Have you ever been to Italy? Florence, more specifically. There are so many wonderful examples of sgraffito on building's exterior walls.
Sgraffito is a process of layering tinted plaster in contrasting colors and then scratched to produce an outline drawing.
I recently had the opportunity to create a little illusion of sgraffito on an exterior fountain wall.
Hardie board was used for the wall and then troweled over with tile mortar. The mortar was tinted three different shades of dusty pink, leaving the strongest band at the top for the design.
Some of the medium pink is seen through the main part of the wall as the last coat was skipped troweled to give partial coverage.
The lion head was an "as is" damaged piece with a large chunk missing from the mane. That was filled in and colored to match and made the lion look good as new for a steal of a price.
The sunlight is beautiful against the trim and lion creating nice shadows on the plaster.
Now for the fun part! I needed an authentic, intricate design to use on the top of the wall to imitate sgraffito. (Yes, true sgraffito was the first option, but when this stencil was found, plans changed) The stencil is from the fabulous Helen Morris of Stencil Library and is under the gothic and medieval stencils in the border stencil section.
Here is the completed project. The illusion is complete!