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Lesson 8

Castelli Abruzzi-style Foliage Borders

Gael Stirler


Early 18th c. plate This plate is owned by Julia (bast1959) in the Yahoo group. She shared it with us in early 2004 and I decided to try doing a border in the same style. It took a little longer to paint than some others but is well worth the time. Instead of a landscape, I chose to paint a lion rampant in the center.

You will need brushes in sizes 6, 2, and 0. Glazes are Duncan Satin Opaque white for the base, Hobby Collorobia detailing black and brown, Duncan Invisions Navy and Sunset Red, a mixture of Mason Stains Naples yellow and Duncan Invisions Clear and of course, zaffer (cobalt oxide).
Download the handout.


Abruzzi Foliage Border with Heraldic Lion

Step 1 Band the plate with two narrow bands near the outer edge and three bands on the inner slope using zaffer. Lightly pencil a circle at the top and bottom of the border to indicate the location of the palmetto design.Paint the two outer palm branches around the palmetto.
Step 2 Step 2: Using only Naples yellow and a size 4 or 6 round brush, paint a palmetto with curling lower leaves inside each circle of palm branches. With a little practice you can paint these without even using the pencil lines.
Step 3 Step 3: Turn the plate so that the palmettos are at the 3 and 9 o'clock positions. Paint a straight divider on each side of the border at noon and and 6 o'clock. Paint a shallow "C" curve on each side of this divider line. Paint a long "S" curve from the bottom of the palm branch to the divider for the center line of the vine. Add "C" curls to the vine with little blossoms at the ends. Repeat in each quadrant.
Step 4 Step 4: Paint fat "leaves" on the vine with a no. 6 round brush and fill in empty areas with trumpet leaves (Illumination lesson-8) and dots.
Step 5

Step 5: With a no.0 brush and zaffer outline the fat leaves, blossoms, palmettos and dots. Its okay if some of the white shows inside the outlines.

Step 6 Step 6: Paint in the background with detailing black using a no. 2 brush.
Step 7 Step 7: Paint the middle ring in the slope yellow. Paint the other two rings on the slope Sunset Red. Paint the two outer rings on the border yellow and red.
Step 8 Step 8: The background needs three coats of glaze or the dark color will look streaky. Here I am painting the second coat with navy blue so I can see exactly where I have painted.
Step 9 Step 9: Using detailing brown model the leaves as you see fit. I like to outline each one and make the them darker at the bottom of each leaf.
Step 10
Step 10:
Paint some Sunset Red on the yellow leaves to give them more modeling and to bring out the golden color. The Castelli-Abruzzi plate uses green instead of red. Be careful because some formulas of green bleed during firing. Scratch out some highlights and clean up any mistakes. Add some "roping" to the small red border closest to the center of the plate. If you are going to leave the center white you can add some grailing (lesson 7) to the inner edge.
Step 11 Step 11: Paint the third layer on the background using detailing black.
Step 12 Step 3: I drew a heraldic lion in the center in pencil very lightly and painted it with a base coat of Naples yellow. Then I added the modeling and crosshatching in brown. I finished by outlining him in black and strengthening the shadows under his leg, arm, mouth and eyes with black. I scratched out some highlights and added a grass hillock under his feet.
Step 13 Step 3: Here is the finished piece ready for the kiln.The pencil smudges in the background will burn away.
Click for larger image

Click for larger image of the plate.
After firing: I added a single coat of Duncan Diamond Clear Glaze then fired it to cone 06. Detail of lion. | Detail of border.

Go to Lesson 9: Queen Plate | Go back to Lesson 7: Geometric Borders | Visit Gallery 1


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© 2002-2004Gael Stirler, Inc. 1-520-721-8346
Unless otherwise noted all art is the work of Gael Stirler.
AKA Mistress Dairine mor o' hUigin, OL

This page was last updated Monday, 16-Mar-2009 15:37:49 CDT