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Lapis Lazuli – A How To

This faux lapis lazuli panel was completed by GIDP for a NYC-based client. Lapis lazuli is a deep blue semi-precious stone (not a marble). Most lapis lazuli contains calcite (white), sodalite (blue), and pyrite (metallic yellow). Since the stones do not come in boulder sizes (the largest sizes rarely exceed 12 sq. ft.), a larger panel like this needs to be broken up into sections.

Typically, marble finishes are completed in a 3-layer process; 1- background, 2- graining, 3- overglazing. However, this stone finish is different from these typical layers because there will be no full overglazing layer. In this tutorial, Pierre of Grand Illusion Decorative Painting will demonstrate the step-by-step process of creating the center square of this lapis lazuli.

HOW TO CREATE THIS FINISH

Use our step-by-step instruction below

MATERIALS NEEDED:

Here is a list of the tools & supplies you will need to achieve this technique.  Supplies available at fauxbrushes.com are linked below and listed at the bottom of the page.

1

PROPER PREPARATION

STEP 1 – PROPER PREPARATION:  The surface was prepared to a level 5 finish. It is crucial that the Basecoat and substrate be smooth to the touch, much like the real stone. An off-white basecoat was chosen and applied.

2

BACKGROUND LAYER - GLAZE ON YELLOW FLAKES

STEP 2 – BACKGROUND LAYER – GLAZE ON YELLOW FLAKES: Paints used in this faux marble technique are primarily fluid Acrylic Colors with a proportion of Glazing Medium. Depending on how big the project is, the use of slow-dry Acrylic Colors and Glazing Mediums are used to achieve the correct viscosity and open-time.

With a 2-Header Pointed Brecher Brush, a very minimal background was created with a bright, yellow ochre to mimic the bright golden flakes encrusted in the lapis. This is a guideline for the entire composition.

3

BACKGROUND LAYER - ADD MAJOR GLAZE

STEP 3 – BACKGROUND LAYER – ADD MAJOR GLAZE: Once dry, a slightly tinted blue, slick coat was applied to the entire surface. A mother glaze was mixed to be used as a medium-toned glaze that will be used in a palette cup. This color was primarily ultramarine blue, black and phthalo blue. With a 2-Header Flat Chiqueteur Brush, add an overall texture of a blue glaze, leaving about 25% uncovered.

4

BACKGROUND LAYER - CHIQUETEUR GLAZE

STEP 4 – BACKGROUND LAYER – CHIQUETEUR GLAZE:  Next up was switching to a slightly damp Chiqueteur Brush to further break up the glaze and to soften and change the texture. The samina-haired Chiqueteur gives you the most finite and controlled pattern.

5

BACKGROUND LAYER - CREATE FLAMES

STEP 5 – BACKGROUND LAYER – CREATE FLAMES:  Deep “white” veins were created by removing glaze (a negative technique) in a jagged, worm-like shape. Here, a small, 2-Header Pointed Brecher Brush was used on its side to create this effect. The entire section was softened with a Softener Brush (round or square-shaped).

6

BACKGROUND LAYER - ADD VEIN CLUSTERS

STEP 6 – BACKGROUND LAYER – ADD VEIN CLUSTERS:  Finally, using a squirrel-haired 2-Header Flat Veiner Brush, he dipped in a touch of denatured alcohol and on its tip, added some dark areas (black, raw umber, ultramarine blue). Then softened with a Softener Brush and let it dry.  

7

VEINING LAYER - ADD GLAZE

STEP 7 – VEINING LAYER – ADD GLAZE: Once dry, Pierre glazed on a transparent, ultramarine blue and a dash of phthalo blue to give it that extra pop, and then broke up the glaze again with the Chiqueteur.

8

VEINING LAYER - PAINT LARGE FISSURES

STEP 8 – VEINING LAYER – PAINT LARGE FISSURES: Using a small, 2-Header Pointed Brecher Brush on its side, Pierre created a few fissures, placing them in the lighter, white opening sections created in the previous steps.  *Remember to soften lightly, as you go.

9

VEINING LAYER - ADD NETWORK OF VEINS

STEP 10 – VEINING LAYER – ADD NETWORK OF VEINS:  Pierre then continued making a finer network of veins, connecting the larger fissures, with a small-sized Veining Brush. Let the layer dry.

10

OVERGLAZE IN SPOTS

STEP 10 – OVERGLAZE IN SPOTS:  The sample was then overglazed in spots with a transparent blue; glaze was applied in various spots with a Chiqueteur. Typically with other techniques, they require a full overglazing layer for the standard 3-layer process, however this stone won’t require a full overglazing layer.

11

FINISH AND PROTECT

STEP 11 – FINISH AND PROTECT: The square was then finished. It was let dry very well and the tape was reversed to complete the other areas. A Varnish was applied to protect the finish.

COMPLETED FINISH

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