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Painting Detailed Designs

Discussion in 'Painting Techniques' started by Ray Welshman, Jul 2, 2014.

  1. Ray Welshman Active Member

    Hi There,

    One of the things I struggle with is painting details such as designs. I see all these beautiful shields, banners etc at the shows and amazed at the level of detail. I'm about to start a project 120mm where the figure will be wearing a North American Native/Metis buckskin jacket. I would like to paint one of the intricate bead work designs on the back.

    Are there any articles out there or books that have pointers or directions on attempting such a thing. I have W/N Series 7 brushes that I've hardly used and would like to do this in acylic if at all possible.


  2. Ferris A Fixture

    I guess everyone struggles with this. I have never attempted such bead work, but I would try to find a smart breakdown of the work. First get the overall outline of the whole design in the right position, straight, symmetric, etc. Then break that in equal parts or blocks. You could use masking tape as measure or reference to get these stages right. Only start painting individual beads or other details when their positions have been fixed by earlier steps. It's easy to mess up by focusing on details too soon.

    I think such intricate designs are not necessarily hard to do, but it takes a structured approach and a lot of patience (and good brushes, obviously). Impact on the result can be very high, so I think it's worth it.

    Be brave and do it...! Good luck.


    I would probably use oil for beadwork even though I generally paint acrylic. Easier to control size and placement of small dots of high contrast bright colours IMO.

  4. sippog Active Member

  5. Ray Welshman Active Member

    Thanks Guys,

    Sippog the link was excellent, I've bookmarked it and will be printing it out. I'm in the research phase now to settle on the design. Drawing it first on paper is an excellent approach, if you can't draw it you won't be able to paint it.

    I'm almost ready to start painting on my current project but have started the build on this one.



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