Sunday, January 12, 2014

The the beginning!

So much PREP! So little time...........

This is a monumental task in just the preparation ..........although I have a fairly large studio, it is not large enough to prep several 4 x 8" sheets of plywood at the same time, unless I was able to empty it of all contents!

Therefore, I needed a place to do needed space for several large tables, good lighting, be accessible , on the ground floor AND have heat!!! We have a large garage but the heat was an issue. We shopped for a heater all over town before we finally located one at our local tractor supply place. Several hundred dollars and days later, there was heat.

By this time we are full swing into the Christmas season and I am on the phone daily, calling sponsors regarding photographs for the honorees of the mural. Message after message I left; everyone was so busy! And rightly so.....therefore, I knew I had to just chill and let Christmas happen and then have at it right after Jan.1. In the mean time, I got busy with educating myself about the task of painting a mural as opposed to a studio portrait in oils. I knew I would have to switch to acrylic paints but there were so many! Night after night, I was on the computer searching for answers, talking to fellow artists, etc. I finally settled on some paints and got 1 panel prepped for a trial run. Since I was the most available model, I posed, took my own photos, then drew it up and on the panel to test the paints and process, size and scale of the project. ( Did I mention I still had commissions to complete for Christmas?)

The paints were very different, even though I had worked with lots of acrylic paints. They just didn't move or cover the way I wanted them to. So back to the research!

Just as I thought I was on target, we were hit with a major artic blast with LOTS of snow and record-setting cold.........pipes frozen three times in a matter of just over a week! Too cold to even try to heat the garage warm enough; we were lucky to just stay warm enough in the house!

The pictures were starting to come in..........imagine someone thinking that you could paint a portrait of someone from a photo...........of a photo...........that was still under glass..........they used a flash...and the camera was their phone! (This happened not once but twice!)

The weather took a turn for the better and panels could be prepped. (That requires calking all the edges, twice. Two coats of primer coating the edges each time for a total of four coats on them.)
 I decided to skip the photos that were poor and lacking info and re-arrange the mural with the ones that I had good photo references for. Getting a few done right away is now my goal. I am getting the drawings done.
That is another issue...I thought I could save time  on the drawing stage and project the images I borrowed a projector from a friend, then the bulb went out. I located a bulb online for about $100.Of course, then I had to wait for it to ship. I had no idea how much distortion happens until I was trying to do someone I knew and saw how off the proportions were. So back to the old fashioned way, drawing freehand! TIME TIME TIME!!!
So here I am still trying to get number one done and I ordered another $150 worth of paints from another supplier, now waiting for them to arrive. In the mean time, I also had to buy a step stool and a platform to be able to work on the higher elements, ie, taller folks!
I do revert to some of my portrait tips though, like making a drawing on transparency to use as a 'master proof' for when the painting 'grows' beyond the edge or features get distorted, I can lay it over and find where I lost my way!
Once I get on a roll, you will see them progress quickly!   stay tuned....

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