Monday, December 20, 2010

Moldings and Ornaments painted in Trompe-l'oeil workshop at Atelier Nadaï

We just completed our 4-week long "Moldings and Ornaments painted in Trompe-l'oeil" course, and would like to share with you some photos taken during these past four weeks.

This 4-week class is part of our 5-months program, and is another 'signature' course taught by Michel.  Emphasis is on teaching the proper techniques of trompe-l'oeil.

"Teaching the proper techniques is so fundamental", says Michel.  This course will help students build a solid foundation that, with time and practice, will result in mastery in the fabulous art of trompe-l'oeil.

We thank all the participants of this year's 4-week course, and look forward to seeing you all again for another fun class!  Merci beaucoup et à bientôt! Muchas Gracias ¡Hasta luego! 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Formation Faux Bois et Faux Marbre / Wood Graining and Imitation Marble II

Les imitations de matières, tels que le faux bois et le faux marbre, forment une partie importante dans l'apprentissage du métier de peintre en décor.  A l'Atelier Nadaï ces techniques sont enseignées dans le cadre de La Formation Complète de Peintre en Décors Nous vous invitons à voir quelques aperçus de la dernière session.

Here is a short video showing Michel doing various demos during the Wood Graining and Imitation Marble course.  This video is far from being perfect, as it was filmed with our digital camera, but we still hope you enjoy watching it!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Wood Graining and Imitation Marble - 2010 session

Here is a slide show with photos taken during our ongoing Decorative Painter's Complete Course.

The photos were taken during the 8-week Wood Graining and Imitation Marble Course, which culminated with techniques on how to paint a Sarrancolin marble.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Art & Techniques of Decorative Painting

Le Grand Prix du Livre 

Le livre de Michel Nadaï, Art et Techniques de la Peinture Décorative, a reçu une distinction de la Société Nationale des Meilleurs Ouvriers de France :

"Monsieur Michel Nadaï présente un magnifique ouvrage écrit simultanément en Français et en Anglais. Il définit la Peinture Décorative comme une invitation au rêve et même une magie avec l’art du trompe-l’oeil. L’auteur est à la fois artiste, technicien, artisan et enseignant et son ouvrage est artistique, technique et didactique. Il nous présente les techniques de base, les imitations de matières, les marbres, le bois, les pierres et matières semi-précieuses, et termine sur le trompe-l’oeil, la technique de la perspective et le panoramique.

Les professionnels comme les amateurs trouveront un grand intérêt à lire ce livre car comment ne pas apprécier l’art qui consiste à peindre un morceau de bois avec un décor bois et à le rendre ainsi plus beau et plus vrai que le bois qui a servi de support?"

Le Secrétaire Général de la Société Nationale des Meilleurs Ouvriers de France

We are very pleased to announce that Michel's book received the 'Grand Prix du Livre' award by the Société Nationale des Meilleurs Ouvirers de France.  

We wish to take this opportunity to thank the publisher and his wonderful team who were and are always a delight to work with.  And most of all, we wish to thank all of you who purchased Michel's book, for without readers a book would have no real value. MERCI BEAUCOUP!!!

“Michel Nadaï presents us with a magnificent book, written simultaneously in English and in French.  He defines Decorative Painting as an invitation to a reverie that becomes even more magical with the art of trompe-l’œil.  The author is at the same time an artist, a highly skilled technician, and an instructor, and his book is artistic, technical and informative.  He presents us with the basics, then moves on to the imitation of substances, imitation marble, wood graining, semi-precious stones and materials, and concludes with the trompe-l’œil, perspective and painted murals.

Professionals as well as amateurs will find this book very appealing, for how can we not admire an art that consists of graining over a pièce of wood, and creating a rendering that is more beautiful and more real than the actual wood that served as support?”

Le Secrétaire Général de la Société Nationale des Meilleurs Ouvriers de France

Sunday, October 17, 2010

More photos from Scotland

Stirling Castle Palace Project

It is our pleasure to add a new page to our blog today.

