Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Time for some colour

The thing about paper sculpture is that it looks totally different when it's painted.  Paint usually emphasizes the sculpture's contours, though it can sometimes obscure some of the details.  The kind of sculpture I make is intended to be painted, and really needs paint in order to work.

This is what my bone sculpture looks like now it's painted:

With bone, I think the secret to getting a satisfactory colour is using many thin layers of paint.  I use acrylic paints, which tend to be fairly flat and don't have the kind of depth that oil paints have.  Acrylic paints are cheap and convenient, but creating a painted surface with good depth and complexity using acrylics requires a bit of work.  This panel with the cross section of a femur has up to seven layers of paint in places.

Panel one

That texture you can see there underneath the femur is done with paint, just to make the panel a bit more interesting.  I've got a tube of Payne's Grey that's kind of old and claggy and it makes some great impasto effects, of which this is an example.

The other two panels use much the same process of layered paint, with some red to highlight the Haversian canals which carry nerves and blood vessels in real bone.

Close up of panel two

Close up of panel three