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Caretaker of Eerie Manor
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Discussion Starter #1
I'm close to putting some color on a small grave marker. This will be the top, and I'd like the rest of the marker to match as closely as possible. The marker is made from foam. I'd appreciate any suggestions you can give with regards to a color technique. Wondering first about a base coat; gray? off white? It almost has an alabaster look to it with darker (grayish green) highlights. What would be a good way to get the highlights. You gals came to mind first with your mad skills, but anyone can chime in. Thanks!



 

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Hauntless
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8,371 Posts
First off, that is going to look awesome as a grave marker!

Okay, to match up you need to determine what base color it is. It's hard for me to tell colors on a computer so these are guesses. On your pallet take some white and a tiny, tiny dab of gray to get that alabaster color. I can't tell if it has an ivory tone to it, if so, add some yellow. Keep futzing around until you think you've got it close. Then find an inconspicuous spot on the angel and paint a bit on and let dry (have some wine...well, that's what I would do.)

If you've got it right, make a bigger batch of that color and paint the stone. Now, using a dark gray thinned out with a lot of water, paint in any crevices to give it that aged look. Feather the edges to help it blend in. To make the highlights, take some of your base color and really lighten it with white. Then take a big dry brush and dip it in the paint and brush a lot of the extra paint off on a paper towel and then 'dry brush' the whole thing. It will paint the raised areas and help it look like stone and age it.

For that green, I can't see it well in the picture but I'm thinking a moss green lightened with white. Or maybe an olive green would be better. You could dry brush that in a few areas (not the whole thing). EDIT: I think I do see that green. It actually looks like a forest green.....Well, either way, try to match up that green color with paint that you have.

Hope that helps :)
 

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Caretaker of Eerie Manor
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6,558 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Okay. How about I ship it to you and you paint it, then ship it back!
j/k.
Makes sense. The base color really is a dirty white color, like old marble but w/o the marbling. Your instructions sound good and give me something to work with.
Gracias!
 

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Typical Ghoul Next Door
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7,076 Posts
(awwww, that's cool you thought of me! :D )

Terra is the expert as far as I'm concerned, and she's got the best route to matching the piece.
I'm just applying my painting skills from my artsy fartsy background. ;)

Something that worked for me is to start light and go dark. If you can't match it perfectly right off the bat, thinned washes (thinned with water) of browns, grays or greens can be brushed/sponged over the surface.

Not like water tinted with a touch of paint, you want it opaque but runny. I apply it with a brush and don't mind if it runs, but if it looks odd then dab at it with a sponge.

This is not counting putting the dark paint into the recessed areas FIRST and letting that dry. THEN put on the overall light color and trying to keep it out of the recessed areas... I still have to go back and touch up some spots where the washes get into the wording (fine tipped artist's brush and the black/dark gray) once the rest of the stone is how I want it.

The advantage of using washes is twofold:

1. You can always wipe off washes before they dry if you think it went too far.

2. Building up layers of transparent tints adds depth and character, making the painted object that much more realistic.

The disadvantage is that it takes longer for the #@#$ thing to dry and start the next wash, so you can mess it up if you try to go too fast. :(

With that beautiful sleeping angel, I'd definitely start out painting the recesses a medium to dark gray and then after it dried, I'd do a very pale off-white and see how it looks, maybe do one wash of very pale brown or gray (can't tell whether it leans more towards one or the other).

Good luck, and remember, even if it isn't a perfect match (and they never are) it will look close enough with the right lighting.
 

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Caretaker of Eerie Manor
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6,558 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for weighing in on this FG. I appreciate the added insight. I'm a guy, therefore artistically challenged, and in the back of my head, I keep thinking "it's a Halloween prop that people will look at in dim light for maybe a minute, before going to the next house". This gives me some peace of mind, but I do want it to look nice. I had to pull out the statue again to look at it closely and much of the detailed recesses are brown/green/gray. I just finished assembling the base and am putting some thin decorative wood molding along the base. I filled all the cracks with joint compound and will final sand it tomorrow, then hit the recessed areas with some dark colors. You both have given me some direction which is very much appreciated. I'll be experimenting.
 
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