We invite you to click on the youtube link below to view more photos in Scotland, while Michel was working at the royal palace at Stirling Castle.

We hope you enjoy the slide show!


Stirling Castle Palace Project

In this slide show, we can see Michel Nadaï, French master decorative painter, and John Nevin and his staff working inside the king's and queen's apartments at the royal palace at Stirling Castle.  John Nevin is the owner of MacKay Decorators, which is the largest painting and decorating company in Scotland.  John, who is a multiple award winner, is also the owner of Nevin of Edinburgh.

Michel Nadaï is a world class decorative painter, awarded the life-time title of Best Craftsman of France, and has his own decorative painting school and business, Atelier Nadaï, in the southwest of France.  His best-selling bilingual book, Art & Techniques: Decorative Painting, published by Editions Vial, recently awarded the "Grand Prix du Livre" in France.

The idea behind Historic Scotland's colossal project is to bring back Stirling Castle's Royal Palace to its original splendor; consequently, the painting on the walls and ceilings had to reflect decoration in the Renaissance style.  Michel Nadaï, who is a master of trompe-l'œil, was given the wonderful task to create the designs for the apartment walls and ceilings, based on the resource materials provided by Historic Scotland.  Traditionally made paints and techniques were used to in order to remain with the spirit of the time.

When asked, French master decorative painter Michel Nadaï said that it was a great privilege to work with John Nevin and his staff on this very prestigious project, and that he greatly enjoyed his experience of living and working in Scotland.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


These past few months we had the wonderful opportunity to travel and stay in Edinburgh, Scotland for an extended period of time.  During our stay, we experienced Scotland's varied climate, which could mean anything from blizzard, snow, heavy rain, gusts of winds, and of course, the famous mist.  But Mother Nature was not always harsh with us, and sometimes offered us warm, sunny days.  And perhaps thanks to all this snow and rain, we are now rewarded for our patience and are surrounded by lush, green trees and golden fields of barely!
Our journey began in March, when Michel was offered the opportunity to work with Mr. John Nevin, owner of MacKay Decorators and Nevin of Edinburgh, on the Stirling Castle Royal Palace project.  This very big scale project actually consists of refurbishing the Royal Palace at Stirling Castle.  John Nevin, owns the largest and most prestigious painting and decorating company in Scotland, with branches in both Edinburgh and Perth, and has earned many awards for his outstanding work.   

More photos and updates will follow soon.  Meanwhile, you can find out more about the project by clicking on the links below:

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Have brush, will travel

It's almost four months that we last wrote on this blog, announcing the loss of our dear friend Pierre Lefumat.  And it's around this time, last year, that he was in our studio, offering a Master Class on imitation marble, to a wonderful group of people that will no doubt cherish this experience forever.  He will stay in our hearts, and in the hearts of all those persons he touched with his grace and his simplicity.

Pierre always had a positive attitude in life.  No matter what challenges he had to overcome, he would move on and he would reach out to others.  And he would encourage his friends to do likewise when they were faced with challenges.  In this regard, he was exceptional.

So, taking this as example, we move on and continue on our path.

This year, we find ourselves doing quite a bit of traveling for professional reasons.  The phrase "have brush, will travel" seems to correspond to us.  Since several months, we have had the opportunity to travel to Scotland for a very interesting project, which we will cover in our future blogs.  We also had the chance to travel to Finland, where I taught two one-week wood graining and imitation marble courses in June.  Trompe-l'oeil was also cover in the second week.  These were 2 intensive weeks for the students, as well as for me, the instructor.  But the enthusiasm of the students, who were eager to learn as much as possible, and their respect and kindness, made teaching these two classes a wonderful experience.  A big thanks to all of you, and to Riikka who organised this successful class for the second consecutive year!
In addition to various photos taken during our trip to Finland, we have included a short video - that's a first for us.  ENJOY!

