I use stretched canvas because it bends and gives with some shrinking. Each
layer of shapes that make this relief are done over the others, and you must
start with the bottom layer and build on top of that one. You can pin it to
dry. Also make sure that you use the brush to tuck in the edges and remove
You can build up side to be high or low and add as many layers as you want.
I also make a mixture of wall board paste, glue, water and with a spatula of
palette knife drag across the shapes to make it look more like stone. Lastly
you cover everything with one layer of toilet paper and let dry.
When dry use gesso (or white house paint primer) to cover the entire piece.
With tempera add color to replicate stone or rocks and let dry. With a
mixture of oil paint (usually black and some brown) and paint thinner mix a
thick mix to be applied with stuff brushes and worked into all the cracks and
crevices. Immediately wipe off with rags as much of the oil paint as
possible and (antique) the surface. By rubbing in one direction you will
leave paint in and around the edges of the relief and wipe down to the color
in the other areas.
This can be sprayed with a clear coat of fixative or something of your choice
to protect it and bring out the layers of color. We have done replica's of
rock walls that look great when framed and hung. Any subject can be good for
this and with the putty I have experimented with hair textures and such.
Each year the students would find some new way to work with it and for a
while it was the hit of the year. I don't do it as much now because of my
small space and large art 3 and 4 classes.
( this year 30 art 3's, 27 art 4's)
I know this sounds hard but it's not and I know that it will look like stone
or rock and it is really light for how it looks.
San Jose CA