Acrylics over a Primer for Wood Carving

How to paint a wood carved fish decoy.Step 8: Painting the face.
Load a small #1 or #2 liner brush with pale purple thinned with a few drops of water. Lay the tip of the liner into the indent around the eyes, let the side of the brush touch the carved ridge. Pull the liner brush around the indent area to fill it with the purple paint. Any color that goes beyond the eye ridge can be washed away with a damp shader because that color is on a polished paint surface.

SECRET – When I am painting along a cut ridge area I do not use the brush tip, I use the belly or side of the brush.

If I try and paint a smooth line in a ridge or v-trough area using the tip, that tip will skip over the line. I end up with some color outside of the area I am painting.


How to paint a wood carved fish decoy.Instead I load the liner brush with color and begin the stroke slightly away from where my line is. Lay about one-quarter to one-half of the bristles on the wood and slowly pull the brush into the line. This paints to line with the brush belly, not the tip, and prevents the tip from bouncing across the line. When I have finished the main part of the line I slowly pull the brush back away from the line, and lift.




How to paint a wood carved fish decoy.Step 9:  Brush handle dots

Mix an equal amount of crimson red with titanium white to create an intense pink. Using your brush handle make two small dots of pink at the center of the upper lip (lost photo). Use the liner brush to pull the excess paint from these dots to the corner of the mouth. Paint the bottom lip with pink and your liner brush.

Use a small flat shader to fill the inside of the mouth with pink. Load the shader with paint, place it inside and on the wood of the mouth, then pull the shader straight out from the mouth.

How to paint a wood carved fish decoy.SECRET – Please take time to look over these four photos, noting the position of my hands. I use my pinkie finger (small finger) as a brace whenever I have a brush on the wood.

Whenever I pick up the brush from the palette it is in a loose grip. When I go to the wood I put that small finger somewhere on the carving. I can now adjust how far my brush tip is from the wood by bending the small finger … it becomes the secure point to the moving pencil point of a compass, its just that this compass is created with my hand position and my brush tip.

Using your small finger also gets rid of the shakes that can distort or throw off a painted line. If your hand is free floating and shaking of your hand goes right to the brush tip. If your hand is anchored with the small finger those shakes are absorbed by the hand and do not transfer to your brush tip.

If I can’t get my finger onto the wood because of where I need to paint I can brace it on my holding hand.


Lora S Irish Mayan High Priest E-BookThis is the latest Lora S. Irish e-book, Mayan High Priest Relief Wood Carving, available at Art Designs Studio. It’s a beginner’s level relief wood carving project. Follow along with the highly-detailed, well-photographed, step-by-step instruction. This project contains information about the different styles of relief carving, a quick look at the different carving tools and supplies needed, clear tips on working with your pattern, creating layers, as well as complete carving, shaping, and finishing (painting and antiquing) instruction.This Mayan High Priest, Lord Bird Jaguar I, is worked in a low relief style of carving. The side walls of each area or element is round over with little or no shaping steps to the main body of the element. Elements within a design are any identifiable area of the pattern.


Leave a Reply

Scroll to Top
%d bloggers like this: