One of the most influential processes on a sculpture, and creative, might possibly be the patina. Most people don’t know how I color a statue, or that it’s even possible!
The process of adding color to a bronze sculpture or metalwork is called patination. This is the chemical process of adding a thin layer of chemicals which oxidizes the surface of the bronze work.
Bronze can be colored different hues and shades depending on the type of chemical used. For instance, to create a beautifully rich red on a sculpture, cuprite is used to penetrate the pores. For a black/brown coloring, copper sulfide is to thank!
A natural patina can also be added to a bronze or metal sculpture unintentionally due to the natural elements where the artwork is located. Corrosion of the metal can cause natural patina that can show up from colors ranging from brown to blue-green as oxidation occurs.
When I patina my sculptures, I work with a skilled artist who understands the chemicals to use as well as the level of heat that is needed to penetrate the bronze. As you can see on “Our Lady of Guadalupe,” many different colors were selected to recreate the historic painting accurately.
This patina artist used a torch and added the oxidizers at a head of over 300 degree Fahrenheit.
I love adding patina to sculptures to create a more realistic and detailed artwork. The colors and hues on a bronze sculpture not only adds depth and dimension, but a level of realism that ensures the highest quality of artwork for my client.