Beginning to Paint

mural-drawing

I’ve made a lot of progress in these past two weeks: I have finished the drawing on my canvas (see picture above), met with facilities about installing the piece, ordered my supplies, and started to paint. Right now the painting that I am doing is mostly just washed of color, so that I can get something down onto the canvas. It won’t be until the supplies I ordered come in that I start on some of the more detail work, because the paint I have access to currently isn’t the brand or palette that I am looking to work with.

I also did some research this week about the process of painting a  community mural, and I found this great article by the Chicago Public Arts Group. While not all of the steps there are directly applicable to me because of the way I am working, I still found it to be very interesting and informative on all of the steps muralists are required to take for their work.

As I have started to paint, I have had to adapt the way I usually work in order to deal with a piece that is so large. Normally I start off my paintings by getting a first layer down of the main color in a certain section, and then developing the rest of the piece evenly over time. I began the mural by painting sections of color, as I normally would, but I began to find that it was taking much too long to get down a thick layer of paint. I had to water down my paint a lot and just work in washes (very thin, translucent layers of paint) in the sections that I was dealing with. I have also realized that developing the entire painting at once will be extremely difficult and time consuming, so I will probably have to work by finishing sections, even though this is exactly how I was taught not to paint. I am discovering that tying new things is all about adapting and learning, and discovering new ways of working that are best for the circumstances.

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4 thoughts on “Beginning to Paint

  1. dexcoengilbert

    Ainsley, I think I mentioned it before, but the design is really awesome. I love the colors and shapes in the background that you currently have because they make it very unique and exciting for the eye to look at. I look forward to seeing what you do with the dancers since they really are the important part of the piece. Hopefully, it will continue to look this great!

    Reply
  2. wbdrisco

    I too am having to adapt to suggestions and criticism, and also change the way I work in regards to creating my piece. I know that some of the habits that I have taken on during my project will be kept as I move on, but I’m sure I’ll abandon others. I suppose that my question for you is this: from now on, will you continue to paint in a different way than usual outside of the mural project?

    Reply
  3. anrowshan

    Ainsley, this looks absolutely beautiful already! Is there any particular reason why you were taught to no paint in sections?

    Reply
  4. megannuggihalliwesttownedu

    The picture is so aesthetically pleasing! I love bright, vibrant colors and I can imagine how much work can go into layers upon layers of translucent paint. I’m surprised that you were able to get to all the painting evenly!

    Reply

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