Sunday, February 24, 2013

Whimsical Tree Mural

This week the studio went mobile as I traveled to do a very special mural for a very special little girl.  Working with her parents, we developed a whimsical tree with floating pink leaves to adorn her walls.  This sort of project is not nearly as intimidating as it may seem.  Decal Murals are pretty popular today, but also pricey.  The cost of paint for this project was under $25 and it was completed in one day.  Below you can see the stages of the mural's development.  You can see I started with a simple pencil sketch right on the wall, if you are not comfortable free-handing your image, project it on the wall and trace it.   

Keep the image and the color simple.  The tree trunk is done as a silhouette in brown, this was a huge time saver since I had only one day to complete this piece from start to finish.  I am using latex wall paint for the large brown area and Martha Stewart Pearl Accents Craft Paint for the leaves (the pearl paint has a really lovely shine as it picks up the light).  The larger leaves were done from stencils I cut from manilla folders and dry brushed multiple colors on at the same time.  There was a plan for the larger leaves and then it became more intuitive as I played with where the smaller leaves would float around the closet.  To fill in the rest (and save hours of time), I cut a medium and small leaf out of a sponge (just using scissors) and simply stamped them on the wall.  The finishing touch can be seen in the image on the below right, as that special little girl got put to work and left her own marks among the leaves.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Frosty Patina

This dome shaped piece was developed as part of my series of reflective pendants inspired by the ocean. Finished on a cold January evening as the east coast plummeted into a deep freeze, the frosty patina on its surface is reminiscent of the wintery afternoons I have spent watching the waves crash on the Narragansett beach with my mother. To achieve this frosty, swirling patina I began with black alcohol ink and mixed a few drops of snowcap white alcohol ink binder.  This creates a dark bluish ink that is thick and dries very quickly.  I painted it on and let it dry, but was unhappy with how dark the patina came out.  I dropped the piece in a cup of rubbing alcohol to remove the color and it began to lift off in layers.  This was a very different effect than I have seen in the past when removing this ink and assume it is due to mixing it with the binder.  When it reached this particular shade of ice blue with some dark areas creating depth in its crevices, I pulled it out and stopped the reaction.  I'm excited about the potential this process has in creating varied layers of value with the inks and will be experimenting with other colors in combination with the binder.