So way back in June I posted that I was starting a mural on my back fence. I said it was going to be on the inside of the gate. I come the inside because If it sucked, no one would see it really. I also was trying to come up with something to paint on it that was cool, but was not really in my style. Lastly I wanted to use this cool new Mural Maker App.
All of the above failed!
Let start with where I painted. I got out to my fence in the alley and realized I was being a wimp! Why do a mural that no one would see? Plus the challenges of painting on a fence are tough enough without adding in cross bars and such. So, I made up my mind... I was going to do the gate facing the alley for all to see.
Next, what to paint? Nice nature inspired scene...nope, doesnt really work for me. So, in Procreate on my iPad, I did a couple cool sketches of my kids and thought that would work great, and since the gate is two doors, I could do my daughter holding a frog on one side and my son holding his Nintendo Switch on the other. I could break up the work from door to door. Since I had already sketched it in Procreate, it should be easy to separate colors and maki a little more graphic and easy to transfer to the large fence.
Next fail, the Mural Maker App! I went out to the alley to test out the app and thought,"well, if it works, I'll keep going, if it doesnt, I'll pack it in and try another day... So I get to the ally, set up the tripod for my camera, sync it with my iPad and import my procreate image. It looks great!! and everything seems to be functioning. I can see my hand over the image, the image is fitted to the gate...but when I walk all the way up to the gate with my chalk in hand, it freezes!!!!! The distance from where I need to have the camera and where I need to stand to work is too much. It freezes every time. It's unusable. Plus the sun is causing so much glare on my screen it is hardly viewable.
I'm too stubborn to give up.
I stood there with some chalk in hand and the biggest Posca black paint marker and the iPad image... I raised the chalk and just started to free hand it. In minuets I had completed my daughter's side in chalk.... again, I posted an image of the original art and you can see the distorted proportions of the her face, but in the end I kinda liked the look. Well, the sky had turned a bit overcast and I thought, "damn, It's going to rain and I'll loose it all, so I pulled out my paint marker and went at it. Finished! and the clouds burned off and it turned even hotter outside... I went into get a drink.
Enter the Grid!
Wen I came back out, I realized there were many lines that were not exactly where I wanted them. Doing a large piece, outside, it can distort your view and perspective, but it wasn't anything I couldn't correct with paint. So, before starting to freehand my son's side. I played out a grid in Procreate and a grid in chalk on the fence and used that as my guide. SOOO much easier, I went right in with chalk guides and then the Posca paint marker...
Day One, Outlines complete, no turning back now!
The Painting Process
Now, how to paint it? Earlier that week I had moved my painting cart full of oils and old acrylics out side to paint a friends guitar... I no longer was painting with acrylics and I had a lot of student grade/lower quality paints that I would no longer use for any of my professional art work. So I decided to only use old paint that I would have otherwise discarded. And only old brushes, basically making it a recycled/re-use paint job. I had an idea of the color scheme that I wanted to use, a kind of turquoise/green for skin tones and reds and oranges to contrast in clothing. My goopy old greens and blues were in rough shape and I had to keep adding water and storing the white to get rid of the clumps... Old crappy paint was a real challenge but in the end it worked!
The sun beats down in my alley all day. So I managed to get the patio sun screen into the alley for most days. It took me 3-4 days of painting as I just couldn't stand out there with the heat and mosquitoes for vary long. But it was finally finished!... well, not really, over the last few month of summer, I've been feeling like the center between the two kids needs some paint. I originally wanted to leave it unfinished in the center... But it may need a little something... Still debating on it.
In the End
I learned a lot, like:
Dont buy cheap paint in the first place
Use a grid, it's better than any app.
Plan and prep... I didnt put down a primer and that cheap paint was soaked up by those old raw board
Enjoy the process... by which I mean, give yourself the time to paint so that you can enjoy it.