Jump to content


Mary Read Bust by Scale 75

Recommended Posts

Last week I was privileged to attend the Julio Cabos 4 day workshop. We spent 2 days on a historical figure and 2 days on a fantasy bust. I thoroughly enjoyed myself in the company of like minded enthusiasts and a very generous instructor. This is the second time I have taken this workshop with Julio and it was just as amazing this time as last.  Now on to the good stuff.


I'll start by saying that Julio geared the class to put us out of the mindset of painting this figure for competition. He wanted us to feel free to fail and try new things, to push ourselves far outside our comfort zone. He had phrased that we should view our figure as a sketchbook. To that end, the figure was prepared, but not meticulously. There were a few mold lines and a bit of flash here and there. The parts of the figure had been glued to short thin dowels to use as handles. They used Tamiya grey primer to prepare the surface. Choosing grey was problematic. Mainly because the figure resin is grey and it was near impossible to visually verify that the surfaces had been primed as the primer and the figure were pretty much exactly the same color. So I am not entirely certain that all the parts, or even all the figures had been primed before we began.


Julio discussed picking out colors and encouraged us to line up the colors we plan to use on a figure. Then on a blank white sheet of paper, paint swatches of the colors to verify that they will look good together before starting on the figure.  After that we jumped in. We started with the skin and the mid-tone color. Using an airbrush, we sprayed the mid-tone aiming from the bottom of the figure towards the top. Here we were careful to avoid a solid base coat.  This proved to be very difficult for everyone. We were all experiencing poor coverage as the paint was beading up and running.  This was either due to the primer being hydophobic or that the surfaces did not get enough or any primer. In order to get the paint to cover we had to hold the airbrush back farther from the figure and dust the surface very lightly and then use the airbrush to "blow-dry" the paint. It took some doing and took longer than anyone anticipated. After a bit everyone had worked through getting the first color down. We then applied the skin highlight color aiming from the top down. Lastly, we added the skin shadow color, again aiming from the bottom towards the top.








Julio had us mask off the bandanna because we would be painting it yellow later.

  • Like 10

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Before we started brushwork on the skin we painted in her eyes.  Here Julio talked about paint consistency, brush selection, and precision brush control.  His method for painting eyes is more elaborate than I was accustomed to, but I think part of that is due to the scale of the figure.  We only painted the eyeball, we didn't even darkline.






I ran into trouble with her right eye as there was some trash on the surface. So it wasn't a very clean application of paint there. I was able to make it look decent.

  • Like 14

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

After working the eyes, we started on her makeup, blending some of her flesh.  this bust does not have sculpted eyebrows so we painted them on.   Her lips also have a pretty soft edge that isn't strongly defined. We painted the outline of her lips then filled the remaining volume.





  • Like 10

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Once we had the face done, we next worked on the bandanna.  This we were going to return to the airbrush. So I removed the masking from the bandanna.  






We began to paint the bodice. There is some detail in relief on the figure. But it is very subtle. In order to retain enough detail to see we had to paint the color in thin glazes. I did not take photos...


We used poster tack to cover the work we did on the face and skin. Then wrapped the figure in cellophane (or cling wrap) to protect the rest of the figure.





  • Like 12

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Airbrushing the bandanna:

1.  Using the mid-tone color we airbrushed the figure aiming from the bottom towards the top.

2.  Using the highlight color we airbrushed from the top down.

3   Using the Shadow color we again airbrushed from the bottom up.


I did not take pics after each application.  Just after the airbrushing was done.





Then the masking came off.




  • Like 8

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

We did do some brush work on the bandanna to blend some of the gradients. But not very long. We moved on to work on her bodice.

The black leather parts were our next focus. 

Interestingly enough, we used inks to give the leather a satin finish and with the black ink we mixed in violet ink. It looks fantastic.




And the last thing we had time to work on in class was the brocade.  We used a blend of paint (from the Fantasy & Games line) and metal paints.




The workshops were amazing.  If you ever get the opportunity to attend a Julio Cabos workshop I highly recommend it.

  • Like 11

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now