how to paint plaster

In this case I used a pre-purchased plaster bas-relief (but doing it yourself is not very difficult), today I just wanted to illustrate a method to color them and therefore it's fine.

The first phase consists in spreading the color; I prefer to use very diluted watercolors or tempera but other water colors are fine too; the brushes must be round with soft hair, the size depends on the size of the details to be colored.

The colors, very diluted, must be spread quickly because the plaster absorbs water quickly and in the points where the color stagnates it remains more lively than the rest and this can also be an advantage when we want to create particular effects, alternatively to obtain the darker shade just go over the same point several times, waiting, however, for the first layer to be absorbed. The colors very diluted even if dry they mix, that is if we paint a celestial layer and after dry we pass over a yellow layer we will have the green painting (see the color theory).

In this work I first passed a layer of salmon pink on half of the rays then I passed yellow on everything (white and pink), the result is this orange color.

The stains on the sides of the mouth are due to a different absorption of the color, it is likely that the plaster in those points has been filled but I am not sure.

The coloring is very fast, let it dry and move on to the polishing phase.

We take a tube of neutral shoe polish and with the help of a cloth or a brush we pass a thin layer over all the plaster; let it dry, then with a dry cloth we begin, with patience and a light touch, to polish ... just like when polishing shoes.

The final effect depends on the pre-drying time of the gloss and the softness of the cloth. Part of the color is removed together with the excess gloss and even more so if the cloth is not very soft; therefore the choice of drying time and of the cloth will influence the final effect we want to obtain.

I like the antique effect, I used a piece of light cotton canvas and I let the gloss dry a short time. The photo did not come out very well and you do not notice the reflections of light in the points in relief but the effect is very particular.

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