Wondering how to "finish" your sculpture to give it more depth? Consider applying a basic patina with an acrylic paint wash. If you read my article last week regarding creative inspiration, it featured a head sculpture in various stages of creation. In this article, I will discuss adding a patina to finish the sculpture.
Some people choose a clean look for their finished pieces. By clean, I mean no added patina or paints. The work of http://www.littlelazies.com is a perfect example of an artist who frequently doesn't add a patina or much paint to the finished sculptures. They look amazing by the way.
I on the other hand, can't seem to not add a patina. The way the paint fills in and accents the lines, cracks and crevices of my critters appeals to me visually. Most of the time, the eyes are hand painted too. Though I do have to say that of the entire sculpting process, this final part is my least favorite. Oftentimes, a pile of critters amasses before I set about applying the paint/patina.
To add the patina, first bake and cool your piece. I tend to choose a dark acrylic paint such as chocolate brown or black plum. Cheap paint will work just fine for this. You'll need some random pieces of sponge to wipe off excess paint. I use cut up kitchen sponges. Dampen the sponges and wring out almost all of the water. Apply the paint in a thick coat to small sections at a time. You do not want the paint to dry on the sculpture. Wipe the paint off with the sponge, leaving paint in the cracks and crevices that you want to highlight. You may need to rinse out your sponges several times before you are done. I've included some photos of these stages for you to see.
As always, you can hop over to my critter Facebook page to see more of my work and inspiration at https://www.facebook.com/MirandasCritters/ .