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Marble Fragments

A marble fragment is the “meat” of marble composition.  They are the chunks of marble that have remained intact as the surrounding sediment (either veins or breccias) defines its borders.  As seen on the picture of real marble above, the fragments are encased by an orange breccia. Pierre Finkelstein of Pierre Finkelstein Institute of Decorative Painting explains further below.  



On a veined marble, the fragments are exactly the same shape. However, the difference is that the gap between the fragments is much thinner then in breccia marble. As seen below, the shape is made from the veins.

What is meant by fragments being the “meat” of the marble — when you look at this next picture, the fragments are the overpowering feature.


Painted by Pierre Finkelstein

When painting faux marble, it is a very common mistake to concentrate on painting the veins and not the fragments. In the next 3 images below, Pierre Finkelstein shows the progression of painting fragments by painting veins.  Pierre focuses completely on the negative space (fragments) as he paints.

Painted by Pierre Finkelstein


Here are some common mistakes made when painting fragments: Fragments that are rounded – too similar in size and shape – too uniformly spaced – and oriented in one single direction (at a 45 degree angle).

Fragments that are so widely spaced they appear to be floating, so that the surface looks like a slice of salami.

The surface seems to have no direction at all – with fragments that are too similar in size and spaced too consistently.

Good veining here:  Fragments should be oriented in a general direction – show variation in form and spacing – and look very angular.

When Pierre paints marble, he paints fragments, not veins or breccia. Looking at the negative shapes that the veins make to create the fragments. Determining and practicing the shape, size, and angle of your fragments prior to marbling is always something he suggests.

Pierre Finkelstein