The Process of a Bas Relief & Egg Tempera Paintings

Posted May 7, 2008
Last Updated Jun 21, 2012
Fresco Wall with Fruit Still Life

These are the latest sculpted bas releif and egg tempera fresco paintings by artist Linda Paul.

fresco wall painting with fruit
fresco wall painting with fruit
fresco paintings with vegetables
fresco paintings with vegetables

These are bas-relief sculptures as well as paintings. All of the elements were sculpted in bas-relief before being painted in pure egg tempera which I make by hand by grinding natural pigments mixed with a touch of egg yolk. I only used one color for the entire painting; a caput mortem iron oxide which is crushed then mixed with a little water and egg yolk, This mineral has natural complex color. In one vessel it creates sedimentary layers of dark brown and earth red. The earth red floats to the top and the dark brown settles on the bottom. read more about Egg Tempera

Here is how these fresco paintings were created


I started a series of sketches inspired by my love of Italian design and imagery. I channeled my inner Italian. I sketch in red chalk as did the Italian maters of the Renaissance. In the first sketch, I designed a border of interlacing leaves and berries with the four corners having a berry and leaf design. The center is an Italian design inspired medley of fruit. In the second sketch I designed a wheat border and herb corners. I was inspired to create these paintings with a monochromatic color scheme as it was February and I was feeling a tad colorless. I followed my mood, heart and inspiration.

Sculpting in bas-relief

fresco bas-relief fresco bas-relief

I sculpted all of the elements in these artwork in bas-relief. The first artwork, fresco wall with fruit, has in its centerpiece, olives, a half peeled orange, pineapple, berries, lemon, pear, grapes and lovely art nouveau leaves. The matching art work, Fresco Wall with veggies has a medley of assorted vegetable including an artichoke, corn, beans, peppers, garlic, onion, tomatoes all being held up by spears of asparagus. I sculpted each grain of wheat in the border individually. The four corner pieces are all different herbs plants.

Study Painting

fleur de lis painting

I did a little study painting of a fleur de lis to test out my monochromatic color scheme, fleur di lis means "flower of lily" in French. Since Hurricane Katrina, the fleur de lis has become a unifying symbol for the people of New Orleans. The symbol has always been a presence in Louisiana but has become more prevalent lately. It is widely viewed as a symbol of the rebuilding of the city and as a reminder of home.

a href=""> fresco in progress

In the picture above, I have started painting the wheat border with a monochromatic wash of a beautiful reddish brown iron oxide called Caput Mortem.. If I was an artist doing this in the sixteenth century I would use the original Caput Mortum (literally translated as death's head) which was a pigment made from the wrappings of mummies, but adapted for today's world, (and a lack of available mummies), I am going to use a caput mortem natural iron oxide which has complex layerings of reddish brown and black colors.

These one of a kind monochromatic fresco paintings arrive ready to hang on your wall, They come framed in hand-crafted museum quality frames which are being hand finished by the artist to perfectly match the paintings

More about these painting at

See all the artist's work at

Please email the artist if you are interested in these original frescoes


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