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How to paint ceramic bisque pottery


Here are our methods and hints for painting white ceramic bisque pottery.

tools

You will need: An object in ceramic bisque pottery to paint (see our online store ceramic figurines which has a wide range of different figurines); Acrylic paint in different colors. Choose the finish you want (matte, gloss, satin-effect, lacquered etc.); Different paintbrushes; transparent varnish in spray can form (optional). All water-soluble acrylic paints are very concentrated and may be diluted so as to produce up to three times their original volume of paint. It is better to avoid using paint that is too thick as this will cover up the little design details and raised details rather than making them stand out. Opt for water-soluble paints that can be mixed together, because when the paint becomes too thick, you just have to add water to make it thinner.

Cleaning and applying paint

Brush the object with a large soft-hair paintbrush to remove any traces of powder that would create unsightly rough patches during the painting stage. Any remaining rough areas can be sandpapered smooth with fine-grained sandpaper. Without overloading the brush, apply paint to the object to be painted and spread it thinly over the surface.

Color order

The order in which the different paints are applied is up to you. Usually, one works going from dark to light colors. The first layer of paint may also be in a shade that is between light and dark. Next, paint in both the darker-colored and the lighter-colored details, using less concentrated colors. The last brushstrokes are for the finest details, which will bring out any contrasts in the object.

Drybrush

Drybrush is a painting technique that you may want to use, depending on the effect you're looking for. Start off by applying the various colors of acrylic paint in the normal way. When you've finished doing this, start the drybrush stage, using a flat paintbrush and paint that is almost dry. Vigorously brush the part to be painted. Only apply paint to the top of the raised details. This will make these details stand out more clearly. Usually a small quantity of light-colored paint is used to create the illusion of light being cast upon the raised details, thus emphasizing certain design details. If you want to create a patina look or "distress" a figurine, brush the entire surface with gentle strokes. This is how we can apply a lighter or differently-colored shade of paint in a more random, irregular fashion, which will give the object a more weathered or dirty look. This helps highlight the more subtle design details. Moreover, depending on how vigorously you use the brush, it's easy to create a gradual shift in color from dark to light. Don't apply too much paint to the brush. To assess how much paint is on the brush, pass the flat of the brush bristles lightly over a sheet of kitchen roll or your thumb. If there's not enough paint, the color won't stick to the surface; if there's too much, it will cover up the finer details.

Hints

1. If you're painting an angel or another figure, begin with the clothes first, then the hair and finally the face, hands, and even the feet. If you make any mistakes, you can paint over them as often as you need. If you want to add on glitter, glue them on at the very end. 2. If you're painting a black and white cat (a cow, horse etc.), draw the spots onto the animal shape using a pencil. Start painting with the white. When it's time to apply the black, take an old brush, if possible, a small one, which has bristles of varying lengths. If you apply the black paint right beside where the white paint has been applied, overlapping very slightly into the white-painted area, this mimicks the animal's fur or coat. 3. The eyes should be painted LAST. If you've chosen to paint a person or an animal, the hardest bit is still to come: the eyes; this is what will really bring your object to life. The eyes are done in several stages: First, paint them completely black (unless the object you're painting already has a face that's painted in darkish shades; in this case, you can skip this stage). Leave to dry and then paint the inside of the eyes white, leaving a tiny line of black all around (like a kind of round frame). Leave to dry thoroughly. Depending on your skill level, you have two options:  The easiest is to paint a round circle that touches the edges of the eye socket area at the top and the bottom. After it is dry, paint a very small white dot in the black circle. Be careful! don't paint the dot right in the center, but a little to the side, either closer to the top or the bottom of the circle, this will show the direction in which the eyes are looking;  If you are a little more experienced, instead of a black circle,start off by painting a large circle in the color that you want for the eyes (brown, green, blue). Make this circle relatively large, allow it to touch the edges of the eye socket area at the top and/or the bottom, then paint a black pupil inside, never right in the center, but so that it touches one side of the first colored circle, and then last of all, the very small white dot that is the window of the soul! 4. If you make a mistake, scrape the area gently with a knife or rub it with some fine sandpaper. This removes the paint and you can try again. 5. Although acrylic paint is water-soluble, it becomes hard once dry. For this reason, don't leave the paint pots open for too long. Wear a smock or an old set of clothes, because you won't be able to get the paint stains off. Do not leave the paintbrushes standing in paint. Wash them immediately after use, otherwise they will harden and you will no longer be able to use them. 6. For aesthetic reasons, you may apply a layer of transparent varnish from a spray can. You can choose a gloss, satin-effect or matte varnish (available in large hardware/DIY stores).