It took 23 days to do the two murals at Eureka. Every day for 23 days. A total of 158 and a half hours. Which sounds a lot when you say it in one go! But not when you think about the work involved, it was always going to take a long time. I’d done as much as I could before hand in the working drawings, and working paintings. I’m not including the time on those in the days and the hours I’ve quoted here. There were many hours working on them too.
The first mural took longer than the second one. But I suppose I was partly learning about the way the paint would go on the wall. In the end I was delighted that it painted easily on the wall and I didn’t use as much paint as I had expected. But as I said before I would rather have too much paint than not enough when I was doing such large pieces of art. Also I wasn’t sure how many layers of paint I needed to cover the underlying cream paint that was on the wall. I gently sanded off the wall to make sure that the acrylic paint stuck properly too it, I didn’t want it falling off, peeling off, or washing off after all the hard work I was going to put in it!
The first thing to do for the first mural (8 feet x 5 feet 3 inches) was to grid off the wall in pencil, so that it equalled the way the working painting was gridded. That done, I drew out each block within the grid as per the basic line drawing in the working image. After that was done, it was a case of standing back to make sure the images within each block fitted with the main image and it flowed nicely. That took a day and half to complete. Then came the fun part, the paint and colour!
I started with the left hand side of the painting – due to the nature of the image and it being the easier part to paint, and needing strong contrast in it as well. There needed about three layers to create that effect I wanted, and using my ordinary acrylic artist brushes the paint blended as I expected it too, and of course dried as quickly as I expected, as it was acrylic (a plastic paint that is mixed with water). I was delighted with the effect, and the few people who did see it certainly "Wow’ed" over the look of it. So that certainly proved to me that I was doing it in the way I wanted to, for the result I was hoping for!! I carried on painting until it was finished, and again was delighted that the finished painting looked EXACTLY like the working painting I was working from. Before I started the next one I asked the clients who had commissioned it if I needed to put some sort of matt varnish over it, I certainly didn’t think it needed it, and they agreed with me. Its acrylic, it should wash if anything is spilt on it.
The minute I finished the first mural, I started the second mural (12 feet 6 inches x 6 feet), and again gridded it out, but this one was a lot bigger and more complicated to do so I had to grid more squares, and also number them on my working drawing, as it was difficult to work out which was 8 across and 5 down otherwise, and I didn’t want to get it all wrong and find I’d put 7 across and 4 down in it instead! That took me 3 days to draw out. The whole image hung on that drawing, and I needed to make sure I got it right before starting painting and getting it one hundred percent right.
But once the drawing was done, the image was in some ways a lot easier certainly for the first 40 per cent of the painting. I did that easily in a couple of days painting, using big brushes and getting exactly the effect I wanted in that top part of the painting. As I worked down the painting it got easier to physically do it, but more complicated too, so I had to use a small brush for the fine details.
It took 10 days to start and finish the painting on the second mural.
The clients were happy, I got a "Perfect!" in response as I asked the day before I finished. When I finished fully and had cleared away my paints ready to come home, I stood back to view the two murals, and absolutely am delighted with the way they look, with the way they compliment each other, and the room (and the room isn’t finished yet, it is in the process of being revamped, part of which had to be delayed whilst I was painting the murals, which is why I worked every day one after the other to get them complete so that I wasn’t holding up the work any more that I needed to). There are echoes in my murals that pick up the colours elsewhere in the room, which means they work in harmony with each other.
I am sooooooooooooooooooooo pleased with the murals. I am so pleased with the effect of them. I am so pleased with the way they compliment the room, and that I have been trusted to put my artwork on the walls of a business like that. Lots of people are going to view them…when the club opens again towards the end of June.
Until then, I can talk about them, but not show them….
But I think they’re worth the wait……