16th January 2004 at 00:00
Fresco techniques can be explored by pupils of all ages. Use fine white plaster of Paris, which can be tinted with powder colour during mixing.

Combine fresco and relief by giving each pupil a shoebox in which they insert a thin slab of clay in the base. Impress a repeating border around the edge of the slab with found objects. Pour a mix of plaster and water into the box covering the clay to approximately one centimetre depth (young children should not be allowed to work with plaster unsupervised.) On hardening, remove the clay and card from the slab. The reverse side will now have a raised border enclosing a flat surface which will take paint.

This can now be decorated, using a pre-prepared "cartoon" in the method of the old masters, by flooding water-based paint onto the surface. Work from light to dark, and the paint will be absorbed into the plaster. Each panel could represent an aspect of the pupil's life in school (refer to Giotto's "Betrayal" and Diego Rivera's mural paintings for sources). Assemble the pieces together by sticking them to a wall, using impact adhesive.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today