The Big Paintset


We recently stayed at a B 'n' B in Tirau.  The gentleman of the house had made a large bird sculpture for his front lawn. I asked him what it was made of and said that it was actually just polystyrene and plaster. I resolved there and then to have a go my own sculptures with his simple recipe.

For the new Gallery, I wanted to make something eye catching, and what better for a working gallery than some giant tools of the trade? Particularly given the the gallery is, well, quite small. I figured that a couple of giant paintbrushes, palette and perhaps some big tubes of paint might be good for starters - before I start on the dinosaurs! Er... or whatever...

20211030 105021
20211030 105011

Base Shapes

Anyway I decided to start with a length of plastic tube wrapped in blocks of expanded polystyrene:

Coating It

I couldn't really find the kind of plaster I thought I'd need. I tried some bog on a small section. It was fortunate that I did as I didn't appreciate that there must be some solvent in the stuff and it started to rapidly dissolve the polystyrene. I had visions of checking on the thing the next day to find it back to being just a plastic tube.

Next I tried gib filler, which I knew to be water based. I liberally coated the brush in this ready for the next stage: More sanding.

20211031 150052
20211107 173350

The Big Paint Tube

Each stage consisted of a frenzy of action followed by a tedium of waiting, so whilst I waited for successive sand-fill step of the brush to complete I made a start on the big paint tube. For this, I used chicken wire for the shape, covered in papier-mâché (newspaper and wallpaper paste). Then it was time for more waiting...

The lid was made from yet more polystyrene.


I opted for grey with a paint effect, rather than metallic paint for the metal part of the brush because I didn't actually have any metallic paint.

For the handles I went with bright primary colours.

20211114 134246
20140705 133300

By Mark B

Mark has been drawing and painting since the late 1800s and has exhibited work in galleries and venues around the UK.