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.