Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Scale painting

Here is a quick step by step of how the scales on the mermaid are painted.

I used my scale tool to create a sample.
I will be using Perfect Pearls embossing powder to color the tail. (Got them at AC Moores)
I want a green/gold surface so I started with a covering of gold brushed onto the raw clay.
Completed gold on the surface.
The green is brushed from the bottom of the scales upward so the green is deposited in the cut under each scale.
 I want the clay color to show so I wipe the scales from top to bottom forcing some powder into the clay surface and removing the excess. The amount of pressure applied will determine how much powder is left in each scale.
 This image shows the wiped surface on the right side  and the original powdered surface on the left.
I added and baked a layer of Translucent Liquid Sculpy on the right side to smooth the transition from scale to scale. This is not needed but I liked the look as it smooths the scales down to look more "fish-skinned"

Looking up from the bottom of the scales to compare the right side with TLS and the left without TLS.

The mermaid skin is washed in a mix of Adobe Red Acrylic and Extender then wiped down.
The sailor has a combination of two washes: Raw Umber/retarder and Adobe Red/retarder.

 Thanks for taking a look. Have a great day!


  1. Interesting effect; I never considered using the pearl powders on raw clay - I tend to use them in conjunction with paint washes over the baked clay.

    I love how 'new' uses for old stuff can be shared by a group of artists! Thanks!

  2. I've used this technique before and it has amazing results, but I haven't tried using TLS over the top of the powders. Bravo, Mark!

  3. Thank you for all this helpful pictures.

  4. I've found applying chalk pastel works in the same way on raw clays, only found that out recently, and it avoids the problem of paint on baked clay which has caused problems for me before... but I'll definitely look into embossing powder for metallic effects, so far I've been using Golden Interference paints, but this may be much cheaper and better.

    Thanks again Mark :)

  5. I keep checking here daily, it just hit me, this week Mark is doing his workshop in the barn and the winner of his BiRTHDaY drawing Laura is participating... can not wait to hear about the workshop! Have FUN ALL!


  6. Very nice can we see a finished pic?

  7. This one is my favorite, is so beautiful and I love mermaids