Layers & layers: How one can get began with paint carving

Have you ever heard of paint carving? Your suave life is about to vary FOREVER! Paint carving is a novel approach to create textured and layered artwork items. I first noticed this methodology on Instagram and knew I needed to strive it. It’s about portray layers and layers of acrylic paints (craft paints will work too) after which carving out a design.

All of these layers of paint create a basis of colours to be revealed as you carve your design. I’ll stroll you thru the method!

Paint carving provides:

A wooden panel, plank, or a flat piece of wood. I purchased wooden plaques on the craft retailer. You should use any onerous floor, so long as it’s straightforward to show as you’re employed.

Craft paints in multiple colors. No oil paint, keep on with craft paints in your first strive. You’ll want a pair rounds to get used to the method.

Paintbrushes or rollers. I used massive spherical paint brushes to use the coats of paint. Much less brush strokes confirmed by.

Linocut tool (with multiple blade shapes, if available).

Clear varnish or spray sealer. I used a excessive gloss spray sealer.

Mud masks and goggles for security. 

Good lighting!

Sandpaper (non-obligatory)

Paper towel for clear up

Desk fan (non-obligatory)

TIPS: This can be a lengthy course of since you are actually watching paint dry. Due to this fact I recommend beginning with a pair smaller items so you may get the dangle of the method. Work on different tasks whilst you wait in your paint layers to dry. It took a number of hours for these two items to completely dry.

Paint carving finished pieces.
My completed paint carving items.

Paint carving instructions

Try my paint carving video here!

Put together your workspace

This course of might be messy, so cowl your workspace with newspapers or a drop material. Collect all of your supplies and ensure your workspace is well-ventilated. Brush away any mud. You don’t need it to get in your piece, it’s going to make it troublesome to carve!

Put together your wooden

Sand the floor of your wooden to make it clean and take away any grime, mud, or free particles. Wipe it down with a moist material and let it dry utterly. This particularly goes for in case you are utilizing outdated or recycled wooden. The smoother the floor the higher!

Resolve in your design:

This can be a little tough. virtually like reverse glass portray. Consider what you need to carve and the colours. You’ll want about 30-40 layers of every shade (or extra relying on the look you need), then the following colours. I began with darkish within the background and went lighter for the center and high layers. As soon as you work this out, you might be prepared so as to add the layers of acrylic paint.

First layer of paint

Paint carving: Adding a layer of paint to wood plaque.

Apply a base coat of white paint, simply to function a layer to prime the wooden. Add your first shade layer of craft paint to the wooden. It doesn’t should be good – unevenness can add to the feel. Sure, it may be heavy (not too heavy although)! Let it dry utterly. I positioned my objects in entrance of a desk fan, it helped them dry a lot quicker.

Extra layers

Paint carving process.

Apply extra layers of various colours of craft paint, letting every layer dry utterly earlier than including the following. The extra layers you’ve gotten, the extra depth your carving can have. You don’t need to add an excessive amount of paint to every layer, it’s going to take means longer to dry. So what number of layers? The extra the higher in order for you completely different colours to indicate. I’d say at the very least 40-50 layers of every shade. If you’re solely utilizing one shade, then about 60-80 layers will work effective. 

Useful tip:

Actually be certain every layer is dry. Belief me. It’s terrible to carve into damp paint, it’s going to smash your challenge! Maintain the piece to your face and if it feels chilly, it nonetheless must dry longer.


No want to fret in regards to the wooden grain, it doesn’t matter. It’s coated! As soon as your final layer is totally dry, you can begin carving your design into the paint layers utilizing your linocut device. 

Hint your design onto the floor, or simply sketch utilizing a pencil. Carve rigorously and slowly. You’ll be able to carve all the way down to the wooden in some locations, and fewer deeply in others, to disclose the completely different layers of shade and create a layered impact.

To be secure at first, keep on with pure acrylic paint. Don’t combine and match forms of paints till you might be extra assured along with your course of.

For future reference, take notes of what number of layers you used. That means you’ll know find out how to change it up for the following piece!

Paint carving process.
This was my first paint carving piece and I carved too onerous! The wooden confirmed by! However I kinda appreciated it, so I left it.


Keep in mind to put on your mud masks and goggles when carving to guard your self from paint mud. Use a large brush to take away any particles. Save the carvings to make use of for different tasks!

Ending touches

Add different painted design parts or go away as is. I added dots and designs across the border of my items, as a result of that’s my model! You do you, boo.

Paint carving process.

When you’re completely happy along with your carving, you may apply a layer of clear varnish to seal and defend your work. Or you should utilize spray varnish as nicely. Glittered varnish too! Let it dry utterly earlier than hanging or displaying your paintings.

Clear-up: Clear your linocut instruments completely after use to maintain them in good condition for future tasks.

Isn’t paint carving such a twist on lino reducing and even conventional portray? I’m excited to create extra and greater items! Keep in mind, the great thing about this system lies in its unpredictability. Every layer of shade that you just carve away reveals a brand new facet of your artwork piece, and even errors can add to its uniqueness. Benefit from the course of and completely happy creating!

Associated concepts about portray and linocut artwork:

lino cut designs

Linocuts and block printing tutorial

Linocut sugar cranium greeting playing cards

Linocuts, my 1st time