Marvelous books from Editions Vial

I seem to have amassed a considerable library, the majority (by volume) of which are design and architectural books. A large number of the most amazing and useful décor books in my library come from the French publisher, Editions H. Vial.

I have hunted these books which are, with rare exception, inexplicably unavailable via the "usual" US outlets, but I have had the good fortune of acquiring a number of them in person, at the fabulous bookstore of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, and at the recent Chicago gathering of the International Salon of Decorative Painters, where Vial premiered the new (bilingual) book of decorative painting techniques by master trompe l'oeil artist  Michel Nadaï.

Michel was good enough to inscribe a copy of his book for me.

Michel Nadai's book as well as many others in Vial's catalogue are available in the U.S. through  Pierre Finklestein's on-line shop.


some my favorites are:

Art and Techniques of Grottesque
Identifying Marble
Decoration de Bois et Marbres
Chefs d'OEvre des Marqueteurs
Modeles de Peinture Polychrome sur Meubles
Meubles et Décors Peints
Painting the Van der Kellen WayImitations et décors à l'école Van der kelen   from the prestigious Van der Kelen Institut supérieur de peinture.



Trompe l'oeil faux travertine casings

Trompe l'oeil to the rescue!
In our current project, the huge windows of the two-story living room have somewhat undersized casings.

So we enlarged them, with a faux travertine finish and some trompe l'oeil egg and dart mouldings.

<------ Samples of the faux finishes

The stone finish makes the casings feel more substantial, and the additional border helps balance the size of the large windows.

To create the travertine finish, a coat of glaze (raw umber + white) is painted over an off-white eggshell finish paint.
A piece of pleated tissue paper is laid on the wet glaze, then smoothed over with a tooth spalter, and quickly removed.
This is repeated with a lighter coloured glaze on top.
This technique gives a fairly convincing textured effect similar to a foro romano travertine limestone.

The egg-and-dart moulding is created using a stencil to block in the "shadow" areas. Additional details are painted in by hand. in this way we can make each one slightly different so they don't look too new or machine-made
Warm white highlights are added as well as some shadows on the wall around the new "casings."
Subtle trompe l'oeil "joints" in the casings help make them look more convincingly assembled from carved stone.

The finished windows have more support for their size
and lend some classic Italian atmosphere to the room.

click on any image to view larger

Lynne Rutter Murals & Decorative Painting