Art Blog, Art Techniques, Artist Gems, Brushes In Action, Thank You, WarmUps

Wednesday WrapUp Illustrating Sculptures

illustrated statue of Kwanyin gilt bronze 6th C, AD Goddess of Mercy with a blue brick background
on Flickr


Each Wednesday check this blog for a strategy, process, or reflection for illustration with the iPad app ProCreate. This Wednesday Wrap Up , I share a bit more about my process for creating a more 3D effect with texture and blend modes, this time illustrating the statue of Kwanyin, Goddess of Mercy, a gilt bronze from the sixth century.


The inspiration for illustrating the statue was the prompt from Week 39 #makingarteveryday by Lisa Bardot is Art History: Ancient Sculpture. And, my art group seemed to like it and a few asked how the effect was achieved, which I shared with them and now include here. I’ve written about the goddess in the prompt here, and include the history which I had not known before:

Art History: gilt bronze Kwanyin, Goddess of Mercy

Kwanyin is a gilt bronze statue from the 6th C, AD.

She is the Goddess of Mercy — Gracious savioress who hears all cries and answers all prayers

  • Kuan: observe
  • Shih: the world / the region of sufferers
  • Yin: all the sounds of the world, in particular, the crying sounds of beings, verbal or mental, seeking help

The Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva embodies great compassion.

Celebration: The 19th day of the sixth lunar month for attainment of Buddhahood


About the brushes

I used Lisa Bardot brushes from several sets– mostly Basic Toolbox, Imperfect Patterns, and Texturrific sets.

And before I share a review of the process, here are the layers and blend modes:

Process: 3Bs Brush, Blend Mode, Blur

I looked up the hex code for metallic bronze. It’s #b08d57. I stayed with that color through out, except for overlay layers which are colored black for shadows and white for highlights.

I filled in the base with bronze and textured a bit with the grunge on Linear Burn mode— I played with blend modes and chose the one that fit, lowering the opacity. That achieved some texture /shadow in general.

Wherever I wanted highlight, using the frosted glass shader, I filled in a bit. I made several layers as you can see, changing the blend mode to Screen or add. I duplicated and changed opacity to how I wanted it to look. I used the grungy liner for the bands of bright on those same layers.

Wherever I wanted shadow, I repeated the process but with multiply.

For some of the layers, I added Gaussian blur— just a bit to the desired effect.

A layer you don’t see is in black on overlay— and I added that in around the head so it would create that depth of the statue halo being behind the head.

For the background, I created the wall / floor with solid dark blue. I added a layer above on screen mode of the same color with scrawling scribbles. Above that on multiply, I added the frisky bricks in the same color.

With just the wall layers showing, I selected a rectangle the size of about half the wall and chose “copy all,” and then pasted that into a new layer above on screen mode. Using the distort technique from the Jack o’ Lantern video — the floor part [at about the 7 minute mark] of the lesson, I squished and pulled that copied section so it looked like the floor.

Then I created a solid blue rectangle beneath it so the lower back wall did not show through.

Next I added highlights and shadows with one of the shaders using black and white on overlay with a bit of Gaussian blur. There’s a layer of white overlay using the speckle brush to add that brighter highlight section.

It’s all a matter of playing with brushes and blend modes, and applying a bit of blur: the 3 B’s I guess! Brush, Blend Mode, Blur.


See it in action:

Try It!

Let me know if you try this or if you have another way to bring dimension to your art.

How did I learn this technique? I learned from four main sources of connection that inspire me and give me hope as well as art strategies every day. These four online spaces allow me to connect with others and share art, process, and creative options. They are positive, encouraging, and helpful to everyone. Though online and each a different experience, they are a sense of community with art friends.

I look forward to your sharing, and hope you take a look at my resources and connect there and continue connecting here. It’s a joy to have you join the journey as we learn together. Please continue to be a part of the  #warmup4art series to learn and enjoy our work together! See my sharing at IG @42Sheri and Twitter @42Sheri.

~ Sheri
~Reflect curiosity and wonder; Go boldly and scatter seeds of kindness.

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