Bas Relief - Three Projects

June 28, 2020

Bas Relief - Three Projects

After recently doing a Venetian Plaster backsplash for a client, I caught the kinesthetic bug of hands-on projects again. I've been captivated lately watching video tutorials of some of the European masters of Bas Relief sculptures on walls. Some of my favorites are Sanal Sanat and Bell De La Vega

They have an amazing talent, and I ws inspired to attempt more textured sculpture into a recent commission of a magnolia. The translation of products in Europe was a challenge, and I found varying formulations to mix the plaster. Some are easy - Plaster of Paris, and the more professional ones used a veneer finish mixed with wood glue for solid durability and longevity of their work. THAT was tricky and had to be mixed just right or I had globs of plastic in my hands. It was a messy day, and so much fun!

The challenge with the wood glue mix is that it was too runny to sculpt the way I wanted, but when it dried, it was SOLID. I had to use my husband's Dremel tools to get the details I wanted, but still left much of it with the loose abstract texturing that I love.

My next attempt will be to thicken the mix to a putty, which is more workable when wet, and get as much of the detailed sculpting done during that phase.

The projects I completed so far:

The Magnolia Commission

This will be framed and hanging over the same client's sink that I did a Venetian Plaster backsplash with 4 metallics.

My first attempt was the P.O.P. on canvas, a huge fail, it crumbled and I scraped it off. I purchased a board to size, and after applying a coat of Venetian Plaster as the background, then the new plaster / wood glue mixture, the stain of the board seeped thru. It really did not bother me and I liked the antiquing effect but still covered much of it in the following painting.

The photos do not show the true sheen of the metallics but it contains metallic gold, pearl on the petals, and teal metallic in the leaves.

The Heron

While the mixture is made I needed to get a few other projects started. This Heron was reminiscent of so many I painted through the years as a muralist all over Ponte Vedra Beach and the First Coast.

I had to use a dremel wire brush tool to create the texture in the feathers. He is available for sale in the Coastal Collection and Wildlife Collection of Originals.

I had this set of canvases, called a Diptych, from a past failed texture project so I covered it in the Venetian Plaster. The only time I would consider doing the Bas Relief on a canvas is if it had the solid durability of venetian plaster on it first. It is SOLID.

My next projects are on smaller boards, a collection of birds and we will see if I can get most of the scupting done while it is still wet. I encourage you to go to Youtube and watch some tutorials. It is captivating!!

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