Here's a series of photos of a new bird sculpture I recently made for my wife. The bird is sand-cast using a mixture of fine sand, cement and perlite. The bird's form is initially scooped/"carved" out of the damp, compacted sand. Next, water is added to the mixture of sand-cement-perlite and the resulting slurry is gently poured into the prepared mold. The mix should be stiff enough to build up raised areas of relief that can be carved away the next day. Once the bird has hardened up overnight the sculpture can be carved and refined with a variety of tools. I like to use rasp-files, Shurform pocket-planes, old chisels, paint-scrapers, etc. The sculpture needs to be dried for two to three weeks to allow the cement to cure and all water to evaporate. Next, the from can be primed using an exterior grade primer paint. Then, the color begins. I use a variety of paints, mostly acrylic enamels that come in liquid form. They need to be exterior grade also to hold up to harsh outdoor conditions.