Michel doing a demo on Vert de Mer (Sea Green Marble)

 Two one-week courses on wood graining,
imitation marble and trompe-l'oeil in Helsinki

Discovering local products, here Michel prepares his glaze using local Finnish beer

 Michel doing a demo on Feather Mahogany

 Michel checking a student's panel

Students gathered around to watch Michel's demo

 Finnish turpentine... so, how do you pronounce this...?

Oak panel by Michel

 Michel working on his Sea Green marble panel

Michel checking a student's work

Michel's completed Sea Green Marble (Vert de Mer)

Michel's trompe-l'oeil ornament over a grained background,
another subject taught in class

The birch tree, national symbol of Finland

Samba in Helsinki...!?!
In fact, it was during Helsinki's national day celebrations

The crooners...

Dancers parading in the streets of Helsinki

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Pierre Lefumat

Pour Pierre Lefumat

Aujourd’hui, pour supporter et accepter, je dois m’attacher à toutes ces heures que nous avons passées ensemble.
Parfois à parler et à se disputer pour goûter dans le rire les moments simples de l’Amitié.
Ailleurs, et seulement si l’envie venait ou que le temps s’y prête, pour peindre et rechercher les meilleures occasions pour se chamailler encore.
L’année dernière, c’était chez toi, un rendez-vous d’importance où, dans la promesse des meilleures querelles, on avait décidé d’écrire… ensemble.

Aujourd’hui, je revisite touts ces petits morceaux de temps que tu as dispersés dans ma vie, ainsi et par eux, je sais que je pourrai accueillir le refus.
Je sais quelque part que ce jour est écrit et par tous doit être vécu mais je ne peux m’empêcher d’imaginer demain, seulement nourri d’images, de sourires, d’attentions, de cette générosité particulière aux couleurs d’autrefois, de cette beauté humaine, portée avec la justesse de l’élégance connue de tous et que l’on avait apposée, pour économiser les mots, à ton prénom…Pierre.

Pierre, nous garderons tous de toi cette volonté qui te forçait à courir le monde pour la simple beauté d’un geste de métier dédié à la plus simple humilité.

Aujourd’hui s’en est fini.
Le livre est refermé.
Nous sommes tous orphelins.
Les palettes seront rangées, les brosses devront rester sèches.
La blouse blanche sera suspendue.
Les ateliers seront bouclés et les marbres camouflés,
Aucune couleur ne pourra être prononcée.
Une profession prendra le deuil.
Et, chacun, à son tour, comme il le souhaite, dira…

Michel Nadaï, Pierre Lefumat, Kyoko Nadaï

 For Pierre Lefumat

Today, it is the remembrance of all these hours we spent together that will help me bear the pain and accept this loss.
Remembrance of times during which we were just talking, or just squabbling over something, just to taste those simple moments of Friendship.
And at times, and only if the desire came or when the time was right, we would paint and seek for the best occasions to squabble with each other again.
Last year, it was at your home that we had this important rendezvous - guaranteeing another occasion to squabble over something – we had decided to write…together.

Today, I revisit all those little pieces of time that you brought into my life, and through them I can acknowledge this refusal of mine.

Inside of me, I know that such day is written and must be lived by us all, but I cannot imagine tomorrow where I will only be nourished by images… images of your smile, of your attentiveness, of your generosity that portrays the colors of a bygone era, of this inner beauty that you carried with this elegance that so characterized you… and to spare you of all those words, we just need to pronounce your name… Pierre

Pierre, we will keep of you this will that led you to travel the world with the desire to share the simple beauty of a gesture of this craft, dedicated to the simplest humility.

Today it’s over.
The book is once again closed.
We are all orphans.
The pallets will be put aside, the brushes will remain dry.
The ‘blouse blanche’ or painter’s coat will be hanging in its place.
The workshops will be closed and the marbles will be veiled,
No color will be called out.
An entire profession will be in mourning
And, each one of us, in our own way, will say…

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The completed mural

Here is the mural that was first completed in my studio and then marouflaged (glued) on to the wall.  The mural was 3.40 meters high and 2.50 meters wide. 

