Foundation course

Decorative Painter's Foundation Course.

♦ Join us in beautiful southwest France for our signature course !

The Decorative Painter's Foundation course is a full-time comprehensive program that will  provide you with a solid base of skills and know-how, and then take you to advanced levels in a rapid and progressive way. 

This program is composed of 3 main sections or modules that can be taken as a full-time three months course or as a part-time course if you choose to come for one or two modules only.  Each module is made up of 4 or 5 weeks, which can be taken altogether or individually depending on the subject matter.  Whether you sign up for the full-time course or come for one or two modules, the program covers a very broad range of skills that have been selected to fit the needs of today's decorative painters and artisans.


Our next autumn/winter session will be held in our new atelier in the town of AGEN in the Lot et Garonne. 
This is to facilitate transportation and also to give access to a wider choice of accommodation.  Agen can be reached by bullet train from Paris, either directly from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport or from Montparnasse train station (quicker).  For more information on accommodation in Agen and how to get to the new venue please don't hesitate to write to us.

Decorative Painter's Foundation course: 
15 weeks, with a total of 525 hours of class.

Module I:  
Wood graining and imitation marble
Module II:  Moldings and ornaments of style painted in trompe-l’œil 
Module III:  Panoramics and Painted Murals
Final week:  simulating real-life working experience




Modules I-II-III (can be taken as a full-time course or by individual modules or weeks)

September 17th 2018 to January 11th, 2019
Full-time course composed of 15 weeks, with a total of 525 hours of training.

You can sign up for the entire course program or pick individual modules of your choice.  Please scroll down below to see an outline of the 3 modules.

Our next course will be held in our new atelier in the town of Agen (postal code 47000).
Objectives and who can apply
This course is open to all levels, whether you're a beginner or have many years of experience.  It is a unique training program in the European traditional decorative painting techniques.  This curriculum is designed to meet the needs of today's decorative painter and will walk you through the core fundamentals and then take you through more advanced techniques and know-how.  Once you master both, the basics and the more advanced techniques, you will gain confidence as a decorative painter. 

Training provided by internationally recognized decorativ
e painting artist, Michel Nadaï, who is also authorMaster Craftsman, and Best Craftsman of France award recipient.  This year we are delighted to have guest instructor Caterina Manisco, who will come and teach a beautiful Grotesca panel during week 5 of Module II.


To request course brochure please fill in the form on our CONTACT page


Module I - Wood Graining and Imitation Marble (5 weeks / 175 hours of class)
Dates: September 17th 2018 to October 19th, 2018

Michel Nadaï
Patrick Curmi (for 1st week - preparing the substrate)

Quick outline of the course
- Prepareing the substrate before and after
- Wood graining techniques
- Imitation marble techniques

Atelier Nadaï cours_faux_marble

Module II Moldings and Ornaments of Style painted in Trompe-l'oeil (5 weeks / 175 hours of class)
Dates: October 22nd 2018 to November 23rd, 2018
Instructor: Michel Nadaï
Instructor: Caterina Manisco (for week 5 -the Art of Grotesca)

- Techniques of architectural trompe-l’œil
- Techniques of filage (lining) and painting linear trompe-l’œil effects
- Understanding the various molding profiles
- Techniques of painting decorative moldings in trompe-l’œil
- Techniques of painting decorative ornamentations of style in trompe-l’œil
- Techniques of relief
- Techniques of pounced patterns
- Creating patina and aged finishes
- Composition of style
- Techniques of painting Grotesca ornaments with egg tempera

trompe-loeil_ornament_of_style by Michel Nadaï

Module III (4 weeks / 140 hours of class)
November 26th, 2018 to December 21st, 2018
Michel Nadaï

- Techniques of mural and ceiling perspective for decorative painters
- Harmony of colors
- The different plans and formats for mural paintings

- Rendering of painted mural
- Techniques of painting a sky
- Techniques of painting clouds

- Techniques of painting drapery
- Painting a landscape
- Painting trees and foliage
- Painting architectural elements
- Techniques of painting a figure
- Painting a seascape


close_up_of_fountain by Michel Nadaï   Mural by Michel Nadaï

Final week:  simulating real-life working experience
This week is part of the complete course.
Each student will be given a project that they will have 5 days to complete.

Limited class size during the three modules allows for ample one-on-one training.

*highlight of the program is for informative purpose; the program may therefore receive modifications if necessary

Wall art - Trompe-l'oeil and painted mural by Michel Nadaï