Artist feature: Fresco murals


Artist and muralist
Tobias Freccia
discusses the creative process of developing commissioned murals.


about the artist

Simulated Fresco Treatments

Create old world charm or contemporary sophistication with these easy to follow plaster effects and simulated Fresco techniques.

artSparx has created a 3 stage step-by-step tutorial series. Series 1 begins with basic plaster application, our 2nd series illustrates antique glazing and plaster distressing methods, culminating in the final fresco simulation series 3, hand-painted elements.

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Style Feature

Tuscan Style

Tuscan style evolved through layers of history, taking cues from the earliest Etruscan metal craft and pottery, and of course, from the sumptuous world of the Italian Renaissance.

Tuscan Style now!



Creating a mural. The artistic process.

Hand-painted mural on distressed plaster

Having been commissioned to paint custom wall murals for the dining area of a residence in Bedford, NY, I began evaluating the space and existing décor to find the appropriate style and method of approach to fulfill the client's needs.


Though it was new construction, the residence was superbly built with old-fashioned attention to detail. The proportions were grand, and evoked the presence of history, a sense that the home had been around for many years and had been the center of many lives.

To further develop this historical sensibility, I chose to base the stylistic approach on the Unicorn Tapestries (located at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's medieval extension, The Cloisters), long a favorite work.
Though tapestries are always woven of cloth, I decided to create the old, worn appearance of cloth by painting over a frescoed surface. Aged plaster walls provide a depth and sense of solidity I felt was appropriate to achieve my goal. A special recipe of plaster compounds was troweled over the surface in a somewhat irregular fashion. This surface was then hand painted, which stains and permeates the plaster surface. 

Upon completion of the painted mural, sand paper and other distressing tools were used to 'antique' the surface. This resulted in faded areas and created a subtle surface texture that could mimic the appearance of ancient, worn fabric.

The highly stylized painting-with mythological animals, fruit trees and textured background-made a perfect synergy between the dark oak paneled room and its large, heavy furniture. The unique environment that was created embodies the spirit of artistic creativity, and offers the uplifting aura of living amidst the products of the imagination.



About Tobias Freccia

Tobias Freccia, founder of Freccia Studios,, is a leader on the international stage of interior commercial and residential art and design. His expertise ranges from fine art painting and reproduction; including portraiture, landscape painting or still-life, to interior design, fresco and mural painting, object and furniture design, and specialty gilding. He also has served as a color consultant and fine art lecturer and educator. Freccia holds a degree from the Parsons School of Design in NYC and has conducted extensive research on art and design throughout the U.S., Europe and Japan.

The high quality of Freccia's work emanates from his own grounding in artistic expression. "There is a deep gratification for me in creating thematically harmonious environments with elements on canvas, walls, ceilings, and furniture. I truly enjoy transforming a living or working space into a three dimensional work-in-progress," he explains.

For over 10 years, Freccia Studios has provided fine art and decorative arts services, and has responded to clients' artistic needs around the world. A fine arts, mural, trompe l'oeil and design consulting firm, Freccia Studios brings artists and craftspeople into a collaborative work process with clients to create and enhance commercial and residential environments. Working in close conjunction with architects and designers, as well as establishing a strong interior design consulting platform, Freccia Studios is equipped to handle the most unique and creative interior design challenges. In recent years, our strong focus on residential spaces has led to extensive commissions for murals, large and small scale paintings and custom designed, hand-painted furniture.

Freccia Studios represents clients in Asia, Europe, and the US including Sony Entertainment Group, NYC; Rockefeller Center, NYC; Henri Bendel, NYC; Barneys New York (6 locations nationwide); US Open, Flushing, NY; Elliott's Seafood Restaurant, Seattle; the United Nations, NYC; The Greenbrier, West Village, a resort hotel outside of Tokyo; as well as private residences in the US and Europe.

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