Saturday, April 20, 2013

2D to 3D and Back

-By Tim Bruckner

Some time ago, Arnie Fenner commissioned me to do a Barbarian statue. I sketched up some designs and with his approval, started the clay to wax, to finished resin casting.

Arnie wanted a faux bronze finish to his piece. And knowing Arnie as a man of refined and unerring taste, I willingly complied. (You can read more about that commission HERE)

I had an extra casting in the studio and kept thinking about how I could finish it in color. The more I thought about it, the less convinced I was it could be done and not look silly, or cheap, or both.

One morning, encouraged by a pot of strong coffee and deadline lull, I thought about trying to replicate Frank’s color choices and paint treatment on the statue. I made an enlargement of a section of the painting and dug in.

A couple of hours in, I knew I was in over my head. A couple hours after that, I started to see how it could work. I have no doubt that any of the professional statue painters out there would have had a much easier time of it. I’m primarily a sculptor who paints and my painting skill is pretty rudimentary.  But, undaunted I plunged ahead.

I used cel-vinyl which I use almost exclusively for all my paint applications but used it much more as water color in a series of washes that utilizing it for its opacity.  To keep the focus on the figure while still holding to the feel of the painting, I kept the color scheme of the base really simple and impressionistic. The blood effect was achieved by mixing some cel-vinyl with clear gloss varnish and applying it in heavy brush-runs over the sculpted blood tracks.

And this is the result.


  1. I think the blood is way too bright, my eye is drawn to it rather than the figure, and it clashes with the palette of the original painting you've replicated so faithfully. I think it would look better in a much duller colour like brown madder, perhaps built up over a black base.

  2. Tim, to do the faux bronze, did you use a bronze powder in the casting or is it a paint treatment? I've used the bronze powders to mixed results. I find that the casting needs to have good texture to really have a nice look. If you used paints, which ones? I've found Testors metallics have a nice finish, but when used on large areas of coverage can leave a little to be desired.

    1. I used a variety of metallic paints. This faux bronze was done with a base coat of Rusto-Oleum Metallic Antique Brass Metallic, then a paint in and rub out of Sophisticated Finishes Blackened Bronze. I did a little dry brushing with a bronze Lquitex. Then I went back in and did some detail work mixing several acrylic browns with a Studio Bronze by Lascaux.


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