Monday, March 19, 2007

Mural Completed

Look! The Lagoon Mural is now completed!

Here are some pictures of the entire thing, showing the context.

One real significant change I made to the mural in the final days was to alter the formation of the sand bar, making the beach wider, and more sloping, and adding a cut, or Pass, out to the main water from the lagoon...It made a big difference in the composition and effectiveness of the sand bar as a point of interest in the middle of so much blue water.

Some how it made the scene look less claustrophobic.

There Is A Way Out!

And a Way In!

The electrical plug box is well camouflaged by the Chinese Hat bush.

More Critters....

This mural is almost finished.
The final touches include a few more animals, so that the place looks really inhabited!

Here is a serious looking Gopher Tortoise, lounging in the grasses just as the path starts up the slope....

I added some drama to the water birds' activities in the mural by adding this white heron just as he is nabbing some lunch. At least I hope he got some lunch. Sometimes ''lunch'' gets away...

Here is the close up of this spoon bill,
also possibly having a successful snack....

The scale of some of these details is tiny; these birds are only an inch or so give an idea, notice the texture of the concrete....The detail you see here, in these close up photos, is almost not discernable with the naked eye, it's more like what you would be able to see with a magnifying glass.
(I don't paint with one by the way. Not yet!)

I am always pleasantly surprised when I look at these close ups, from my camera, to see the detail in the faces I was able to produce; its a mysterious process. I daub and feather around with the brush, never too sure if the eyes or the beak are really even legible to this degree.
It wouldnt really matter to the success of the mural. No one can see this!....However, here, and in other close ups on the blog, I can see that the tiny details were quite effective.. whether they can be seen or not!

Remember, if you click on the photos they get EVEN BIGGER!

more flowers!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Birds Arrive

Even though a lot of the mural isn't very detailed yet, I decided to start adding some wildlife now, that way I wont have to paint out nice plants to put in an animal later; so often I do that, and it's so foolish.

This is a little green heron. They are very secretive, and hang out in the grass, and under bushes, usually remaining hidden and low key.


These are roseate spoonbills, They are stunning birds, quite large and eat by sifting through the water to catch small bait fish in their wide flat beaks.


This is a little snowy egret. They are not shy birds and are a common sight on tropical roadsides (not very safe locations, sadly) and in people's gardens looking in ponds and puddles for stuff to eat, little fish, frogs and probably bugs too.

Here are a couple of yellow bellied turtles sunning themselves on a log.


In the late afternoon this mural comes alive with the red light of sunset. Its remarkable. It adds a lot to my painting!
To see any image on this blog larger, just click on it!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Tropical Lagoon Mural - todays work

Having received some expert meteorological
advice today, I changed the rainstorm
quite a bit...
compare it to yesterday's downpour!

I have also started to add the little distant details that flesh out the bare bones of a mural in progress.
Its very important to do the stuff in the background FIRST.
Trying to fill it in later by painting around a finished foreground,
with all of its details, is a recipe for bad temper.

Much as I would love to jump
straight to the up-close stuff I have planned:
birds, orchids etc -
I need to get the background in place and satisfactory-
including all clouds and rainstorms-
before I move on to the foreground
and even the middle distance.

I am painting on a fairly smooth cement screed,
but it still has its imperfections,
and cement is non- absorbent, requiring a certain build-up of
paint before things begin
to ''gel'' artistically.
Even then, the ridges and roughness of the surface can interfere a bit with the effect, depending on the light.

On the other hand, this is turning out pretty good, and I am very happy with today's work.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

New Mural

Now I have started a new mural project . It is being painted on a client's patio, out of doors. It is a a beautiful location, right on the water, surrounded by orchids and the cry of sea birds.

Early days for this project; these pictures give barely a hint of what's to come.

It gets very bright and rather hot by 3 pm, so I am starting early in the morning, most days (!) and having to wrap it up just after 3 or 3:30, its just blinding there, in the afternoon sun. Mornings are very pleasant however.

Sign For Horse Ranch

Just after the Bug Chest was completed, I did a quick project, a sign for a local horse ranch. It turned out very well, and the likeness of the horse on the sign to the owner's horse was striking.

Bug Chest Finished

A week or so ago, I finished the Bug are the final pictures of it. It is a delightful and unique piece.