There’s just something about the mindlessness of decorative work that I love.
Now, that’s not to say that there isn’t quite a lot of thought going into the work. There needs to be concept, creativity, construction and… composition (that’s a lot of ‘C’s). The piece needs to be not just detailed, but attractive and balanced. However, there is a certain “zen” that goes with the type of concentration involved in the repetitiveness of decorative design. I can lose myself in it for hours, so I use it as a time-sucking tool! When I’m getting ready to go on long flights, part of my packing process is to start the outline idea of one or two decorative sketches. If I’m bored on the plane, there is nothing better than to loose myself in one. Here is one from my latest round trip flight.
So we had this funny looking little dog…
As of the 2013 year I was accepted into a group called Girls Drawing Girls, and while it was discontinued for a while they’ve started doing Weekly Themes again. This week’s theme was Mermaids! I’ve been reading Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and just happened to stumble across the History Channel’s documentary about the first footage of Giant Squid…! That, and having just finished up my sea-themed mural… I’ve got oceans on the brain, so this just happened to be the perfect theme.
My first thought was to do a cute retro style pin up mermaid, like the ones in Disney’s Peter Pan. I love how they look (and I may still draw one…) but then I read another chapter of my book and they were talking about the deep deep sea and bio luminescence. I started thinking of a creature that could live in the deep lightless ocean, rather than a bright happy lagoon. And suddenly she went technicolor!!
I was going to give her bright blue eyes to match her fins… but she looked so sweet. With the yellow eyes she looked just a bit more predatory. Like she’s cute… but she might bite your arm off.
Alright to recap, this mural was donated to the Kindergarten in Sayulita, Nayarit. I updated a few work in progress images and details here:
Unfortunately this is on a pretty busy street, so getting a full image of the finished wall won’t happen for a while. I took a bunch of smaller photos, close up photos to make up for it. There was actually a weird kind of awkward photo shoot going on while I took these photos… Some girl in a dress too short to be called a dress getting a little too friendly with the palm tree next to my wall and about 20 people standing around watching.
And there it is! I can’t tell you how many mistakes I made while I did this, and just going back yesterday to take these photos it was a little painful not being able to go back into it and fix things…. But the everyone at the Kindergarten (especially the kids!) are really happy with it so I need to just be happy with it too. Next time I do a wall like this there will be some pretty major changes in my process though.
Ah, I still don’t have any photos of the completed wall mural… So here’s something else I’m working on instead.
The author Neil Gaiman (American Gods, Stardust, Sandman!) is doing a calendar project and I loved his short story for June! I’m doing a full illustration that includes the husband to submit to his project, but I loved how the wife turned out so much that I decided to do a separate version with just her. She’s already half colored, but you just get the line work for now =)
I’m soooooo close! I actually could have finished today, but the sun was rough. It was definitely the toastiest day yet, and since I’m not in any rush to have this completed I went ahead and stopped a bit early. I have half of the jelly fish tentacles left to do, plus some dots and details and what nots. I’ll get a couple good photos when it’s all done, but for now here are two that I snapped before I left.
So! Day… I’m not sure how many days it’s been now… So! Update 3 on the mural in Sayulita. I’m finally getting all the base parts done and working on some details. I feel like I didn’t get as much done as I normally do today, but it’s just because it was a lot of over painting and small details. Oh and in the last post I mentioned I might experiment with a tool to make the dots go faster, and it actually worked pretty well! Here it is…
Very high tech… I wrapped a scrap of t-shirt around the end of the brush with my hair tie. When I wanted to make larger dots I just doubled up the fabric. It worked like a charm and I finished up coral, stars and octopus!
There are going to be a bunch of cute little fish and what nots filling up lots of the empty space… But I’m not really sure what I want to do with the big purple rock thing that the corals are on. I was going to do dots… but that seems so boring. I was also thinking of doing some lines all through it, sort of like a fingerprint pattern, in colors just a little darker or lighter than the purple that’s on there… I don’t know. But there’s plenty more to work on while I think about it.
Oh! And then there’s Tony. He’s been helping me out the entire time. He was asked by the family that runs the Kinder to make sure I have everything I need while I’m working and he’s been an enormous help. Here he is posing below the door way and gate that he painted while I worked on the wall.