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3D Painting

Christopher Ryan assembles Plexiglas into a three-dimensional seashore painting.

Christopher Ryan of Springvale, Maine, gained inspiration for his latest project from his fascination with animation. It is what he describes as "a frozen piece of animation" and what he calls a "Plexy Pix," which is three or more pieces of Plexiglas assembled into a three-dimensional painting.

Materials and Tools:

11" x 14" Plexiglas
1' x 1" wooden dowel (1-foot by 1-inch diameter)
Plexiglas glasscutter
T-square straight edge
plastic adhesive
acrylic paint:
- 3 colors of blue
- 2 colors of green
- white
- black
- red
- gray
airbrush – optional
photo reference – optional

Figure A


1. Score the Plexiglas using a T-square for a straight edge into a selected size. Then score the Plexiglas into three same size rectangular-shaped pieces for the "Plexy Pix" three-dimensional painting.

2. Place the Plexiglas on the wood dowel directly on the scored cut. Apply pressure evenly on both sides until the glass breaks along the scored line (figure A). Continue with the other scored lines until you have three pieces.

Figure C

3. Working from a photograph for reference, start with the background piece of Plexiglas. Using acrylics and a paintbrush, apply the sky color and water colors, blending the two where they meet (figure C). Application by airbrush results in even distribution of the paint. Let the paint dry.

Figure D

4. On the second sheet of Plexiglas, paint the water at the bottom and begin painting the lighthouse scene and clouds in the sky (figure D). Continue painting the image, adding the attached house, grass and rocks. Let dry.

Figure F

5. On the third piece of Plexiglas, paint the waves and elements of the foreground (figure F). Let dry.

Figure H

6. Snap small square spacers from leftover Plexiglas and glue one in each corner of the background piece of Plexiglas using clear drying plastic adhesive. Let dry. Apply glue to the top of each corner spacer and place the middle Plexiglas piece on top being careful to line it up with the background piece (figure H). Let dry.

Figure I

7. Apply four Plexiglas spacers to the corners of the middle piece of Plexiglas with clear drying adhesive (figure I). Let dry.

Figure J

8. Apply adhesive to the top of each spacer and glue the foreground piece of Plexiglas on the top lining it up with the other two pieces (figure J). Let dry.

Display your "Plexy Pix" 3D painting on an plate easel or frame and enjoy.


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