Tuesday, January 18, 2011

SATYR (painting)

Good icy morning to you all! We had an inch of snow followed by sleet, then rain. Good day to sculpt. If only I did not have this miserable cold! This is the view outside my studio window this morning.
Okay, the snow blower has died so I just finished clearing the driveway by hand. Onto the work of the day!

If at first you don't succeed... Here is another failure which I felt was important to share. Would not want you to think that all you are getting is the best of my work. I did the first paint job on this guy last night using my regular acrylic washes. Decided that I wanted a different color for a woodland creature, more earthy. So I cleaned him off and started again. This time I decided to use oils. Thought I had it until this morning when I looked at him in the daylight instead of my studio lights. Epic failure number two. Too earthy! Even a bit too red. So now it was back to the start again. I decided this time to take you through the steps with me.

I was shooting for a color like the female here however, I broke my own rule of painting which is not to paint at night. 
 A little work with acetone, a rag, and a stiff brush and we get back down to the basic clay again. Don't be afraid to start over if you mess up!
 I will use Windsor Newton water mixable oils to patina the skin for this figure. A mix of 4 parts Yellow Ocher, 2 parts Raw Umber, 1 part Raw Sienna are mixed straight from the tubes without diluting them.

 The paste is applied with a stiff brush.
 A mop brush is used to move the paint around a little more so there are no thick layers on the figure.
An old water color brush is used to stipple the surface and even-out the paint. I want to stain the skin more than paint it.
 Basic skin tone is done.
I add 2 parts Raw Umber to the mix and use that on the lower part of the leg. This is blended up into the upper leg.
 This same amended mix is used to add darker pigmentation to some areas for contrast.
 The finished base coat on the front. I have darkened the armpits, crotch, under the jaw, center line of the torso, and around the nipples.

And the back. I have darkened the back of the elbow, the spine, the crack of the backside, and base of the neck.

He will now go into the oven at 170 for 2 hours to accelerate the drying process so I can do the next step in the paint job. More on that later today (?) Maybe after a nap!
Have a great day!

 ** This is wet paint. The color will shift when it is dry. It will also lose the sheen.

Wanted to add these since they are part of the painting for today. Sorry, I am working then posting in real time these days to keep up.
 He has come out of the oven and cooled down enough to work. Wanted to show that the drying need not take long if the paint is applied thinly.
The next step is to polish the surface with a soft cloth. This will add a slight sheen to the skin just like ours. It also removes any wet paint so if in doubt, wait a few days to do this!
 I hope you can see the difference in the polished surfaces here.
 I then add highlights with Adobe Red acrylic paint and a dry-brush technique to add some color back into the skin.

Next we will look at the eyes. Tata!


  1. for those of us who have to lay our work down to bake them, how do you suggest handling this? won't laying it on a bed of fiberfill or a washcloth (a)keep the paint from curing, or (b) rub some of it off? I know you can just leave this to dry on its own, but I know some people use heat set oils. I use a heat gun on the face, but I can't seem to get the body to cure completely, and suffer the above problems. Suggestions? Thanks!

  2. Mark, do you ever sand your pieces? If so, how do you do it?
    Many thanks, as always.

  3. Bev, The water mixable oils will dry and set by themselves with out the oven but will take days. You can use the heat gun to dry/set them. It takes a few minutes but then should wait a few days to be sure before moving on.
    Heat set oils are designed to set at a low temperate so again, the heat gun will set them. If you are concerned, set with the gun then lay on fiberfill (not a washcloth as it will rub off paint)and place in the oven. You will not hurt the paint by drying too long.
    Carla, I do sand the women. I will be doing her next and will explain.
    BTW, the female in the first photo is a sample I sculpted from one of the barn classes. She has been hanging around for a few years now- can't decide what she wants to be so she is a stand-in when needed.

  4. Thanks Mark, I'll give that a try - previous attempts at completely setting a full paint with just the heat gun have failed. I'm sure it's a matter of practice with the gun (tricky to set the Genesis, but not scorch the figure). Part of my problem with using the gun is (I'm sure) due to the fact that my figures are small, and thus more prone to scorching fingers and noses.

  5. Lovely work! =)

    I have a question though, which comes from my repeated disasters with oven-drying my painted sculpts. Would this be 2 hours at 170 Farenehit or Celcius? Sounds like a stupid question I know, but after following the instructions for genesis paints exactly and ruining a sculpt I was quite proud of, I am so worried about trying this technique with other paints too, and that sounds like a very long time in the oven...?

    Thanks if you have time to reply...