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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have some questions regarding painting your stick carvings. I have limited experience with paints other than craft type acrylics that I use on my Christmas carvings.

The craft type water based acrylics I use do not lend themselves well to allowing the details, (namely feathers or fur) carved or burned into a piece to show through. Even after thinning them out, the amount of coats required to get a vibrant color fills the details of the carving in.

In another post Cobalt brought up using artist rather than craft paint. As I have limited experience with paints I was wondering if someone could explain the difference. Is artist paint water or oil based? Does it need to be thinned to allow detail to show? Are multiple coats the norm?

Also could someone explain what they use as a tinting medium? I have used acrylic antiquing solution to color some pieces rather than use an oil based stain. I am looking for other options. Suggestions please.

Tx,

Mark
 

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Many of the "craft" or "student" pigments have a semi-opaque whitish vehicle. The vehicle is less expensive, and makes covering coats in just one or two layers. "Artist" grade will have a transparent or translucent vehicle, that may have some tone, such as the yellow of an oil, or none such as a gum resin. Depending on the color, artist grade paints can take many coats to produce on opaque covering.

Also, the lower end pigments sometimes are mixes of several colorants, and when blended, may produce unexpected results.

From what I have seen, paints were rarely used right on wood. There was usually a ground made of glue and chalk. When wood was colored, it was done w. stains or dyes that penetrated the grain. I've had decent results w. "TransTint" dyes. They can be blended with each other to produce many hues, and thinned w. alcohol for more subtlety. They are expensive, but a little can go a long way.
 

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what gdenby is saying is true

a good arists paints has more colour pigment in and also less water ,although craft paints they can look thick its usually chalk to thicken it up but it wont cover as well. and dosnt give the rich colour it also tends to dry lighter.

The early atists oftern used oil based paints to paint on wood, oil carrys paint well and does help to soak the pigments into the wood.Oils give a much richer colour and looks great on wood but the drying / curing time is very long

If i i just partly paint something with acrylic i varnish the piece ( A thin sloution mixed with water so it soaks in it will stop the colours from bleeding))1st then just paint 1 coat on the peice with good paints you can do this,

The duck was just varnished then just one coat of paint was given , i did however mix the paints1st then to darker the bits like the crown and the back of the ducks head i added blue to the paint i had already mixed then i just used wet on wet.The same applied to lighter parts using white. and to get the pearlescent look you will have to mix that in with the paint 1st before you apply the main colour

Acylic paint can often give a flat look and dosnt give the richness that oil paint give you but the curing time is very quick .

I also use both hog hair brushes and sable but good quality nylon are okay , but dont use cheap brushes you will find they dont pick up the paint very well and they dont hold there shape whilst your trying to get detail.

Hog hair brushes means you can get into those grooves well and if applied thick you can texture the piece but if its going to handled a lot it can flake of so if it is going to be thick add some pva glue it will help stop that , otherwie to get the texture useing a shade colour use the dry brush technique

The sable/ nylon brush will allow you to use thin paint and enable you to use the brush like a pen.The sable brush is the best

Also if you want to paint all the peice i would suggest you use gesso as a primer ,but a matt varnish works , not quite as well.

one more thing dont buy cheap paint , american artist paint is good quality and goes a long way, get a good brand it will last for ages and clean the brushes well after
 

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I think there are as many answers to your question as people that paint. I fall in to the thinner pain more grain group. I have adopted the method " Lynn Doughty" uses.

(Out West Woodcarving) . He has a number of painting videos on his site. The wood you are painting also makes a differences. But That possess has worked well for me.That not to say it is the best. Just what I like doing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I will have to check out some of Lynn's videos as I saw some of his work first hand at the Dayton show and it was outstanding.

The pic of the goose is a great example of the paint not over powering the carving's details. Excellent piece!

My lack of experience with paints has kept me from doing much paint work. (Christmas caricatures excluded) I suppose I'm not going to learn much without experimenting, right?

I have a couple of pieces of designer "firewood" that are up for painting practice!!

Great thing about this hobby is you never quit learning.

Thanks for the feedback one and all.
 

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Just to make things even more difficult... It is not just the paints, but the brushes. Crummy brushes will drive one crazy as their hairs fall off, and embed in the paint. The bristles don't seem to hold as much paint.

I never had enough patience to work w. oils, and so it was acrylics, watercolors and inks for me. For detail, I preferred sable brushes for a long time. Eventually, I relied on bamboo handled calligraphy brushes, which I could use for as much detail as I wanted. Didn't cost as much, but wore out more quickly.

So far, on the sticks I've colored, medium quality watercolor brushes have worked well enough with the alcohol diluted dyes.
 
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