View Full Version : Let's Make a Lunette

07-31-2006, 08:39 PM
Hi, a little fun with classics let's make a lunette.


A semicircular painting usually created to be displayed over a door or a window with a vault above it. Lunettes also appear at the tops of some altarpieces.

First off, I've never made one, so there will be bumps along the way.
I hope you join in with your experiences making a lunette.


07-31-2006, 08:41 PM
Here are some traditional examples


07-31-2006, 08:42 PM

07-31-2006, 08:43 PM

07-31-2006, 08:45 PM

this one is in a book instead of over an object like another painting or door

07-31-2006, 08:48 PM
Mihajlo Hamzic: Baptism of Christ

Study for The Fall of Gog and Magog lunette

Madonna and Child with Donors, lunette, ca. 1365
Giovanni da Milano

Chalk Drawing/Plan

07-31-2006, 09:02 PM

Bartolomeo di Giovanni The Trinity, lunette, tempera on wood panel; painted surface 5 1/8 x 10 1/4 inches (13 x 26 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.
This lunette was placed within the same frame as, and over a painting by Botticelli, The Last Communion of Saint Jerome, dating from the early 1490s.


Michelangelo Buonarroti (Italian, 1475-1564), Jacob and Joseph, 1505, fresco, a detail of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, Vatican.


Raphael (Raffaello Sanzio or Santi) Madonna and Child Enthroned with Saints, altarpiece, c. 1504, tempera and gold on wood; main panel, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.

from artlex


07-31-2006, 09:07 PM
While your drawing or painting will be the most important consideration,
I did play around trying to make a frame without using paint.

Hard for me to not use paint.

Also I am trying to keep images down to a small size to keep the
page from taking to long to load.

So here are some photos of my experience.

You can do these lunettes your way by the way.
Share what you know and help us all learn.

07-31-2006, 09:13 PM

Here I have drawn out my semi circle with pencil and used the base of a lamp shade for my tool to get a good circle outline. Do you know how hard it is to find something round? lol

I left the bottom about an inch high.

This is on canvas, from one of those canvas pads 12 x 16 inches.

The semi circle is 12 long by 8 high.

*there has to be an easier way than what I've done.

07-31-2006, 09:15 PM

This is gold tissue paper from an old gift wrap.

07-31-2006, 09:18 PM

glue and a brush


the glue is on the opposite side of my semi circle drawing

07-31-2006, 09:21 PM

just smoothed the gold paper down with my hand pressure, not worried about wrinkles, like wrinkles, you can get rid of wrinkles if you like.


punched a hole throught the canvas on the front side with a knife so I can cut out the semi circle. Be careful.

07-31-2006, 09:24 PM

see, I messed up. tore the paper, but I will just put more glue on and patch the tear.

First time I am being careful to see what I am cutting.


the black board is the back of the canvas pad, handy little piece of board.
plus I am using scissors not the knife to cut the shape out. just used the knife to punch the hole. ;)

07-31-2006, 09:26 PM

patch for tear, just pieces torn from the paper and glued.


here I've trimed the paper edges, looks pretty good,
I found some little gold cord in the gift wrap box, should make a nice edge around the interior of the semi circle but that will be later.

07-31-2006, 09:32 PM

Here I am trying out an image to see how it will look.

First, make sure I measure to fit my composition withing the space.
I added a little gold strip to the sides here, but that messes up the semi

But I get an idea of how to do a frame. If you want you can just paint your frame right on the canvas with the picture you paint or draw.

I would love to hear your ideas about how to do this.

I am not sure I will do so much detail in my painting as this one.
Tiny work and I would rather go a little larger with an image.


07-31-2006, 11:15 PM
Nickel - Great project! What a fun idea!

If you needed to create a small window for texting how a small image might look as a lunette. As long as you keep the proportions the same, you can make the final version bigger.

Barb Solomon:cat:

08-01-2006, 05:44 PM
Thanks Nickel, I didnt know what lunnete was. Pretty cool thing to decorate the top of the door with artwork.

Sound like cool project, cant wait to see what you going to do and I think Susan mentioned doing a Van Gogh for hers.


08-01-2006, 06:09 PM
Thanks Barb for the advice! :D

Hi Rose, yeah, I love a circle, so it will be fun.

You can make these to go over another painting too if someone wanted to.

I am still searching for a painting I want....a seascape I think. :)

Hope you'll think about joining us. It would be nice to see one of your
florals in a semi circle composition.

