Most people have heard of Lewis Paterson “Pattinson” and his amazing sculptures made from matchsticks, especially since his work has been featured in some huge popular culture books (e.g., The Tatty Boom-Boom Project and The Stick Figure Collection). If you follow my Instagram page, you’ll probably know that I’m a big fan of these sculptures and have been for a while now. However, not all of Pattinson’s work is phenomenal. There are times when his pieces just don’t look good at all…

I’ve always felt that there was something really unique and special about his work that could be improved upon, and today, I’ve found the answer. With a little bit of Photoshop magic, I’ve been able to take a piece of gun sculpture that I have and make it look better than ever before. So if you’re wondering how a professional like Lewis Paterson could be surpassed at his own craft, let’s take a look.

The Sculpture

I actually found two separate pieces that formed the basis for my project. The first was an older sculpture made from matchsticks that I had and the second was an image of a gun that I found online (which you’ll see in a minute).

While I loved the originality of the matchstick sculptures, the fact that they were so small made them kind of difficult to work with. It’s not that I couldn’t do amazing things with them, but it took me a while to find the right piece to work with. Finally, I found these two and knew that they were perfect for my needs. They were lightweight, easy to manipulate, and most importantly, they had the same general aesthetic as the rest of my work. So even though they were two totally different media, they still fit perfectly together.

Blow Up The Sculpture

I started by duplicating the first piece, setting it to black and white and making it bigger (this is just to change the proportions a little bit). From there, I started work on my second piece; using a combination of the clone stamp and the airbrush, I was able to create a layer with the texture of old, dirty plaster while adding some highlights here and there. Once I had that layer completed, I started adding more detail with the airbrush, focusing on the metallic sheen of the gun and the creases in the paper where the gun is pressed against it. Finally, I added a small amount of color to the overall piece using the clone stamp and my finger to paint around the edges of my sculpture. This was a time-consuming process, but I definitely think it was worth it.


When you put two totally different media together like this, there’s always going to be some sort of proportion issue. You can’t just take a two-dimensional drawing and turn it into a three-dimensional sculpture. However, with some careful planning and measurement, you can make it look amazing. In this case, I used the original gun piece as a base. I then measured and calculated the sizes of my duplicate piece so that it fit perfectly alongside the original.

One of the most important things to do before starting this project is to sketch out what you’re going to do. You don’t need to know the exact measurements or how many pieces you’re going to need (although, it helps), but you should know the general idea behind what you’re doing. This will save you a lot of time and make the whole process a lot more fun. Plus, you’ll know exactly what you’re aiming for, which helps a lot with the final product. Don’t be afraid to take your time with this process, especially since you’re doing something that you’ve never done before and aren’t exactly sure how it’s going to turn out. It’s a lot of fun to experiment and see what happens when you apply your own techniques to something new, but it also makes the whole process a little bit more complicated. So take your time and do it right.

There are so many different techniques that you can use to make your matchstick sculptures look like they’ve been painted by an artist. You can use any color that you want and go for as many layers as you want; it’s up to you. All of these techniques will give your work a unique feel that you can’t get from just using regular matchsticks. So don’t be afraid to experiment and see what happens.