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I haven't done many mache projects, but the one I'm doing for my scarecrow is working out pretty well. Won't be terribly weatherproof, but I'm using a combination of spray paints or acrylic for the base coat, and then carefully selected colors of acrylic to drybrush or wash (depending on desired effect) over it. Then a final clearcoat. Won't want to leave it in the rain, but you get a lot of control over the appearance.

The lack of rain resistance isn't an issue if you're the sort of person who puts things out only for a day or two. I'm wondering how well it might hold up though with very thick application of that clear layer.

But anyway, painting such that you get a nice dark color in the crevices and a lighter shade drybrushed across the ridges, you can get a lot more definition out of the surface texture and details than really exists. Take for example the picture below... three colors are in the "brown" part of the picture:

 
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