Friday, December 17, 2010
Apoxie Sculpt and Rubbing Alcohol
I mentioned mixing Apoxie Sculpt (AS) and rubbing alcohol yesterday. This is a technique that I use at the very end of finishing a piece to add texture and veining. It's a bit difficult to convince AS to mix smoothly with a liquid, so this takes a bit of patience. I know Aves makes other variants on AS and one of them may be a liquid or paste that would work well for this, but I just use AS. I'm going to call my mixture a paste, though it's often more of a thick liquid.
I mix up a small batch of AS as usual. I then put it in one of my handy lids, ideally a fairly large one with decent sides. I then add some denatured alcohol, with the amount depending on how thick I want my paste and how much AS I have. Better to start with a bit less and add more later, but it does evaporate fairly quickly. Then comes the hard part: I use my gloved fingers to mash the AS into the alcohol. It takes a lot of mashing and squishing and rubbing, and it's important to get it as smooth as possible. Any lumps will be quite annoying when you go to use the paste.
The paste needs to be used immediately. It will dry out and the AS will begin curing, so I make sure I have a good hour or two set aside to use it before I begin making it.
I brush the paste on to areas where I want fine wrinkles, use it to paint on delicate veins, texture hair with it--anything that needs a very delicate bit of texture. I use brushes set aside specifically for this. Even though the AS paste does wash out I don't want to destroy my good brushes with it.
You can further smooth the mixture using additional alcohol, just as you can smooth any AS with alcohol. It will get grainy if overworked, and if that happens sometimes it's best to just wipe it off and start over.
Since this technique is for the surface detailing, make sure that everything else is finished before you do it--it should be the very last step before priming and painting.