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  • Painting figures

    I have been carving for about 6 months and have done several caracture carvings. Before painting, I give each one a coat of boiled linseed oil mixed with a little raw umber. After it dries I pant the carving with artist oil colors thinned with a trupine tine-like product. In reading on the subject of caracture carving, I see many carvers use acrylic paints thinned with water. I tried this technique and the water soaked into the carving a caused the grain to raise and get a fuzzy look. I even tried pretreating the carving with the linseed/raw umber mixture to slow the absorbtion of water into the carving. I still ended up with raised grain and a fuzzy look. So, my question is: what are the steps to successfully paint a caracture carving with thinned acrylic paints?
    Thanks,
    J. Hogan
    Virginia ???

  • #2
    Re: Painting figures

    Hi J. H.,

    you could try this: get a piece of scrap of the same kind of wood, moisten it with water until it becomes just as fuzzy, scrape off the 'hair' with a sharp chisel, and repeat, if needed. Most likely pretty soon that fuzzy look will be gone, even if you moisten it again. If that works, you could prepare your projects exactly the same way and last of all paint them. - Let us know about your results!

    Uwe

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    • #3

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      • #4
        Re: Painting figures

        I have heard others comment on this problem but I honestly have not
        encountered this in my painting. Some well known carvers will even clean
        a dirty carving prior to painting with a toothbrush scrubbing of a few drops of
        detergent in a glass of warm water followed by a brief rinsing under the
        faucet and immedaite blotting dry. I have used dilute acrylics for 13 years
        without the raised grain problem on my caricature carvings. I place 3 drops
        of well mixed paint in a well and then fill it with water. Mix them well. Use a
        damp brush to apply.

        Oils, acrylics, and water colors each have their own attributes with +'s
        and -'s. I do not seal the wood prior to painting. It seems that the sealant
        does such a good job that the paint thereafter applied lays on top of the
        wood instead of penetrating the wood. The penetration will give you the
        stained appearance. The heavy dense plastered 'ceramic' look is what you
        don't want. One thing is for sure. A bad paint job can absolutely ruin an
        otherwise excellent carving. I have spent many hours painting a figure.
        Blending and shading are important elements in painting. Wet on wet,
        highlighting, and repeated washes are things you should try. Repeated
        washes will allow you to achieve the intensity of color that you prefer while
        avoiding the ceramic look mentioned earlier. You also need to familiarize
        yourself with a color wheel. They can be picked up at art supply stores for a
        nominal charge. Learn about complimentary colors etc.
        Keep experimenting. Good luck.

        Tony

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        • #5

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          • #6
            Re: Painting figures

            Bandaid,
            I have had the same experience with end grain. If you are staining, the staining preparation from MinWax helps. As for acrylics, there are some clear sealers that seem to help. However, the ones that completely seal the surface can leave the surface slick and watered paint seems to adhere selectively, leaving a worst looking paint job than if you painted bare wood. I wonder what would happen if I used the MinWax stain sealer and painted over it with diluted oil paints? Anybody tried this?

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            • #7
              www.carvingpatterns.com

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              • #8

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                • #9

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                  • #10
                    Re: Painting figures

                    I have never tried windex as a paint thinner for airbrushing, though I imagine it was added to act as a flow medium. Not being familiar with the content of this product I can only theorize about its efficiency. Flow mediums are nearly a 'must use' item when airbrushing to obtain the best results. I have used denatured alcohol in the past with good results, and have even heard of artists useing ordinary saliva - though not my recommendation.
                    Alcohol keeps the pigment particles in suspension and does not affect the drying or final color. A commercial flow medium is still the best choice along with a couple drops of retarder. Windex might be good for clean-up after painting.

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