How do you sculpt with paint?

I have been looking at some works by Justin Gaffrey from SeaSide, but i can't personally figure his style out. Any ideas on how he pulls this off?

3 Answers

  • 7 years ago
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    I had assumed he was using "acrylic modeling paste" or heavy-body paints, or adding one of the thicker acrylic mediums to his acrylic paint, but he's something about that from a page about him:

    " . . . Working now exclusively with pure acrylic paints (no fillers are used) and using mostly the palette knife, he produces works of breathtaking beauty and complexity. His technique might best be described as “sculpting with paint.” . . . "

    Of course, those materials above are also "acrylic." And fillers aren't the same thing as what you might think of as fillers**, and he may not *add* fillers if he uses some of those acrylic materials above.

    And he's certainly also using the*better-quality brands* of acrylic paint, etc, no matter which brand or type, and those are naturally thicker than the more liquidy craft acrylic paints. That thickness would allow him to kind of left, bend, swirl, etc, the paints with palettes knives more than brush them on.

    Check out some of these thick acrylics from various brands:


    ...Extra Heavy Gel — These gels have the same characteristics as the Heavy Gel above, but they can hold better peaks and are ideal for impasto techniques. Along with the High Solid Gels, they are the thickest of the Golden Gels. Available in Gloss, Matte, and Semi-Gloss.

    (same as? )

    ...Extra Heavy Gel / Molding Paste — A blend of heavy gel and molding paste, dries to a satin, semi-opaque finish. Blends well with colors. Excellent for increasing viscosity and building surfaces.

    ...High Solid Gel — The thickest of the gels. Holds high peaks, useful for simulating oil paint behavior. Contains less water and more acrylic solids, so it shrinks less than other gels.

    (same as "Hard Molding Paste"? )

    ...Heavy Body Artist Acrylics.... also contain the largest assortment of unique pure pigments in a 100% acrylic emulsion vehicle available to the professional artist. They contain no fillers**, extenders, opacifiers, toners, or dyes.


    modeling paste:

    (and )

    You might also want to check out things like bas relief painting, and palette knife painting (some of which ends up low relief, some higher-relief) for tips:

    He uses up a LOT of paint in those paintings though, and at high-quality paints prices that might be more than you want to spend depending on size of your paintings.

    You can do the same things btw, with polymer clay that's been thinned down to the degree you want with liquid polymer clay. That could range from completely clay-like to runny. If you're interested in that, check out this page at my site...actually, that page link along with many other examples are in the 2nd part of my previous answer here:;_ylt=Aurze...


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  • 7 years ago

    As it says here he uses the thick paint straight out of the container and adds no medium (or fillers) to it. Most of the time people who use thick paint and form it are working "impasto" with chalk or marble added (filler) and medium (thinner) because of the cost of the paint and the very long time oil paint takes to dry. Acrylic eases Justin's need because of how it drys.

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  • brion
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    Justin Gaffrey

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