Friday, June 3, 2011


Here is a simplified step by step of the skin painting for the demon as promised.
 This is a flat piece of Baby ProSculpt clay all ready for painting.
 The palette of Blush, Adobe Red, and Plum with puddles of retarder ready to be mixed.
 Blush is mixed with retarder to make a semi-transparent glaze which is stippled onto the clay. You can see the stippling creates a texture of more and less transparent areas.
The Adobe Red and retarder mix goes on next leaving areas of the blush showing through. You do not want an even spaced layer of paint. This is all done wet on wet so the colors can blend. If you get too much red, just go back with the blush to lighten it in areas.
The plum color is done in the same manner. You want even fewer and more erratic splotches of the plum as you apply it.
 Once the base color of the monster skin is done to your liking, a small brush is used to apply the random splotches of Plum using the same paint/retarder mix. Be sure to vary the size, shape, and placement of the splotches.
Once the paint has dried, I decided that I want my pigmentation to be under the top layer of the skin. This gives a more natural look to the skin and protects the paint from getting damaged in transit. A layer of Translucent Liquid Sculpy is smeared on with my finger.
In this photo I am trying to show that the Translucent Liquid Sculpy is a thicker coat.  If you get too thick the TLS will become cloudy-white which works for some effects but not this one.
The TLS is cured with the heat gun.
 In this close-up you can see the dividing line between the painted area covered with TLS ( it has a slightly more brown look to it than the painted area. The Blush base is also toned down a little as you look through the layer of TLS. In person, it has a very cool look to it as you can see the paint is under the top layer of skin.
This makes great monster skin as well as really old people.
Hope you have enjoyed the tutorial. Next time I will do a little lesson on superheating just for my good friend Betty Lou in Naperville.
Have a great day!


  1. This is awsome Mark,,,, thank you.... I do have a question for you though.... when painting a realistic skin effect, with the 3 part retarder to 1 part acrylic paint, I find that it darkens the folds of the sculpture too much... am I using too much acrylic paint? Also, the paintbrush seems to leave little streaks on the piece? Oh boy, what am I doing wrong? The only thing that I can think of is that I am using too much acrylic, maybe not the correct ratio? Or maybe taking too long to clean up? I could cry right now.... thank you for all your help Mark! hugs, carla g.

  2. Mark, thank you! I have an elderly lady (porcelain LOL) that I need to paint.
    hugs K

  3. Great stuff, thanks for showing us! =) I also thought TLS might be the easiest way to protect paint from rubbing off, rather than using varnish glazes which I'm a bit worried about because some have mysteriously developed tackiness or stickiness several months after being put on a sculpture. Is it okay to cure with a heat gun for TLS? I'm advised that oven baking is the surefire way for ensuring everything is dry, but I know from my own heat gun experiments that TLS becomes clear when it is fully dry. But I have had a little trouble with TLS as skin one one of my sculpts... it is somehow getting air bubbles under it sometimes. I'm not sure how this can happen as they appear days after the curing of the TLS when everything looks fine, and I put on a good even layer, and then suddenly a few little air pockets seem to have appeared. You don't ever get that?

  4. Thank you, Mark!! Wonderful!!

  5. Carla,*** These comments refer to normal skin tones-not Monster skin: Perhaps try more retarder. I use about 10:1 ratio for most washes. I also apply the wash, wipe extra off with a rag, then use a mop brush to go over the entire surface before moving on. This gives an even tone and lets you blend out brush strokes as well as remove color from folds if you wish. I actually like color in the folds which I why I use the washes. The entire painting of a full figure takes about five minutes so the paints are still wet while working.
    Alex, For normal sculpture like the child, I do not use TLS as a sealer. I have found that washes work best as they simply stain the clay so no top coat of sealer is needed. I agree with you about sealers, I have found they get tacky after a few years. Most bubbles under TLS I have found are due to trapped moisture. As the product cures, it cures from the outside by forming a skin so if you have too much TLS the lower layer is still wet as the upper layer has set. This means the moisture from the lower layer has nowhere to go so it bubbles as it trys to get out. Just my observation.I only use TLS on projects like the Monster Skin so bubbles are not an issue and can add to the effect.

  6. Mark, thank you so much for your response.... I will try that, hopefully later on today. Many hugs and thanks to you dear Mark. carla g.