Friday, August 20, 2010

Magical Mural is Complete!

After stretching this project out over the summer, I finally finished! It was really fun to do and I'm glad I didn't edit anything out. With taking time off to raise my young BeaBug, this project was a great way to keep some creativity in my life. Enjoy the pictures!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Patchwork Meadow is a Great Place to Read

Okay, I know I said this last time, but it's HOT here! When I'm painting at night, I can't even open the windows until 9:30 or 10:00pm. On the other hand, I believe I'm sweating off tons of calories.

Here's my current paint palette. Since I'm painting more complex, smaller things, I need more colors!

I finished another wall in the mural. I didn't paint the characters before, so I had to come back and finish them. Some of them I had planned ahead, but some characters I improvised.

I'm going to move on the next wall, but I may come back and add another character or two.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

More Work Done on the Magical World

Even for a designer and illustrator, the pull of summer can be strong enough to tear me away from my computer. That's my excuse for not posting for a while, but I HAVE been painting the magical world mural! It's getting a little more time-consuming because I'm getting into the details of the characters and smaller items. Here's a few photos of some working details.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Sacramento Retiree Photographs Public Murals

Lezlie Sterling/

I came across this article in the Sacramento Bee about a local retired man who takes regular walks around the city photographing every public, private, amateur and professional mural, he can find. He meanders around, with no destination, documenting some great art.

photo by Russ Andris

You can see Russ Andris' photos here. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

My Birthday Present

Since I started creating more of presence online for my art business (murals, web design, illustrations, etc), I have found so many wonderful artists! It's awe-inspiring and intimidated at the same time, you know what I mean.

One of the artists I really liked is Stephanie Fizer, I think her style is adorable, and I'm in love with her color palettes. So, I sent my husband a link to her Etsy shop and told him that's what I wanted, if he was so inclined to buy me a present :)

And, he did! These are little girls as characters from Alice in Wonderland. Maybe for Christmas I'll ask for the Wizard of Oz illustrations...

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Transported to the Tuscan Countryside

The weather's a little crazy with so much rain in May, but I'm not going to complain because I know how hot the summers get here. I'm not in a hurry for that! Unfortunately, it did effect my painting schedule. I finally finished this week.

The first final version

The final step was painting the crumbling wall with exposed brick. I also added long cracks with rocks broken out. In addition, the client requested a embossment around the door. He felt it need a little more depth.

The left side of the exposed brick wall

After sitting with it for a day or two, the clients decided they wanted to take out and rearrange some elements.

The first version of the left side

Even though I painted it exactly like my sketch, they decided they wanted a few changes. This totally fine because it's their wall and they are the ones who are going to be living with it. 

The second final version. The client wanted to remove the large brick area on the bottom left. They felt it distracted from the scene in the arch.  They also requested I add a small brick area on the bottom right to incorporate some real exposed bricks and removed the circular chips in the wall.

So it is clear to perspective clients and to avoid any problems, it is written in my contract that any major changes made to the painting after the sketch approval will be an extra charge. I've never had a problem with a client about it, but better safe than sorry.

The final mural

In the end, you want the client to be happy with their artwork while maintaining the integrity of your work.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Tuscan Landscape Mural - Countryside Done!

I finished the countryside scene inside the archway today. Here's a couple pictures. The clients are pretty happy with it, and so am I.

I'm glad I got it done today because they are having a party on Saturday, and I wanted it to be a good stage of completion to be shown. I gave them a few of my business cards to hand out, in case any party folk are interested in their own landscape.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tuscan Landscape Mural - Paint on the Wall

I finally started the Tuscan landscape outdoor mural today. With weather, traveling clients, and other delays, it's been a couple weeks since this project got started. But, today I was finally able to put paintbrush to wall. Here's a few photos of my progress.

The canvas.
I chose my vanishing point and taped a string to it. An old trick, but it's an easy way to figure out perspective. Do you notice the gray smug above my hand? That's from trying to erase pencil with water. Note: when painting a mural, make sure your client has more of the wall color paint. It will become your "eraser".
Mixing up my paints. I really watered down my paints this time for two reasons. One, it brushes on more smoothly and quickly on a rough surface. Two, I wanted to paint layers of washes, to build up my color, highlights and shadows.
Painting the first wash of the mountains. Using the washes allowed me to work quickly. Instead of painted each section completely, I was able to fill out every part of the painting. This helped me to make sure I did my spacing and composition correctly.
A little more detail in the washes.
So far, so good! I was able to flesh everything out. Now, I can go back and build up the details. Once the arch scene is done, I'll start working on the crumbling wall.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Little Birds on a Fence

My mom is reading garden blogs right now since going outside and working in her actual garden is too much for her allergies. She's been sending me garden decorating ideas. One of them is murals on backyard fences.

So, for Mother's Day, I painted some birds on her fence, like they are resting on the top ledge. I did a quick sketch of  a character, trying to keep it uncomplicated. I used acrylic paints because they are the most durable for outside murals.

The fence was old and weathered, so I started out with drawing the shapes, then sanding down the fence to get off dirt, dust and moss. I probably should have hosed it off first, but I was trying to be quick.

I knew painting on the fence would be rough, so I kept the shapes and colors simple. The metal fence and shell bowl on the picture above were taken down after this shot.

The final step will be seal it with a varnish to keep out the weather.

Next up for mom's fence, lizards!

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Illustration Friday - Cocoon

Okay, I paint this last month, but I thought it fit perfectly for this week's Illustration Friday topic. I mean, what is a better definition of "to envelop or surround protectively" than a mother lovingly holding her new baby? Happy Mother's Day!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tuscan Garden Mural - Sketches for the Client

I was hired to paint a Trompe-l'oeil mural in my clients backyard on a garage wall facing their garden. Trompe-l'oeil  is French for 'trick the eye'. For those of you who don't know, it's a style of painting that creates an optical illusion, a three-dimensional, realistic image.

They just finished a 4-year remodel project on a beautiful house in Sacramento and they want a Tuscan countryside mural to finish off the garden. Here's a couple sketch options I showed them. What do you think?

 Click on the images to see them bigger. These are the two options for inside the arch, the center piece of the mural . If you click the links below, you can see the whole mural.