KOCHI: Anew technique called ‘sculpture painting’ is catching up all over social media. The technique, developed by Russian artist Evgenia Ermilova, is difficult, but also aesthetic. The technique involves both sculpture making and painting. And this might be the reason why as of now, only a handful of people are dabbling in it in the entire country. Asha Rodrigues from Thiruvananthapuram is one such artist.
“For me, art is a hobby. You can call me an art enthusiast,” said Asha, who projects herself as a watercolour, acrylic, sculpture and resin art enthusiast. “When I came across the technique, its beauty and intricacy attracted me,” she added. “I wanted to try it out and did some research too before joining a class,” said Asha.
“The artist Evgenia Ermilova, who developed the technique, wanted to popularise it and trained many masters. I trained under a master in Pune,” said Asha who is now based in Mumbai and works with a corporate company. “Sculpture paintings are not made using common clay. It is made using a special sculpting paste, comprising clay, pigments, fibre-glass and functional additives and the artist needs to be very dextrous,” she said.
It is very muscular, said Asha. “The paste, while in the tub, is very moist and pliable. But once it comes in contact with air, it starts to dry and becomes difficult to work with. So, you have to be very careful and move fast,” she said. According to her, no two artists will have the same sculpture painting. “You can’t copy what Evgenia does. You need to develop your style,” said Asha.
“Mostly, the themes of sculpture paintings are flowers—roses, dandelions and poppy. I craft roses and they are very distinctive,” she said. There are two types of sculpture painting—flat and protruding. Asha is into 3D models. “Each artist has their way of working. The idea behind the technique is to make the flowers appear as real and as massive as possible.
In a painting, you can change the colours even as you work on it. That isn’t the case here. This is a sculpture, so we can’t redo colours or forms if anything goes wrong,” she said. The painting takes more than six hours to be ready. “It depends upon the size of the sculpture. Bigger the sculpture, the more time it takes to dry,” she said.
“Some artists start the sculpture on the board, forming a base. However, I make each part of the sculpture painting separately and then combine them all on the board,” she said. She took to this technique because of the vintage appeal of the final product. “I have been doing this for a year now and have made around 10 to 15 pieces,” she said. It takes three to four months for a person to get the hang of the technique, she added.