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Progress timeline photos while painting the mural for Chorus / Keep NZ Beautiful on Puahue Road, Te Awamutu, New Zealand.
'Fishing with Escher' Mural in Waipa
Chorus & Keep NZ Beautiful commission local artists to paint murals on their chorus cabinets to prevent vandalism. This is my mural on Puahue Road, Te Awamutu, NZ.
Original Sea Creature Design Proposed
If you've been thinking about proposing one of your designs for a mural project I encourage you to GO FOR IT! This is my original design, I didn't have time to colour it so just put it forward with a description of the colour scheme! I thought "The worst thing they can say is 'No' and I can cope with that". I was stoked when they said 'Yes' and they would pay me for my artwork.
Mural transfer technique
For larger works some artists use a measuring tool (e.g. a piece of 1m doweling) to lay out a grid and then paint their image square by square for accuracy. My cabinet was so small I simply decided to transfer using acetone.
Mural Image transfered successfully
I re-sized my image to fit my cabinet canvas and printed in a grid onto A4 pages using a simple home laser printer, then transfered the image using acetone by dabbing it on the reverse side of the paper with a clean rag.
Starting to apply the paint
Using Resene house paint test pots I started painting in the block colours to get the ball rolling as quickly as possible.
Beginning to add in some details fish by fish
It was really difficult to blend colours with these testpot paints, they dry so quickly! The image begins to take shape as the highlights are added.
Day by day - Fish by fish
It got to a point where it was a little easier to try to work on just one fish at a time. As I counted up the time spent on this project, the number of bloody fish (16 btw) and the pay rate, I thought "Next time I'm doing a simple design!"
The awkward fish
This is the point when I had to face the fact some of these fish were quite awkward to paint effectively in this situation and I had to really balance speed with perfectionism and plug away at the last weirdo fish (I'm talking to you Starfish, Squid and Moray Eel and Hermit Crab).
Standing back - A new perspective - Get your eye in
It's important to step away from your art (whatever form your art takes) and look back on it with fresh eyes. I realised I needed some outlining, some highlights and some colour adjustments to finish it off.
Main composition - COMPLETED!
Happy with the completed artwork it was then time to tidy up the top grill area with a layer of grey paint. Then take on the side panels.
The side panels
In an ideal world I would have hand painted the side panels in detail and extended the scene out. But I was running out of time and resources and decided that a Killer Whale and Great White Shark spray painted with stencils (cut from cardboard) would suffice and frame the artwork nicely too.
'Fishing with Escher' Mural FINSIHED
After applying a special clear protective coating I was finally finished. Whoohoo!
A gift to Waipa
I loved painting this artwork for the Waipa residents. SO MANY people stopped to chat to me while I painted. I was on the corner of a little country road. People had to literally pull over and stop their cars and heaps did. To all those who stopped, thanks for your kind encouragment.
A beautiful place to be pushed outside my comfort zone.
This sounds bonkers but when I paint an artwork I feel connected to it, I want to keep them all. A mural forces you to step outside this thinking and realise your not painting for yourself, but the greater community who will be forced to look at it as they drive past every day.
Out of gallery