Sculpting bas relief faux bamboo
For everyone who is involved in the decorative arts and faux finishing I wanted to show how versatile the wall art form is and the importance of expanding your creative wings to meet new and changing demands.
To begin this I was called upon to create something special for a particular client from one of my favorite interior designers for a couple of floor to ceiling wall art niches that had to include some metallic qualities. I first thought of my faux finishing technique
as a starting point for the background
which has a very nice reflective quality.
Sculpting a faux bamboo bas relief was to be created, but not in the usual sense of using restrictive stenciling methods. The interior designer wanted an artistic flair and more of a free form of sculpting which of course forces a challenge on me to think more openly and creatively composition wise. We discussed the details of the project and discovered the lighting in the wall art niches was going to be directly over head of the faux bamboo so I knew right away that the opportunity to work with actual cast shadows was going to be a huge plus in the sculpting of the bas relief faux bamboo.
This in fact inspired me to venture past the level of a basic bas relief which has been a practiced art form for hundreds of years.To explain it a little more clearly I pulled an excerpt from Wikipedia a short description of what I wanted as an effect.
↑ This expression is probably derived from the Italian basso rilievo, the literal translation meaning “low contrast” as opposed to “alto rilievo” (“high contrast“) and “haut-relief” (“high relief”) in French. It is pronounced [ˈbaʁəˌlif], French for “low relief”
I wanted a mix of both haut and bas reliefs to harmonize with the back ground and also to add some trompe loeil techniques to create some depth to accentuate the sculpting of the faux bamboo. Sculpting has always been a fascinating form of art to me and I have been reaching further into the possibilities of using sculpting, and bas reliefs with other faux finishing techniques that I have become so versed in. Although common to some extent, for what I am trying to achieve takes it a bit further and gives the combination more of a “punch”
At this point the sculpting and bas relief of the faux bamboo is finished for the most part in this and the second niche and are at the priming stage. This is where I will add in hand painted faux bamboo to which some trompe loeil techniques will be used to create more depth. Note: The background is already finished and you can find the information on my plaster for niches post about the process.
I tinted the acrylic primer with some hooker green because I wanted to seal the bas relief faux bamboo and yet create some intensity in color knowing that the white of the primer would dull the sculpting. I wanted the intensity of this primer color to peek through the base color to hopefully give it a glow under the burnt sienna that I’ll use as my final color. The designer wanted a graiselle (shades of gray) kind of end result and yet liked the intensity of the burnt sienna because of how well it went with the fabric being used for the drapery. For the base color I only used one coat which was a mix of Faux Effects Setcoat Woody Yellow and Neutral White (1p Wy to 3P Nw) which allowed the glow of the hooker green to peek through the base. Sounds complicated huh? well there is a reason for the madness lol
Adding in the faux painted bamboo with the bas relief bamboo combine with the sculpting technique you can see that the effect is really starting to come together. Its already getting difficult to distinguish the bas relief faux bamboo from the painted faux bamboo. The sculpting is already giving away the bas relief part due to the cast shadows from the light not to mention how the color is taking on a glow from the warm colored lighting, So far so good!
Now these next couple of pictures are going to show why the sculpting, bas relief, faux bamboo, trompe loeil and even the faux finishing all must work together to create harmony just as it does in a well painted mural and when you look at the next picture you will see that it is difficult to see what parts are the scuplting and what parts are painted in the natural light of the day.
You can also see how the effects of the underpainting has the glow I was trying to achieve to work with the metallic back ground. This is actually from the natural light of the room during the day there was no flash used when taking this photo.
Where the drama really comes into play is in the evening after the sun has gone down and is pretty much dark outside and you get the full effect of the sculpting and bas relief.
The cast shadows in the sculpting really show off nicely with the lighting and with that being said I will end this post with a final photo
The final photos tell it all as to the success of this project on Sculpting a Bas Relief Bamboo
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