Paint Kathryn the Koala in 8 easy steps

Hi, I’m artist Lillian Gray and today I’m going to finish off our little koala air-dry sculpture that we made in a previous video.


  • Fine sandpaper
  • Acrylic paint
  • Water & paper towel
  • Variety of brushes
  • Clear spray paint

For today’s lesson, you need various supplies. First up you are going to sand your sculpture so it looks nice and smooth and professional. You need to use quite fine sandpaper.

After that, we’re going to paint, so you must have acrylic paints for the colours that you have chosen. You will be able to clean your brushes with water and paper towel. You must also have various size brushes. A big brush for big areas, a small brush for the small areas. Once we are done with the sculpture, we are going to spray it with clear spray paint, and this helps us to seal the sculpture afterwards and gives it that incredible shiny look that gives it that pottery-glazed feeling.

Step 1: Sanding your sculpture

Step one is to sand your sculpture down and make sure it’s nice and smooth. If you finished off your sculpture well in the previous video with a wet brush, you don’t need that much sanding. This gives your sculpture a beautiful professional finish.

Step 2: Decide on a base colour

Step two is to decide on the base colour for your sculpture. I have decided on white so I’m going to be covering my entire sculpture in white. Make sure you get your brush into all the little nooks and crannies of the sculpture, tilt it, and view it at 360 degrees to make sure you have covered every little inch.

paint, acrylic paint, koala
Covering your koala with a base colour

Step 3: The touches on the inside of the ears

We are going to move on to add the little pink, fleshy colour of the inside of the koala’s ears.

painting, koala, acrylic paint
Adding pink to the inside of the ears

Step 4: Adding grey to the body of the Koala

Our next step is going to be adding the grey to certain areas of the body, so we are going to leave the stomach nice and fluffy and white, and then we are going to do the grey. You have to be very careful with this step because you don’t want to go into the eyes. I’d like to keep white around the eyes so I’m going to start with a smaller brush, do my outline of grey and then fill in my grey with my bigger brush.

paint, acrylic paint, koala
Paint the body grey

This helps you to be more cautious but it also helps you to work much faster since you’re then using a big brush from big areas and a tiny brush for the detail. When mixing your grey just be very careful. Black is almost like poison, you need very little to get rid of someone. So you just want to add a tiny bit of black to your white otherwise your grey is too intense.

Step 5: Add the black details

You need to add the black, little details in the sculpture, using a tiny brush.

acrylic painting, paint,, koala
Use black to add details

Step 6: Add the white details

Let’s add the white little details.

paint, acrylic paint, koala
Fine details using white

Step 7: Accentuate certain areas

We are going to accentuate various areas in our sculpture, bring out the tail, darken the little ears, and create the illusion of arms.

acrylic paint, koala, sculpture
Accentuate certain areas

Step 8: Seal your sculpture with clear spary paint

Our final step is to seal our beautiful koala. Remember this is air-dry clay, it’s not clay that we’ve put in an oven, it’s not that hard, and we don’t want our beautiful artwork to chip. So we’re going to seal it. I usually seal it about twice. If you are a child, please get a parent to help you with this step. Make sure you shake your can really, really well.

paint, acrylic paint, koala
Our koala is done

Your spray is now ready to go. Spray in a well-ventilated area, don’t gas yourself and it’s always good to wear a mask. And that’s it for painting our beautiful Kathryn the koala. If you want to add an extra little bling, you could just add a little clip or a bow that you could superglue on, just to make her a girl.

paint, acrylic paint, koala
The final step is sealing your sculpture

I’m artist Lillian Gray and if you enjoyed creating Kathryn the koala with me today, please be kind and give us a like, and a comment. It really helps our Youtube channel to grow, which enables us to create more awesome art projects for all of you.

Also have a look at our blog for amazing art history lessons as well as amazing art projects.

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