Maybe just maybe we will get Barb in on this action too! :D Nickel

08-02-2006, 11:06 AM
Thanks Nickel, I didnt know what lunnete was. Pretty cool thing to decorate the top of the door with artwork.

Sound like cool project, cant wait to see what you going to do and I think Susan mentioned doing a Van Gogh for hers.

:) yes...i would like to...but its got to be probably just one on paper alone...as i dont have the supplies for a real one...hope this is okay with miss nickel:o tyree

08-02-2006, 01:41 PM
yes...i would like to...but its got to be probably just one on paper alone...as i dont have the supplies for a real one...hope this is okay with miss nickel:o tyree

That's cool with me!!!!!!:thumbsup:

I am all for it!

I know it will be pretty :D :wave: Nickel :wave:

08-15-2006, 04:25 PM
I'm back and working away. Hope to have something worthwhile to post a little later this week.:)


08-15-2006, 06:10 PM
I'm looking forward to seeing your lunette, Nickel!

Here's the mock up of what I'm thinking of doing.

I'm using GUERCINO's "Allegory of Painting and Sculpture"
(1637. Oil on canvas, 114 x 139 cm Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica, Rome) as a model, but I'm using the lunette form.

Barb Solomon:cat:


08-15-2006, 07:38 PM
This is a beautiful idea Barb.
I love the shapes of the subjects in this space.

What size are you planning?


08-15-2006, 10:50 PM
I usually do things on 16" x 20" panels, but I'm not sure how it's going to work out with this shape.

I've got some long skinny plywood panels. I may use those.

If I go with the 16" x 20", I will make it 18" and center that along the 20" side. Then, the arch is 9" high (or half the length of bottom section).

Barb Solomon:cat:

08-16-2006, 12:07 AM
barb....this is going to be beautiful...anxious to see your start!!!! tyree:wave:

08-16-2006, 10:58 AM
Thanks, Tyree! I've always loved this shape for a composition!

Barb Solomon:cat:

08-22-2006, 12:06 AM
nickel....have you worked anymore on the tall ships???? im going to start mine this week..hopefully:o tyree;)

08-22-2006, 01:14 AM
Hi Susan, I did steal some time this afternoon to work on it
I am calling it a frigate lunette :evil:

It's a bad picture color wise, maybe otherwise too...
I need to go check my reference, still void of too much detail
It's early but here tis


will see if she will sink or swim ;) Nickel

08-22-2006, 11:53 AM
Gee, Nickel, I kind of like the colors! They seem old timey to me! You did a great job on the ship and it really looks great as a lunette!
:clap: :clap: :clap:

Barb Solomon:cat:

08-22-2006, 03:01 PM
nickel....i totally agree with barb..i like the muted colour...and it does make a wonderful lunette....youve done a really nice job on this:clap: :clap: :thumbsup: :heart: tyree

08-23-2006, 08:36 PM
Thanks ladies, long way to go yet, and not sure of the path to finish.
Many many little bitty ropes to draw, paint yet. I always want to do
ships bigger and don't. Susan hope you get to work yours this weekend.


08-24-2006, 05:50 PM
Nickel - How small of a rigger brush do you have? Or do you like to use something else? :)

Try to stay patient with all of those itty bitty lines! Good luck with it! Your doing a great job!

Barb Solomon

08-24-2006, 06:55 PM
Gee, I don't think I have a rigger. I've got a few #2 script liners, I don't know which is the longer of the two or if they are about the same length and some 6/0 and 000 liners. I am using walnut oil. I wish I had started out with a less intense white. In fact, I got into the white too soon. Cad Red & Yellow plus the soft white I've used of poppy & sunflower are saying hehe as I sit and look at this painting. It's ok, no hurry from me. I like the orange glow with the blue green of the sea. It may be Christmas before I am well on my way with this painting. It will be a good study for the next time. Having a time remembering my nautical vocabulary at this moment. Another book I am reading, American Sea Power Since 1775. I have a fondess for study of the American Revolution. Charmed by the seas of Malta. That is a painting that is sure to come if I live long enough. Thanks for suggesting a rigger....will put one on my wish list. :)

08-30-2006, 07:58 AM
Paint is getting tacky now, a few more days to dry.
Blues have been dry, it's the cads that are taking sweet time.
Been cleaning out the clothes closet.