Photos of completed mural, done at the studio

And voila, the mural in its 'new' settings
after it has been 'glued on' to the wall.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Mural Painting Course Part II / Cours Peinture Murale

A seascape was the focus of the second part of our mural class, during which students learned how to paint the sky, the waves, the sand, vegetation, etc.

Michel: “Painting a seascape always seems to have a relaxing effect on our students… on me as well! And it also is a joy to teach.”

This section also covered painting a figure, with the study of the human form, the flesh-tone, the portrait, the hair, and the rendering of fabric (drapery).

Michel: “I like to use ‘real’ people for my murals. A big thank you to Celine – merci beaucoup – who was the model for this painting.”

In this section students also had the possibility of exploring how to do a perspective drawing ‘intuitively’. While part I of this course consisted of studying the ‘scientific’ method to render frontal perspective drawings, this part delved into how to do a perspective rendering ‘intuitively’.  Still, to succeed in such exercises, a perfect knowledge of the more ‘scientific’ approach is necessary.

As we’re coming close to the end of this 6-week course – and, incidentally, our 5-months course – we would like to thank all those who participated in the complete course and individual modules. It’s only the beginning of an exciting journey that lies ahead for all, and we wish you all the best!

We would also like to thank all our friends who ‘followed’ us in this blog.

Please keep checking our blog during the upcoming months.

Our next 5-months course resumes in the fall, with the Wood graining and Imitation marble module.  Class will start on September 27th.  Write to us to receive more information at

Michel and Kyoko Nadaï

Students watching as Michel does a demo

 Michel adding the shadows

 Michel adding finishing touches

"Paysage marin" by Michel Nadai 

close up of "Paysage Marin" by Michel Nadaï  

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Mural Painting course part I / Cours Peinture Murale

The in-depth approach to perspective allowed participants to have a real hands-on approach to this amazing subject, which is also such an important tool in mural painting.  After spending time working on perspective drawings, participants of our 6-week Panoramics and Painted Murals course were then immersed in yet another fascinating subject: framework of the image, the composition, and the use of color. 

The painting section of this class allows participants not only to paint, but to also study the techniques of painting the sky, trees, foliage, landscape, architectural elements, study and understand the different planes, etc.

Here are some photos of the first panel covered in class.

Michel preparing his canvas

 Michel showing how to paint the background

Michel doing a demo on the lion-head fountain

Work in progress: Mural with fountain, by Michel Nadaï

Close up of mural by Michel

Another close up of mural by Michel 

Ferrie, from Holland working on his panel

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR to all of our friends!  We wish you a year of happiness and joy, health, success and prosperity!

After our 2-week Christmas and New Year break, classes at Atelier Nadaï resumed on January 4th with the Panoramics and Painted Murals module.  This 6-week long program started with an in-depth study on perspective.

Perspective is a fundamental tool for us decorative painters, and this is especially true when you decide to include painted murals in your range of services.

Prior to the Renaissance, paintings lacked accurate spatial representation. Although there was an attempt to represent distance by adding larger figures and objects in the foreground and smaller ones in the foreground, the perspective rules were not really understood. When the method for drawing linear perspectives was developed in the Renaissance, it completely transformed the way artists drew and painted. These methods are still used today and help make our drawings and paintings more realistic.

The hands-on exercises and detailed step-by-step explanations presented during our 6-week Panoramics and Painted Murals module will help our students gain a better understanding of perspective. Once they understood the fundamental principles of perspective, our students will have acquired a very powerful tool that will help give their drawings and murals a much more precise and realistic rendering.

We will be posting photos taken during this 6-week course.  But before that, here are a few photos taken in front of our studio on Christmas Eve...

Bright sunset on Christmas Eve

Beautiful rainbow on Christmas Eve!