The Waldorf lazure painting method. A lazure tutorial:
On a recent visit to our local Waldorf school I was inspired by the beautifully painted walls. They were painted using a method called "Lazure", which has long been favored by Waldorf schools, and the traditions inspired by Rudolf Steiner.
|Santa Cruz Waldorf School|
Lazure a specific method of painting that consists applying layers of thin paint to a white wall. The "paint" itself is made up of water, binder, and pigment. The result has a dreamy, etherial quality.
|SC Waldorf School, Kindergarden Classroom|
I did some on-line research, and while I didn't find very many lazure painting tutorials, I was able to find a lot of inspiration, and a few "how to's" and tutorials. But, overall the directions on how to produce this lovely ethereal effect were vague. So, with my background in art and painting, I was able to piece together a method that worked.
Lazure is a very old and specific art. While my method probably doesn't exactly follow tradition, I did get the result I'd hoped for (pictured bellow).
Lazure How To:
Prep your Walls
Assemble your supplies:
You will need:
-Paint brush. A standard good quality wall paint brush like this one:
-Bowl or other container for mixing
-A soft cloth rag. I like to use cotton.
-Liquid watercolor paint. I used Stockmar Watercolor. Please see the link below for more information:
**Alternatively, if you are on a budget, instead of the watercolor paint, you could probably use one of the following:
Artist grade acrylic paint like this:
Or, use a powdered pigment, like this:
-A pigment binding medium
I used this, because it's what I had in my stash at the time. But any type of matte polymer medium will work. This should be available at any art supply store, or on Amazon. I like the brand below:
-A large sponge. It can be dry or slightly damp. I used this one:
-Cheap white acrylic paint (student grade is fine). My go-to is this:
Get ready to mix!
Mix Your Wall Paint
You want a very thin mixture of color. It should still feel watery, and not thick like regular paint. I didn't measure very precisely. But here is the rough recipe:
-2-3 cups of water
-1/4 cup of polymer binder
-1-2 teaspoons of a single water color paint (you will need to mix up a new batch for each color)
-1 tablespoon of white acrylic paint
Mix well, I used the paint brush for mixing.
Lazure baby Lazure!
The next step is to begin applying the mixture to your walls. It is VERY drippy, so apply only a small amount at a time. I started at the top of the wall, and worked my way down to the floor. This way any drips could be easily wiped up with the rag.
Then, follow up with the sponge, using the same circular/ sweeping arm motions. Imagine you are drawing "figure 8's" on the wall.
For a color that is consistent through the whole room: cover the entire wall with one color, and then layer another coordinating color on top of it. For example: blue and then yellow, would create a dreamy green.
I knew that I wanted the lazure colors to change as they moved around the room. So I applied one color at a time, fading it lighter towards either side.
|Getting ready to fade into the next color|
This way I could blend the next color in, so that it would appear like the two colors faded into one another. Again, with the next color, I started with a lighter layer (over the edge of the previous color), moved onto a heavier application of solid color. Then, I again faded it with a lighter application as I moved towards the edge. This way the colors "blended" together as they met.
|Blending Two Colors|
My first attempt yielded some less than favorable results. I soon discovered a few times I had added too much watercolor pigment, and that some colors came out more saturated than others. Lazure is supposed to be light and dreamy, not bright and obnoxious!
|Whoops! Too bright|
Instead of starting over from scratch, I was able to fix the problem. I mixed up some water, and a small amount of the white latex wall paint (that I'd originally used as a base coat for the walls). This made a transparent white wash (test in a small area first, until you reach the desired consistency). I was able to use this to "dull down" and lighten the areas that were too vibrant.
Using the large sponge, I dipped into the watery white paint and scrubbed the mixture directly onto the wall. I varied my arm strokes, sometimes swirling and sometimes using "S" curves. It is these subtle variations in tone that result in the depth of the final result.
The white paint mixture becomes more transparent as it dries.
Overall I was pleased with the end result. Working in "rainbow order" I was able to include almost all of the colors. I love the way the color of this room changes subtly as the eye glides around the space.
In our new house I used this method again to paint the walls of my boys' room. For more ideas, inspiration, and another tutorial please see my newest Lazure tutorial: HERE!
Here are some preview photos:
If you try this project, I'd love to see the results! Please feel free to add a link to your photos in the comments section.
Thanks for stopping by, and happy lazure painting!
Linking back up to these great parties: