Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Mural Mosaic Progress Post # 6

Step 6: More detail on the water and a little more refinement of the duck. I've changed the waterline on the duck so he seems more like he's in the water. Check back for more soon. This painting has a tight deadline and I am pushing to finish it pronto!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Mural Mosaic Progress Post #5

Step 4: More refinement and starting to pick out shapes in the rocks. I"ve also added a bit more shading and lighting to the duck.

Step 5: Getting into the fun part - detail! I've put quite a bit of work into the rocks and started to define the water. I have a long way to go but it is starting to look like something. The blue shape at the bottom is strange, but is part of the design for the mural, so I must work hard to retain it and make it look like a reflection of the sky. Katelyn's hampster idea would've been a whole lot easier!
Found out that the mural project will be the subject of a documentary during the Olympics!
See the active grid of the mural as it comes together: http://www.muralmosaic.com/kunamokst.html

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Mural Mosaic Progress Post #4

Step 3: Now I'm starting to work out how the water and rocks will look. This is a challenge because I am pretty much winging it, needing to conform to the tones and shape of the predetermined design. I am depending on memory and past experience observing and painting surf. As I post the stages of this project, you'll notice the colors shifting. Much of that will be due to the various light conditions present when I take photos of the art in progress. The first two stages were photographed outside and this stage inside at night. I will be sure to post the finished art as close to actual color as I can manage! Be sure to check out the active grid of the mural to see how it's shaping up. Can you guess what the image will be? I sure can't yet!

Active grid:

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Mural Mosaic Progress Post #3

Step 1: Here is our duckie now in his native surf habitat. I've painted him in pretty quickly and as you can see, it will take a few layers of paint to cover up the background showing through him. Oh, this is acrylic by the way.
Step 2: Here he is after a bit more paint, starting to give him some dimension. I will probably paint on him a little more and then work on the water and rocks. I typically work on the whole painting, bringing all the elements together in stages. Some artists do the subject to completion and then do the background, or visa versa. My paintings tend to be a mess until the very last stages.
I haven't done anything to the background yet. It appears darker because of the changing daylight between photos. Keeping the overall purple-ness of the panel will be a challenge!

Mural Mosaic Progress Post #2

Harlequins! One of the most beautiful ducks in our Lord's waterfowl collection! I haven't painted one in years so this will be a treat.

First I gathered some reference, not the best photos but they'll have to do.

Some drawings from my sketchbooks, all done from life.

Sketches by Shari Erickson
I then did a quick rough sketch:

I cleaned it up and came up with a final sketch

This sketch I transfered onto the panel.

Mural Mosaic Progress Post #1

A mural mosaic is a very large work of art made up of many individual paintings, which when arranged together, form an image. This project, The West Coast Mural Kunamokst, is a compilation of 231 separate pieces of art by over a hundred different artists. Each piece will depict an image in keeping with the west coast theme. None of the artists know what the finished mural will look like (except it's designers of course)! Konamokst will be 11 feet high and 21 feet long when it is complete. There is an active grid of the mural, with updates of finished panels being added at http://www.muralmosaic.com/kunamokst.html

I am very excited to be one of the artists involved in the creation of Kunamokst. It is an honor to be among such a wonderful group of talented painters.

Below is the panel assigned to me - panel #147. It arrived as a one foot square piece of hardboard with an absract splash of color painted on it complete with "up" arrow. I am to come up with a design that retains the color and tonal aspects of the panel, covering up all the original surface with my own painting.

So, what to paint? I stared at it for a while. Talked with my niece about it, who suggested a hampster riding a sandpiper. Yup, you read that right...Gazed at it some more. Drew up a few sketches, none of which did a thing to inspire me. Then, in the wee hours of the morning, I woke up with an image in my head: a harlequin duck in surf! I love harlequins and have seen many in the surf around jetties and headlands. A very west coast duck for sure! Look closely at the panel. Can you see a duck in there?