Saturday, February 9, 2013

Art- I made an acrylic mural!

As some of you know, I recently finished an acrylic mural that I did in my office.  Here's the finished product.

I've not done acrylics before, so it was quite a challenge!  :D  Layering colors, opacity, viscosity, being able to lay down whites instead of preserving them etc.  Acrylics are quite different from watercolors, but I enjoyed myself enough I'm sure I'll be doing more murals.

All in all, it took about 35 hours, and covers a 7' x 8' wall.  I told Katheryn "I've finally got canvas that feels big enough!"  LOL.  I started it back around Thanksgiving, and did the bulk of the work before XMas.  I wrapped it up a few weeks ago, and thought I'd share my process.


  1. Steve,

    Thank you for posting this, it's inspiring to see art done so well on such a large scale, the visual impact is high and holds together ... I predict it will be very hard to get any work done in your office now, with everyone crowding around to admire it! :-)

  2. LOL. You are very kind. There's clear room for improvement, but all in all, I'm very happy with it. Enough so that I'm looking forward to the next mural.

    We had a birthday party for my daughter yesterday (5!), and I got to share the mural with a lot family members in person. That's a very cool thing. One of the pleasures of the mural-making process was that it really engages your whole body. Size matters! Whether very tiny or very large, because it engages the body. That's one of the limitations of digital art that I haven't yet gotten past.

  3. That's so great, happy birthday! ... You know, you're way more inventive than Michelangelo, he didn't have to integrate light switches and other protrusions :-) ... Size and scale do matter, recently I've been looking at wall-sized Chinese ink paintings and wishing I had studio space for that ... Murals are public too, and I'm hoping you'll get a commission and launch a second (or will it be a third?) career! ...

  4. Ha! I admit that I had so much pleasure in painting this that the thought... _did_ occur to me that I might be able to make money doing this and have fun at the same time.

    Last summer, while driving out to Muir Woods, the thought came to me (literally, it seemed, out of nowhere) that I would probably enjoy the process and business of painting murals. I thought, "Hell, someone has to paint those murals you see at restaurants and public spaces, etc. Why not me?" I have experience designing and creating gardens for clients. It occurred to me that the two processes are probably similar in many ways, and that my current business might make me relatively uniquely prepared for something like that.

    Kat suggested that I not get ahead of myself of course! LOL. And that first I ought to just __go and paint a few damn murals__ and see if it was as much fun as I thought it might be. So far, that answer is yes. :D It was very physically dynamic- lots of motion and action, which was a pleasure to me (I sometimes get restless painting at a desk), and it's pleasantly public. I get to share it, which is fun. Liked mixing paint too. That's surprisingly meditative. I was basically only using primary colors, with some Burnt Umber to give my darks some pop.

    All in all, a good experiment. I look forward to doing the giant poppies in our bedroom. That was Kat's next request.

  5. wow, giant poppies, that's gonna be very colorful, right? :-) you know, many years ago, my wife (also an artist) painted a mural for the local public library, it was a St. George and a gentle Dragon, and the kids loved it ... and some thirty-five years later, it is still there on the wall, at least it was last time I was back East and could see it, and the librarians still were saying how much it brightens the reading room! ... she also used to paint every ceiling in the places we lived in a ceiling-raising sky blue :-) ...