Finish a Mural

One Step at a Time to Finish

Finishing involves painting, cleaning up and changing colors to do it again. Persistence pays off in this line of work, and so does good planning. Remember, taking time to plan for less cleanup makes the process of painting a large mural much easier. I paint the entire length of the surface over and over until I’m done. Simple tools are what I use, like a handy “paint can lid” pallet with large pools of the color on it. It is easy to hold in one hand as I use it to mix paints on my brush. Most importantly, if I run low on a  color, it is easy to go back and dip in the bucket to quickly refill and continue. I grab my brushes and paint anything I run across on the wall using that group of colors. 

“B” is the longest wall being 40 feet long (400 sf), and Wall “C” is 12 feet (120 sf).

wall B treelineWhen I put the frosty trees in, I also put in more of the white on the mountain tops at the same time. Catching all the things using whatever color I am working with.

wall B treeline 3I see a real good separation after the green and gray treelines on the horizon are rendered.

wall B treeline 4Adding the trunks with dark shadows on the closest evergreens to give a deeper feel to their shadows.

Day is Finished

max 1

When I am wanting to get a mural finished, I get kind of lost in my painting and loose track of time. The jobsite supervisor is telling me it is time to get home as he sings me a howling song. It is real good for me to have this kind of buddy around because he makes me take breaks and walk around with him. He never lets me eat lunch along. If I get lost in my work Max will bring me back down to reality. Dogs are some of the best people! If you would like to see more of this fantastic dude check out this link.

max 2 max 3

Tree Perspective

initial tree sketchMy thoughts were on tree shapes and how the weather affects perspective values as I drove up the mountain. Distant trees almost disappear into the softness as we travelled the road through some pretty thick fog this morning. As a result of the poor visibility, we had to go real slow until we got about half way up the hill and then we broke through the fog layer. Surprise! Brilliant sun greeted us, with everything sparkling and lightly frosted, which was absolutely gorgeous. We pulled into the resort and unloaded tools.

Sometimes, it is hard to figure out what to start with. When that happens I start on the first thing I see. This morning that was, sketching the first tree in simple impressionistic shapes then adding a cast a shadow. Quickly placing the rest of the trees on the wall gives me a good idea of how this will be looking.

trees in wall A

Check Out Real Trees

chair one fog
When in doubt take a look at reference material. Taking a coffee break we walk outside and take a peek at a real trees on the hill before we paint any further. It is always really neat to look at the real colors of nature. The chill was noticeable and another layer of heavy fog was drifting down from above, making everything real quiet. Here is the view from the bottom of chair one where Max and I admire the hill. Winter is on the way!

Using a mixture of natural colors along with primaries, I continue to fill-out tree bodies. Colors used include burnt sienna, umber, white, and mixtures of the primaries of yellow, red and blue. I quickly add little cast shadows on the snow from the tree trunk bases, and almost instantly don’t like it. When I step back I realize that I am also not getting the depth that I want yet. Everything looks as though they are at about the same “depth of field” (the same distance away from me) so I need to do something different. treeline full greens

Perspective in the Trees

trees gray green whiteStarting in again working on the tree perspectives using greys and white much more boldly. Immediately we begin to see remarkable results. There is a real distance accomplished by adding greys. It is astonishing to me, how this change in value really makes the tree take a step back in space. As I add more greys I am being careful to reserve enough dark forest green shadows in each tree. I want to feel as though I can reach into the branches and touch a trunk. Using a lot more white on other groups of trees gives an occasional “frosty the snowman” surprise tree in the mix.

trees with no shadow

Are you a sharp eyed individual?

You may have noticed missing cast shadows on the foreground. The shadow lines just seemed too busy and not to serve any purpose. Thank goodness I am using wall paint latex, so I can eradicate errors easily. By the way, artist’s are allowed to change their minds.

Painting Begins

Initial Wall Painted

background mountains
background mountains

Painting the first wall of a mural is where I tend to experiment with colors and shapes the most. We want the mountains fading as they go off into the distance brighter trees in the foreground, so, I am using muted colors that overlap to start achieving a shortened depth of field. Consequently, you will see on the far left that I am experimenting with a little snow cap on the hill.

Snow Caps

snowcap mountains
snowcap mountains

Along with the white cap mountain tops I work my way to the right trying clouds above the hilltop to see what it looks like. The jury is still out about whether this is the best sky treatment for this room scenery.

Trees

trees foreground
trees foreground

The next step is the tree layout. With a limited pallet I am staying real gray and using only quick and very essential shapes right now. The sample I was given to work with had this big tree up front, but I am not in love with it right now. That may need to change  before the job is over.

Start Next Wall

background mountains next wall
background mountains next wall

I have made the turn around the corner and started with the snow capped mountain range on the longer wall. It is a little tricky to keep the lines right when avoiding things like a column or doorway like this wall has, but it can be done. Sometimes I use a drawn chalk line across the door to the other side so I can keep the lines straight. The resort is getting ready to open their doors around Thanksgiving this year. Everyone is praying for snow. You can check out 49 Degrees North Ski Resort at their website. All in all, things are progressing at a good pace and I am happy.

Ski lift view

Oil rub-out painting entitled, SunThruSnowyTreesL804. This painting is of the sun rays shooting through trees  early in the morning up at 49 Degrees North Ski Resort in Chewelah Washington. This one is available for purchase.

Sun Thru Snowy Trees

One of the most entrancing parts about skiing is the ski lift ride back up the hill. After putting some real effort out speeding through whatever terrain you are doing, you quickly slip into the lift entry gate to catch your breath. Taking your seat you experience take-off into the tree heights-observing pristine quiet mountain views as you float over and through the treetops. It is a real meditation time with soft breezes and nature to the max. Some of the the most peaceful and extravagantly beautiful skies and mountain scenes I have ever seen were from my seat on a ski lift.

Celebrate, celebrate…

FIRST DAY BACK SKIING… in three years! YAHOOOOOO!

3 years ago, I had open heart surgery so skiing was put on hold for quite a while. Yesterday we went skiing and I am feeling so glad to be alive. Life is SO GOOD! When you find something that makes you smile just thinking about it – go for it YEAH!

beginning oil painting of 49 degree North mountaintop 49NpanoG4306

Thought you might like to see a favorite view I painted from time spent on the hill, here is a shot of the painting just started and then another of it finished. See more about a great mountain at, 49 Degrees North Ski Resort in Chewelah Washington.

TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS Day #9

ORIGINAL ART For that special person on your list at heavily discounted holiday prices…

Contact me here… or simply go to our website Valerie Woelk original art to see more pictures and descriptive information about today’s special or any other art you may want. There are many paintings available for immediate shipment or pickup.

 Sun Thru Snowy Trees L804 $95 (self-framed)

 

Sun Thru Snowy Trees
21.75″w x 27.75″h x .75″t oils on board. Oil on board painting of the illumination by sun rays through forest trees on a ski slope as you take the lift up for another ride down the mountain.

 

TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS Day #3

ORIGINAL ART For that special person on your list at heavily discounted holiday prices…

Contact me here… or simply go to our website Valerie Woelk original art to see more pictures and descriptive information about today’s special or any other art you may want. There are many paintings available for immediate shipment or pickup.

On The 3rd Day of Christmas…

“Peacemaker” B6004 – $75 (unframed), $175 (framed)

Peacemaker B6004 watercolor
Ski run that is a lot of fun at 49 Degrees Nort Ski Resort in Chewelah WA

15″w x 22.5″h watercolor on 300lb WC paper. Watercolor of one of the best ski runs at 49 Degrees North Ski Resort in Chewelah, Washington, named Peacemaker. Yes!