I was recently invited to take on a mural project for a residential setting. While I'm unable to disclose details due to privacy, I can share with you the creative and practical processes involved.
Although I had previously painted smaller murals, this one was the first to require a ladder and extensive negotiation. As my first commissioned mural, I needed to research, plan and cost it for my clients. I learned a lot from professional muralist's websites, videos and blogs - thankyou to all those skilled and generous creative professionals in the world. Importantly, it was vital that the artwork met the client's criteria, which was to brighten up and personalise an impersonal feeling space. The room was long and narrow, so we needed to add interest and make it feel warm, welcoming, playful, restful and supportive.
My client was given a choice of sample themes and selected this jungle animal design, which is available as a commercial wallpaper from MuralsWallpaper online. Since I was engaged as an artist, I preferred to modify and adapt the design for local relevance. I suggested swapping the animals in the original design for Australian native species, including a Koala, Yellow-tailed black cockatoo and a Brushtail possum. The tiger was rather popular, so it was kept in the design. I couldn't resist adding our unique Eucalyptus foliage too. After the devastating bushfires, it was somehow important for me to honour our forests and wildlife.
Above: Using tape to outline tree trunks before roller painting.
Below: My colour mixing paint station. Hot pink chair was a convenient find in the hallway!
Painting supplies were mostly from the hardware and instead of purchasing many shades and tints of the same colour, I selected master colours and a can of white. I can't resist mixing my own colours, so I blended them to get the muted variations that the mural needed.
After three weeks, the project was complete and hopefully my animal crew are keeping some sleepy residents good company.
The wonderful part of this project is that I had a little help with some brushwork here and there from residents and cups of tea with cake delivered to me!
Above: The tiger was to sit behind a wall mounted panel heater.
Below: The Superb Fairy Wren was placed in the foliage so the bottom bunk position had it's own little feature.