Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Painting the Mural: Dragon Gate: Week 2

I continued painting the Dragon Gate during week 2.

Mon., Aug. 22: I began painting the large fields of color. Dark green for the head and the mountainscape (South Hills and Mount Helena). Pale green for the body and mane. Yellow-orange for the whiskers, claws, eyebrows, spine, and tail tuft on the dragon, and the Pearl of Wisdom/Sun. A longer day than usual, but felt good about getting the dragon's primary colors on. 5 hours.

Tues., Aug. 23: Used a sort of gray-purple-black to outline the head, eyes, teeth/mouth, talons, and the rest of the dragon. Really makes it "pop out" at last. Added another coat of reddish-brown to fill in some spaces and thin areas. 4 hours.

Now comes a critical point in painting, as in all paintings. Deciding when it is done. Not doing enough means it looks unfinished to viewers...and is incompletely realized and unsatisfactory to the artist. BUT...You can also go too far and add too much and ruin a painting that way too. So the next day or two, and I have to be careful. I know I want to add to the clouds (cream gold with pink scrolling), and also add scales on the dragon. The scales are tricky, with so many to do, and they need to look uniform.

Wed., Aug. 24: Today, the scales. Trying to paint so many uniformly-sized things has a lot of potential for things to go wrong. So I cut a guide out of an old plastic lid. It worked pretty well, although it was slow and took a long time. I added some green lines along the back and limbs which popped it out further. I added a creamy yellow-white over parts of the cool white areas which warmed up the clouds and picked out the teeth and eyes. 5 hours.

Thurs., Aug. 25: Finished the pearl/sun, talons/wrinkles, clouds, touch-up various places (drips, streaks). Picked up varnish from paint store. 4 hours.

Fri., Aug. 26: Signed and dated the mural. Final Clearcoat Sealant; applied two coats, with 2 hours drying time in between them. 5 hours, with 3 of those actual working hours, and 2 drying hours.

FINISHED with the Dragon Gate, mural #1 of the series! Next will be the Chinese Memory Wall, to be started next week.

No comments: