Vintage Painting

LSIrish-2018Vintage Acrylic Painting

Using acrylics as an antiquing stain

This is the Never Goes Wrong technique that any carver can keep in his or her back pocket. It is a perfect answer for that paint job that you just can not get control of for some reason … too many paint brush stroke ridges, uneven coloring, a bad choice of colors. When that happens you can go directly to this technique and turn that carving around into an instant winner!


2″ x 2″ 3″ basswood block
bench knife
chip carving knife
large round gouge

Acrylic Craft Paints:
King’s Gold – golden yellow
Summer Sunset – pale burnt orange
Alizarin Crimson – maroon
Nutmeg Brown – medium dark brown
Carbon Black
Titanium White

220-grit sandpaper
dry, clean cloths

Step 1: Carve your fish body from a 2″ x 2″ x 3″ basswood block using the bench knife. Cut gills with the bench knife and up-end the large round gouge to create the eyes. Sand to smooth away any flat panes left from your shaping using 220-grit sandpaper.

Step 2: With a pencil create a 1/4″ wide grid across the back of your fish. You will need to vary the grid lines some to adjust for the changing width of the fish body. Mark a chip carving grid design using the grid lines. With a chip knife chip cut the fish body.

NOTE – If you are new to chip carving this is a fun practice piece. Because we will be distressing the fish after the painting steps if you make small kicks or chip out or even have uneven sides to your chip cuts none of that will matter when this fish is finished. So you can practice to your hearts content knowing that every practice piece will be a keeper.

LSIrish-1962Step 3: The pre-treatment for this project is a primer coat. Place a puddle of golden yellow, pale burnt orange, and alizarin crimson on your palette. With a large shader apply a multi-colored primer coat to the entire fish, including inside of the chip cuts. Allow to dry 15 minutes or nuke for 15 seconds. Apply a second multi-color primer coat and repeat the drying.

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