints, lime paints, and ground pigments
the basics of shading or ‘chiaroscuro’ work
introductory aspects of composition and familiarization with styles of historical ornament
basic gilding techniques
various finishing techniques with varnish or shellac
antiquing, waxing and patina

The courses take place within the Florenceart Studio, a working art studio producing Florentine decoration for furniture and walls for the international interior design industry. Students can observe and learn from their surroundings as well as from the teaching.
Students explore the historical aspects of Italian arts and crafts and gain an understanding of the high quality materials and craftsmanship involved in the production of them. The course is meant to be inspirational as well as educational. All levels are welcome. Teaching is in English or Italian. The group size is limited to a maximum of 8 participants per course.

Projects per student:
1 gilded and painted tray
1 panel with simple two tone decoration
sample mouldings with various finishes for wooden furniture
extra sample panels can be produced according to speed and desire of individual students to explore new techniques under the guidance of the teacher.

Instructor: Alison Woolley. View Alison's work.


 Intermediate/Advanced Decorative Painting
Dates and prices

Example projects:

Study simple techniques to strengthen the most important aspects of your decorative painting.

Course description:
This course concentrates on Grottesca ornament which is versatile and colorful. This style has a long history going back to the decoration of Roman villas but has been adapted and used effectively by artists throughout the centuries up to the present day. It is a great style for studying various aspects of decorative painting work because it can include subject matter as varied as human figures, animals, insects, ribbons, foliage swirls, and architectural elements. All are handled with a light touch and not overworked. The overall effect of Grottesca decoration is almost always light and airy, colorful and playful.

You will learn the following:
-painting techniques for colorful ornament such as the use of a monochromatic underpainting, or a the use of a limited palette
-techniques of different water based media such as casein paint, acrylics, egg tempera and pure pigments
-composition of ornament based on historical styles
-developing colour schemes for decorative work
-using paints and materials (base coats and grounds) effectively to obtain beautiful hand painted effects and patinas
-the rendering of form with shading (chiaroscuro)
-decorative brushwork

This course is very useful for artists or decorators who would like to concentrate on specific aspects of decorative painting that will strengthen their work. Each student will have a choice of which projects they wish to realize. One choice can be to produce decorative panels on canvas with techniques suitable for wall decoration, or wooden panels with the correct preparation and ground for wooden surfaces. Additional small sample panels can be produced according to speed and desire of individual students to explore new techniques and materials of interest under the guidance of the teacher. Located in the centre of historical Florence, students have the opportunity to be inspired by Renaissance Italian masterworks and study examples of historical decorative painting.
For more examples of the types of decorative painting and the various styles to choose from please see our specialized decorative painting classes

Instructor: Alison Woolley. View Alison's work. Read more about Alison
Courses list | Schedule & fees | How to register | About the teachers | Accommodation

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