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Grey/tan Dirt?

Discussion in 'Habitat and Exhibit' started by Non-TypicalArtist, Feb 6, 2019.

  1. Non-TypicalArtist

    Non-TypicalArtist ABOVE Expectations. BEYOND Ordinary.

    Looking for ideas on what others may use for dirt such as the greyish color dirt for a Sonoran, MX or Western type habitat?
  2. AZ~Rich

    AZ~Rich " Africa" never fails to satisfy

    Try looking at various colored grouts (sanded or smooth) at Home Depot or Lowe’s to mix with other elements depending on what you are trying to achieve. I also use concentrated dry powder pigments used for masonry found in same stores. Sometimes I blend all of above with very fine sand, local dirt, and sifted potting soil. On foam bases after coating with diluted Elmer’s glue (3 glue to 1 water), I apply the mix to coat it. A misting water spray bottle can create special washed effects and/or coloration streaks with diluted tempura paints. Also tiny amounts of powdered pigments dusted on this surface and misted will create richer highlights if desired.
    Alpine Taxidermy and Fallenscale like this.

  3. Non-TypicalArtist

    Non-TypicalArtist ABOVE Expectations. BEYOND Ordinary.

    That is some great information you provided there. Much appreciated!
    qltycapes likes this.
  4. tomdes

    tomdes Me my dear and Fall BAZZ!!!

    I just completed a base using MP's mix in his video. Which is just vermiculite, dry plaster-paris, glycerin, and cheap dark brown and black Tempera paints. It's easy to mix and apply and it's light.. You can add whatever you'd like to the top for texture or just rough up the surface after you've applied it. The good thing is when it dries you can use Windex'd thinned tempera paints and give it any coloration you'd like.

    Just another option..
  5. Non-TypicalArtist

    Non-TypicalArtist ABOVE Expectations. BEYOND Ordinary.

    Another good post. Thanks!
  6. I have built a base or two with rock panels and added motor mix (that I added tempra powered paint to), then used an aerosol adhesive spray or brushed on white glue and sprinkled dirt over it to add some depth in colour and form. I also have been known to pull over and grab a Ziploc of dirt while driving when I see some with an interesting colour to use as a top-coat later also. 2014_California_Bighorn-sml.jpg base-moth.jpg base-sml.jpg
    LilyDay likes this.
  7. Even playground sand you can purchase most places in sandbags can work when mixed with small bags of special coloured sands from the Dollar Store or Michaels craft supplies.
  8. Non-TypicalArtist

    Non-TypicalArtist ABOVE Expectations. BEYOND Ordinary.

    Thanks guys!
  9. Dave York

    Dave York Well-Known Member

    I always keep containers of sand, potting soil mix, cellulose insulation, potters clay(makes mixes sticky) plaster mix, cement, the cement/grout stain mentioned above and plaster of Paris.
    You can use the cellulose insulation (ground paper) for coarse texture.
    With all that you can play with it to make different textures. With the dye you can sprinkle it on dry or mix wet. Sprinkling on different colors and misting it gives nice effects.
    I’ve also used a drywall texture applicator ($20. At harbor freight) to texture things.
  10. woakley144

    woakley144 Active Member

    Great post! But I have one question.....

    I manufacture a rock from foam, rock texture, what can I seal it with to help keep it from chipping??

    Attached Files:

  11. Non-TypicalArtist

    Non-TypicalArtist ABOVE Expectations. BEYOND Ordinary.

    Thanks for the feedback to my question. I thought I would share how my base turned out.

    Attached Files:

  12. That rock and dirt looks great! You'd know better than I about cactus placement...not much of that here in northern BC.
  13. Western Wildlife Art Studio

    Western Wildlife Art Studio STUDIO PHONE (406) 356-2100

    Is the sheep permanently attached to the base or is it removable.,
    looks pretty nice .
  14. Fallenscale

    Fallenscale Well-Known Member


    Ever find any thing to keep your rock base out of foam from chipping?
  15. woakley144

    woakley144 Active Member

    Nope.... I have tried matte clear, elmer's glue & water seems to help fairly well.
    Fallenscale likes this.