-By Tim Bruckner

Some time ago, Arnie Fenner commissioned me to do a Barbarian statue. I sketched up some designs and with his approval, started the clay to wax, to finished resin casting.

Arnie wanted a faux bronze finish to his piece. And knowing Arnie as a man of refined and unerring taste, I willingly complied. (You can read more about that commission HERE)

I had an extra casting in the studio and kept thinking about how I could finish it in color. The more I thought about it, the less convinced I was it could be done and not look silly, or cheap, or both.

One morning, encouraged by a pot of strong coffee and deadline lull, I thought about trying to replicate Frank’s color choices and paint treatment on the statue. I made an enlargement of a section of the painting and dug in.

A couple of hours in, I knew I was in over my head. A couple hours after that, I started to see how it could work. I have no doubt that any of the professional statue painters out there would have had a much easier time of it. I’m primarily a sculptor who paints and my painting skill is pretty rudimentary.  But, undaunted I plunged ahead.

I used cel-vinyl which I use almost exclusively for all my paint applications but used it much more as water color in a series of washes that utilizing it for its opacity.  To keep the focus on the figure while still holding to the feel of the painting, I kept the color scheme of the base really simple and impressionistic. The blood effect was achieved by mixing some cel-vinyl with clear gloss varnish and applying it in heavy brush-runs over the sculpted blood tracks.

And this is the result.