Finishing

A variety of finishes are available to sculptors, some involving colour. Bronze may be coloured by patination with chemicals; colours can vary from deep brown, gold, to greens and blues reminiscent of the natural corrosion of the metal. Stone can be given a highly smooth finish using abrasives or be left in a more rugged, natural state. Wood can be left natural, or polished, or painted; ceramics may be glazed, which involves firing them to melt the glass in the glaze. New materials are generally painted, although clear resins can be very effective uncoloured. Plaster needs a protective coating of wax or varnish.

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Colley Cibber, possibly from the studio of Sir Henry Cheere, 1st Bt, circa 1740 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Colley Cibber
possibly from the studio of Sir Henry Cheere, 1st Bt
circa 1740
NPG 1045

William Whiston, by Unknown artist,  - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

William Whiston
by Unknown artist
NPG 733

Dame Edith Sitwell, by Maurice Lambert, 1985 (circa 1926-1927) - NPG  - Photograph © National Portrait Gallery, London

Dame Edith Sitwell
by Maurice Lambert
1985 (circa 1926-1927)
NPG 5801

Sir William Turner Walton, by Maurice Lambert, circa 1925 - NPG  - © Geoffrey Colley

Sir William Turner Walton
by Maurice Lambert
circa 1925
NPG 5913

James Joyce, by Renée Mendel, 1934 - NPG  - Photograph © National Portrait Gallery, London

James Joyce
by Renée Mendel
1934
NPG 5883

T.S. Eliot, by Sir Jacob Epstein, 1951 - NPG  - Photograph © National Portrait Gallery, London

T.S. Eliot
by Sir Jacob Epstein
1951
NPG 4440

Glenda Jackson, by Glenys Barton, 1993 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Glenda Jackson
by Glenys Barton
1993
NPG 6224

Noel Gilroy Annan, Baron Annan, by Glynn Anthony Williams, 1993 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Noel Gilroy Annan, Baron Annan
by Glynn Anthony Williams
1993
NPG 6220

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