Friday, March 16, 2012

Mural Painting - A Nontraditional Approach

Remember to click on images to enlarge.
The finished mural...tape is off but dropcloths still in place.
The beginning! Loose sketch in chalk done with use of opaque projector.  See the string?  It's to help with perspective/vanishing point/s.  Never use graphite pencil or pastels containing oils.  These will bleed through acrylics and cause nightmares!
After painting many "small" murals where there is some flexibility of design, I've settled into a process that is comfortable and flexible.  (To me, small is less than 12' X 12').  Granted, there are times when one must reproduce an approved design exactly, but often the submitted mock-ups or proposals cannot render fine detail beyond overall design and color palette.
Larger view with garden bench on left as per proposed design.
This mural was to be a landscape with a "step-into" effect (trompe l'oeil) utilizing an archway with columns as the framework.  The clients desired a soft Impressionist style with dogwoods, rolling hills beyond a garden and a winding pathway. 

Where'd that bench go? 
This photo skips ahead quite a lot as I experienced camera focus failure - a horrible malady that gets you when you delay examining photos stored in your camera until it is too late.  The background is blocked in as is much of the middle ground.  You can see the painter's tape employed for straight edges.  You can also see that the bench has disappeared.  The painting was getting too busy on the left and with the overlapping details to come, it would have been obscured.
The bench returns as a ghostly outline...
Yes, the "stone" block floor is part of the mural.  The client's furniture would be covering much of it, so details were "raised" by using this effect.  The picture taped up center was to remind me to keep my hues from becoming too intense.  I use dozens of references as I paint!!  But in final stages, all are put away to allow personal style to come through (one hopes!).
Columns are underway and more details of background and foreground blocked in.
Notice how the bench seems to float without its shadow.

Background trees have been refined and foreground detail added.

Much work to do yet on the columns, stone floor and shadows, but more refinement here of the large Mimosa tree, rhododendron and finally - dogwood branches in foreground.
A large Forsythia was added to make the bench more inviting.

The finished mural!  - From the other entrance to the room.
Play of light and shadow on floor and pathway added.  Columns are shaded and detailed and archway color redefined.Rhododendron is enlarged and cast shadows painted in. 


Roy said...

Wow! Great work, Patrice!

Carrie Jacobson said...

Patrice, this is so cool! It really makes me feel like I could walk right out and into the beautiful outdoors. Congratulations!

Karen said...

Beautiful Work!!!

Mayra Mancebo said...

waoo! ... I'm amazing, I can imagine that the room looks beautiful. Congratulations!

Patrice said...

Thanks Roy and Carrie!

Karen - Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Your chalkboards are incredible! - And photographing stones on the beach? I thought I was the only one!

Marya - Your blog wouldn't fit on my small screen - but I loved the work.
Thank you.

~Babs said...

Omigosh, Patrice,,,this is just gorgeous!
Your name should be Patience, not Patrice.
Such detail,,and oh so real.

Patrice said...

Hi Babs. Your comment cracked me up. I'm one of the most impatient people! That's one reason I don't grid out the mural - or even submit detailed design proposals (unless I must). I just want to get on with the painting! And I'm happiest when I have flexibility.

This mural took about 12 days - painting five or six hours each day and stretched over three weeks or so.

DJ said...

Pure skill, which renders beauty, my friend. Most enjoyable...

Wish we could meet on that bench for a cuppa something.

Paint On!

Patrice said...

I second that DJ. You're such an inspiration to all of us here!

One of these days when we can afford a road trip, we'll meet - in the middle if necessary!

Jani Lori said...

Bravo! Beautiful!

GetSoiled said...

Are YOU serious????? I am in awe. I am bowing down to you Master of the Brush. Dang!!! just stunning!

Chelsea Kelly said...

You have beautiful work! I love that you showed your process in making this. The colors are fabulous!

Patrice said...

Hi Chelsea - Thanks for stopping by and for your kind words!

It's interesting to me that I can read my post at this later date and be much more objective about the work and the writing. I'm grateful when others point out gaps or state whether my process is helpful to them.