Diorama Painting Techniques: Bricks & Stucco Using Artist Tube Acrylics

15 August, 2012 0 comments Leave a comment

 To paint bricks and stucco you'll need;

  • Flat Black spray paint or Flat Black primer and these tubes of artist acrylics;
  • Ivory Black
  • Titanium White
  • Raw Sienna
  • Red Ochre
  • Burnt Umber
  • Pebeo brand Greengold # 429 or any limegreen color. This is for painting moss.
  • Satin Glazing Liquid
  • Satin Acrylic Varnish
  • Fine pore sponges or Scotch Brite pads ripped into small pieces.
  • 1/4" flat paint brush
  • # 3 paint brush
  • Tap water, for cleaning brushes and for keeping the brush moist while painting.
  • Paper towels
  • Cotton buds (Q-Tips)
  • Mixing tray
  • Popsicle sticks for mixing paints on your tray.

 The brand of these supplies doesn't matter, buy what you can afford. Remember, these paints will last longer than model paints that come in small jars or tins. Also, all of the mixing proportions stated in this article are only approximate and you'll have to adjust them to mix the exact colors you want. Don't be afraid to experiment.

 When using acrylics, it's important to paint several thin coats rather than applying one thick coat. This way, fine details on the piece won't be filled in.

 After thoroughly washing the plastic or resin parts in warm soapy water to get rid of any release agents, spray paint the bricks with the Flat Black Primer. The black primer will make all of the coats of paint going on top of it more richer looking. Let dry for 24 hours. After the black has completely dried, mix a medium grey using 90% Titanium White and 10% Ivory Black. Paint the mortar lines with this and wipe off any excess that has got onto the bricks with a damp cotton bud. Then, using a small piece of fine sponge or scrubbing pad, dab each of these colors randomly one at a time, Raw Sienna, Red Ochre and Burnt Umber. Let each color dry for about 1/2 an hour before adding the next one.

 Make a very transparent glaze by adding about 60% paint and 40% Satin Glazing Liquid for each of the colors that you dabbed onto the bricks in the previous step. A glaze is a transparent color that allows the underlying color to show through. In the modelling world, artist glazes are referred to as filters. A good example of this effect is a Candy Apple paint job that is commonly used on customized cars and hot rods. The red coat lets the Pearl White undercoat to show through giving the red depth. Applying glazes on dioramas, figures or vehicles gives the piece added realism and can also be used to blend the colors. Before you add any more layers of paint or glazes, be sure that your previous coat is completely dry. Glaze each color in a downward direction (the way that rain would fall) over the entire bricks. You want the glazing process to let the underlying colors show through. Let each glazed color dry for about 3 hours before adding the next glaze color or else everything will turn into one big muddy mess! Please remember that all of the drying times that I'm giving you in this article are only approximate times.

 Now make a medium grey and mix 60% paint with 40% Satin Glazing Liquid. Brush the glaze onto the bricks in a downward direction. This will tone down the colors a bit. Make sure that you brush this on very thinly so that the grey is barely noticeable. Let dry for about 3 hours. Then use Ivory Black mixed with Satin Glazing Liquid in a 50/50 ratio to apply acid rain and soot stains down the wall with a # 3 brush where water would drip from. An example would be drips from window ledges or light fixtures. Also use this glaze in an upward streaking direction from the bottom of the wall to create splash marks or mold. Let dry for about 3 hours, then seal everything with Satin Acrylic Varnish. You can also use the same brick colors for painting paving stones on streets.

 To paint stucco, prime with Flat Black spray paint or primer. Mix some medium grey with a drop of Satin Glazing Liquid, and paint over the black with a 1/4" brush in a downward direction. Let dry for 1 hour. Then mix a light grey using 95% Titanium White and 5% Ivory Black with a drop of Satin Glazing Liquid, and lightly brush over the medium grey in a downward direction. Let dry 1 hour. With the same light grey that you just mixed, add about 12 drops of Satin Glazing Liquid to make it a very transparent glaze. Brush it on in a downward direction with a 1/4" brush and then let dry for 3 hours. Mix Yellow Ochre and Burnt Umber 50/50 and add about 12 drops of Satin Glazing Liquid. Apply with a 1/4" brush to all of the stucco. What you want is a very light coat of this brown over the stucco, so use a damp bud to remove most of this glaze after it's been applied. Let this dry for about 2 hours. Now use Ivory Black mixed with Satin Glazing Liquid in a 50/50 ratio and apply acid rain and soot stains down the wall using a # 3 brush. Let this dry for about 2 hours.

 To paint moss at the bottom of the brick wall or stucco wall, use Pebeo Greengold # 429 or any limegreen color. You can also mix your own moss color by mixing equal parts of Primary Cyan, Cadmium Yellow and Yellow Ochre. Darken with a bit of Ivory Black to make darker shades if you want. You can dab the moss paint on with a sponge, scrubbing pad, or use a # 3 brush. With a brush you can also streak it in an upward direction to blend it into the black soot streaks. This will give the effect of mold creeping up the wall. Use the diorama photos on my website as a visual guide, it'll give you a good idea of how everything should look. Let everything dry for 24 hours, then seal the paint with Satin Acrylic Varnish. Now you're finished! I hope you enjoy this technique because it'll bring lots of life to your models. Happy diorama modeling!

David Gurinskas / Owner of Full Circle Hobbies   



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