Friday, August 21, 2015

Your Guide to the Mural-Painting Method (Part 2)

As the second mural of the Saskatchewan Government Employees' Union (SGEU) commission comes swiftly to fruition -as promised- I will take a pause for the cause and post some more pictures of the "work-in-progress". Sometimes it's a challenge to keep up with myself, as once I get painting, I have to make a conscious effort to stop long enough to photograph my progress! You will recall that the last picture(s) in my previous post showed the addition of a translucent "violet" glaze. After this, it was time to add the "translucent blue" glaze.

The shadowy bits really start to sing with the addition of a "blue glaze".
With the addition of each successive glaze -in this case blue- the image increasingly "pops".

When contrasted with the previous pictures (sans blue) you can see the amplification of the detail.
It's always exciting to watch the images clarify with each new glaze. Not only does each step add appreciable detail, but also beefs up the contrast...which of course is fundamental to the process.

The shapes and forms take on a more vivid appearance...
I decide to "pan" across the surface of the mural so you could see how the "global" approach to glazing...persisting in completing each successive treatment from left to right, and from up to down, before moving on to the next glaze. This approach creates a dynamic uniformity; put another way, visual continuity.

A sweeping view of the mural: 6' high (plus the extensions) x 24 running feet.

Remember, there is absolutely NO white aka light as of yet. The background hue -a warm golden orange- is standing by as the neutral base. It is only after all of the "tonal study" is completed that white is introduced for the first time.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Your Exclusive Guide to the Mural-Painting Method

As usual, the first step in starting any painting...from easel painting to the most massive separating the light from the dark by indicating everything "dark" with a translucent orange glaze. This the first step in the "tonal study" and must be executed across the entire surface. No dark shape, shadow or form is left behind. In case you haven't noticed, this "global glazing" technique creates a wonderful visual continuity from the very beginning of the 13-step process.

The so-called "global glazing" technique creates "visual continuity" throughout the 13-step process.

No shadow, shape or form that qualifies as "dark" is omitted in the first orange glaze.
When I start a painting, I work methodically across the entire surface to indicate separation between light and dark. This "global" approach not only keeps the process nicely organized, but also immediately creates a certain continuity, which will pay off in spades as the painting develops.

Time to fire up the 2nd glaze, a translucent red.
 With each successive glaze, the resolution increases dramatically. I consider the first glazes as "sketch" glazes, preparatory studies that allow me to make critical decisions in the refinement of the detail. This is possible due to the fact that each glaze presents so much more detail.

The second (red) glaze nears completion.
You can plainly see that the details of the mural increase exponentially with each successive glaze.

Look what happens with the addition of the "violet" glaze!
Once I initiate the "violet" glaze, things really start to pop. I think of violet as the first really definitive glaze, as far as the resolution of the detail goes. Put it this, you better make sure that you have a good handle on the composition and detail by this time, because by now, you are definitely committed!

Violet is a definitive glaze, as it really pops the detail.
I always find it so gratifying to reach glaze three, which is a translucent violet. Even with ten remaining glazes to full-on technicolor, the violet glaze creates a powerful impression of the potential of the image.

From one end to another and from top to bottom, each glaze is methodically applied.
This so-called "Global Glazing" technique is something that I have meticulously developed over the course of sixty-odd large murals and hundreds of easel paintings. Make no mistake about it, this technique was developed over many years of trial and error, but mostly it is common sense when the desired end game is a lustrous, rich, life-like result.

The third glaze (translucent violet) shown in its completion.
Followers of my blog will recognize that each glaze serves to enhance all of the preceding glazes. One of the huge advantages of employing the "translucent" glaze is that all of the successive glazes mingle and dance with their fellow glazes. Nothing gets "buried" as I progress through the complete 13-step process, but rather, all of the glazes compliment each other, glowing in their full-spectrum glory. So stay tuned, as this mural will blossom rapidly in front of your eyes!

If you want to see a sneak preview of the entire 13-step process, feel free to check out this 48-second video that I created a while back.