You probably recognize this elephant, because I designed the baby African elephant wall sculpture pattern way back in 2015. I can’t believe it’s been that long!
I gave my first elephant to the Habitat for Humanity’s annual art auction, and I always intended to make another one. I finally got around to it this week, and it was a lot of fun.
This is one of the four patterns I made using a three-D computer program. That was fun, too – I enjoyed learning how to do it, because I’m always looking for a challenge. But I don’t make my patterns with a computer now. I enjoy sculpting because it’s exciting to see the creature coming to life in my hands. Seeing it on a screen it’s just not the same…
But back to the elephant skin – this was really easy, because I used the clear crackle glaze from Deco Art. Of course, I always try doing things the cheapest way first, so I did a fast test using Elmer’s glue and acrylic paint. It cracks, but not in an elephant-skin way, so I ordered the glaze, instead.
Step 1: Apply the glaze thickly.
The instructions say to apply the material thickly, and without over-brushing. I did that. On a few vertical spots it started to run, but it’s really thick so it was easy to go back and smooth it out before the glaze got dry.
It’s important to let the crackle glaze dry naturally. If you hit it with a heat gun or hair dryer, the glaze won’t be able to shrink and create the cracks. My elephant was dry to the touch in a couple of hours.
This is how it looked after it dried, and before I added the brown paint to make the cracks easier to see.
Step 2: Add a glaze to make the cracks easier to see.
I intended to do this part in just one step, but I wasn’t happy with the dark brown color I used the first time.
For the first color I used Burnt Umber, Ultramarine Blue, and lots of the Golden Acrylic Glazing Liquid.
The glazing liquid slows down the drying time of the acrylic paint, and it makes it transparent. It would be possible to use water to dilute the paint, but only on a much smaller project. On something as big as the elephant, a water glaze would leave lines where wet paint was brushed over paint that was already dry.
I waited until the brown glaze was completely dry. This can take several hours, or even overnight.
Then I mixed a lighter color, using more blue to make it cooler, and adding white to make it grey and less transparent. I liked it much better:
But as I mentioned in the video, I don’t think I’d use the crackle glaze again over the textured paper towels. I would make the wrinkles with tissue paper, instead.
What do you think? Was it worth the twelve bucks for the crackle glaze? Have you used this product, (or another brand), for any of your own projects? If you have, we would love to see how they came out!