12 Jul 2019Mont Marte

How to paint a beetle sculpture

In our last Hercules Beetle lesson we showed you how to create your sculpture using polymer clay. This time around we're bringing it to life with acrylic paints!

Step 1. Painting the undercoat

Squeeze out some Lamp Black onto a small palette. Use a medium filbert to give the entire beetle a thin coat of paint.

Step 2. Glazing on the Burnt Umber

Squeeze out some Burnt Umber in the dimension range onto the palette and lay a thin coat over the entire beetle. Scrub it on so the coat is quite thin and you can see the colour beneath.

Step 3. Dry Brushing the body

Create a mix from 1 part Yellow Ochre to 1 part Titanium White. Use a small brush and charge it with some paint. Wipe some of the paint off onto a paper towel and dry brush the body but not the legs. Keep the brush very dry so no detail is lost.

Step 4. Painting the wing casings

The wing casings can be created by following the steps below:

1) Paint the wing casings with a mix of 1 part Yellow Ochre to 1 part Titanium White. Let this dry.

2) Give the casings a second coat with the same colour. Whilst this coat is still wet, blend in some Red Ochre along where the casings meet. Let this coat dry.

3) Squeeze out some Metallic Yellow Acrylic Paint and cover the casings. Let this dry and apply a second coat.

Step 5. Detailing

Squeeze out some Lamp Black and some Burnt Umber and apply small dots of the Lamp Black over the casings. Make the dots are irregular and random. Next apply some Burnt Umber dots around the central line where the two casings meet.

Step 6. Creating the environment

In this step we will be adhering leaves onto the base.

Squeeze out some size onto a palette. Use a medium flat brush to apply a liberal amount of the size onto the base and let this dry.

Use leaves and apply them to the base in a random order so they look natural.

Sprinkle sand onto the base.

Turn the base upside down and pour out the excess sand and discard it.

Trim the excess off the leaves around the edge of the base with a hobby knife.

Material List

  • Gallery Series Brush Set Acrylic 4pce
  • Leafing Size 60ml
  • Dimension Acrylic Premium 75ml (2.5 US fl.oz) Tube - Burnt Umber
  • Dimension Acrylic Premium 75ml (2.5 US fl.oz) Tube - Red Ochre

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