View Full Version : Lascaux studio bronze technique questions

Rob Lineberger
04-22-2010, 09:24 PM
I'm not new to painting, but am pretty new to painting scenery to look like metal. I am trying to make a steel door backdrop for a sci-fi museum event (specifically, blast doors from Star Wars). So far I have gessoed the backdrop, added payne's gray as a "primer" coat, a layer of pumice medium, then added a stain of blackish-bluish-umber to get into the nooks and crannies. Next step is to add Lascaux studio bronze stainless steel over the top, then covering that with a weak stain of muted burnt umber.

My question is how to use the studio bronze. I think most silica based metallic paints are transparent, but this one (made from real metal) probably is not. It is an expensive paint so I wonder if I can mix it with acrylic medium and/or water to make it go further. Is dry-brushing a way to extend paint further? can this stuff even be diluted without losing the effect? Any help appreciated, or any other ways to simulate actual metal.

04-23-2010, 05:26 AM
My first instinct - I would never use an expensive paint for a backdrop. It simply isn't necessary. There are tons of mica-based metallic paints that would probably do the job. Have you looked online for shops that have things marked down or have batch prices? Liquitex and Daler Rowney both have a silver in their student ranges and you can buy large tubes/jars. :)


04-23-2010, 05:57 AM
From my limited experience using the studio bronzed by Lascaux, you can dilute the paint or mix it with another Lascaux acrylic colour. However, the impact will not be as strong as if applied direct. If you need a transparent glaze of the stainless steel, diluting with a lascaux acrylic medium would work. However, it might be better to test these combinations on a small piece of paper to ascertain whether this would give you the impact you are looking for. Another alternative would be to buy Black Mica Mortar by Pebeo. This is much cheaper and also gives a metallic effect, though a different one from that of the studio Bronze ones.

Hope you find what you need! :)

04-23-2010, 07:30 AM
I should think that dry brushing would stretch its coverage considerably. Unless there is some personal reason to use this brand, there are other brands of bronze paint that might be less costly. You may also want to try and mix your own bronze color starting with a base of either copper, gold or silver and then adding some pigments to get to the bronze you like. It could also allow you the chance to fine tune the bronze to your liking.

Just a thought.

04-23-2010, 10:41 AM
It is an expensive paint so I wonder if I can mix it with acrylic medium and/or water to make it go further.
Definitely, and not just to make it go further. The general rule of thumb with paint is that a couple of thinner coats is better than one thick coat and this applies to iridescent and metallic paints too.

Just as long as you don't thin too much; about the consistency of milk is probably about as thin as you can comfortably go.

Is dry-brushing a way to extend paint further?
Yep, you can do that. Works particularly well in 3D and over a textured surface.


Rob Lineberger
04-23-2010, 01:03 PM
Thanks for the replies! gopalv, I will check out Black Mica Mortar, thanks for the tip. Timelady, that was my first instinct too. I tried it and it wasn't as effective as I'd like (used grumbracher thalo silver). People will be about two feet away from this so it has to pass close inspection.

I am surprised so far at the coverage this paint provides. I mixed a teaspoon of paint with a teaspoon of medium and a dash or two of water. It really did a nice job, but as Einion has pointed out I will need another coat or two. I also used dry brushing on the raised areas. Regardless, I'm digging the effect. Here are a few pics (though the effect is lessened a bit this morning as the paint has dried:






04-23-2010, 05:38 PM
Looking very cool! Funny, I've just been asking my brother if my nephew has seen Star Wars yet (the original, I feel he's "of age" now at 9) and was shocked that bro *didn't know*. As a geek this is of such importance I can't quite believe my bro doesn't even know. I plan on exposing the boy to some critical culture while I'm home this time!

I've give him a lightsaber but I only have 6 and they're all MINE. ;)

Be sure to show us a shot of the whole thing when it's done. Glad the paint is stretching farther than you expected.


Rob Lineberger
04-26-2010, 10:58 AM
Good for you! Raise that boy up right. :clap:

Couple of updates on the underpainting:



04-26-2010, 11:55 AM
Looks like its coming along great! I would love to see pics of the finished piece...in place.

For large projects....would be great & more economical, especially if they were intended to be 'temporary'.....there are wall paints that can achieve quite realistic metallic effects. I've tried a silver/pewter effect. Start with primer, then a gray basecoat...followed by the silver metallic glaze. Because I didn't want a "smooth metal" appearance I then used glazes of a darker metallic pewter...and highlights of an iridescent pearl glaze. Pretty cool stuff!

I really like the different colors you used in this project you are working on! :thumbsup:

Rob Lineberger
04-27-2010, 12:22 AM
Can you tell me more about the glaze of dark pewter? What recipe did you use?