Monday, February 11, 2008

Watercolor Pencil Class

I'm taking a class online with Kate Johnson, who is truly a wonderful teacher, and a really talented artist. This is the second class I've been in with her, and it's really good. There is a spirit of friendly competition and generous sharing among the students, and Kate is quick to answer questions, offer suggestions and gives oodles of information. Well worth the cost (which is so reasonable.) Anyway, all that said, after a week of playing around with my various brands of watercolor pencils, and having nothing much to show for the time spent, I figured out that if it's basically a "watercolor" you need to abide by some of the "watercolor" rules. The (my, I should say) first one being, that you can get by with second rate paint, second rate brushes, but don't skimp on your paper! I got out some decent watercolor paper, and was pleased enough with the results to post it.

This one has several layers of pencil on it. I hatched in a color, and then wet it down. Let that area dry while I was working on another. Then as each section dried, I went in with another coat of color. The mango isn't exactly as I want it to be, but once it's good and dry, I can maybe go back into it. So, okay, why pencil when you can use real watercolors? Maybe it's as casual as the comfort of a pencil in your hand, or maybe because there is more control here, and they are fun to use. I'm still exploring that question. Let you know if I figure out something concrete.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Painting Walls

This is the main wall of the mural, from the horizon line down. I put the horizon line where it seemed comfortable to me, if I were say, standing on a hillside looking across a "valley." The center area was left from the original mural, and I didn't adjust the other painter's fence and stream.

Here's the extension of that wall, over to the toilet.

And behind the toilet, there was a tree from the original mural, which I adjusted:

Oops, forgot to remove the blue tape before I shot this one. The next several posts show more of the work. Thanks for looking.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Mural Done

My mural is complete, after four days of work. The next four entries show some of the views of the walls in the powder room. Here's how it worked:
Day 1: Took down switch plates, toilet paper holder, towel racks
Taped around edges with blue painter's tape
Plastic sheets and paper towels down for protection
Sanded areas to repair, then rolled latex paint over areas
Sketched out new views with vine charcoal
Started with mountains, then distant hills all around the four sides
Blocked in the new trees and sketched in the village and farm

It was a lot of prep work on the first day, and blocking in stuff lightly. This is the view of the corner behind the toilet. Thanks for looking.


Posted by Picasa
Day Two: Painting the main wall, and finishing the two small walls to the sides of the door. Mostly these were mountains, hills and some trees. Grassy fields, and the cows done. I worked in acrylics and used just a little Slow medium mixed into the paints. The wall is actually a nice surface to paint on, like a huge masonite board that doesn't move. These photos show the little chickadees above the mirror and over the door.

Right Corner and Behind Toilet

Posted by PicasaDay Three: The chickadees and finshing work on the sky. I had mixed a color to try to match the sky that was there, and got it too dark. Then went to the paint store to try to get a better match, which turned out to be too light. So I had to paint in clouds all around the merge point of the two sky colors, old and new. It finally looked okay. But it did set me back some hours. This photo shows the back wall behind the potty. The tree was there, but flat and choppy, each individual leaf was painted. I overpainted and massed the leaves, using Blending medium, and added quite a bit of new foliage. Also gave the trunk some definition with dry brush work over the trunk.

Village and Cows

Edge of the mirror, used to reflect a tree and fields.

Posted by Picasa
This is the main wall of the powder room, which runs the full length of the room. Here I put a village in the distance, and the cows under some shade trees. This is the first view as you walk into the bathroom. Below this are a line of field flowers along the bottom of the wall.
Day Four: Painted the wildflowers, mostly daiseys around the bottom of the wall, and finished up the tree work. Cleaned up, replaced all hardware, got paid! If you're thinking of doing a mural, and you have any questions, it's fresh in my mind and I'd be glad to help as much as I can.
Overall, it was a very interesting project, easier than I anticipated. The up and down the ladder, and the squatting on the floor part, well... and maybe the being in a little tiny powder room for a bunch of hours, but overall, I'm really glad that I took it on, and even better, the homeowner was incredibly pleased. Thanks for looking.
Related Posts with Thumbnails