Mezzo-fresco is painted on nearly-dry plaster, and was defined by the sixteenth-century author Ignazio Pozzo as "firm enough not to take a thumb-print" so that the pigment only penetrates slightly into the plaster. By the end of the sixteenth century this had largely displaced the buon fresco method, and was used by painters such as Gianbattista Tiepolo or Michelangelo. This technique had, in reduced form, the advantages of a secco work.
Because of the secretive nature of Banksy's work and identity, it is uncertain what techniques he uses to generate the images in the stencils, though it is assumed he uses computers for some images due to the photographic quality of much of his work. He mentions in his book Wall and Piece that as he was starting to do graffiti, he was always either caught or could never finish the art in one sitting. He claims he changed to stencilling while hiding from the police under a rubbish lorry, when he noticed the stencilled serial number. He then devised a series of intricate stencils to minimise time and overlapping of the colour.
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