Why Colour and painting 15 minute thumbnails for Wall Murals work in more ways than one.
How I choose or add colors to my palette is by painting little 15 minute paintings of different segments of a large wall mural.
This is only one way to design a wall mural of course but it can be profitable. Reason is the smaller paintings become valuable once the details are finished and then can be sold for a nominal fee if the artist chooses to.
I should explain to readers who are here for the first time that yes I am a bit different and some would even say a bit over the edge but what can I say, I am always thinking outside the box, weather it’s painting wall murals, or studying why color reacts the way it does even in faux finishing. I have always been one to question authority and not to follow certain rules because of being told it’s the final answer. To me there is always a next question and nothing is ever final… even in death. (well I hope not anyway).
With that out of the way let’s move on…
The clients for this wall mural are of ones that every artist loves painting for.
Their story although not told to me in whole, could only be assumed, based on the elements of this wall mural that I was commissioned to paint for them. A very inspirational painting for which I can really wrap my soul around and actually become a part of. To have this kind of connection is rare for me and I truly believe I was chosen to paint this wall mural for reasons that even I do not understand. All I know is it was meant to be, and I must follow what ever it is that has pulled me here. Only an artist could understand what it is I am feeling about this painting and others would just think I’m off my rocker or out in left field somewhere having fallen into Lewis Carroll’s rabbit hole once again. Yes I have been there a time or two in my 50 plus years of life and have even painted a few wall murals there, if you know what I mean, but that’s another story.
This wall mural is not a huge painting at 8ft x 8ft but it is large enough to really get wrapped up in. I’ll set the scene in which I have already stretched and primed the canvas and done most of the layout. The overall painting takes place in an early European time, set in the 16th-17th century when swashbucklers, chivalry where kings and queens where the law of the land. The wall mural is set with water front shops that are glowing from kerosene street lamps that reflect on the midnight water. The moonlight casts its light on the bridges that cross over to a community that appears to be doing rather well despite the hardships of other European towns of that era.
At this point I am going to begin a series of 15 minute paintings to pull my colors together for the wall mural and tell the story as I go because if I tell you the whole story now it will spoil the reason why I am painting this wall mural and the reason why I am approaching this piece the way that I am.
Why colour is important to this wall mural and is such a challenge is because there are actually two palettes that I am using. One being a cooler night time palette and the other of course being a warmer daytime palette.
The nighttime palette was a bit of a challenge for me to put together because it isn’t often that I do many of these type of wall murals or landscape paintings so with the help of renowned landscape artist Warren Peterson who has given me some insight on a nighttime sky I was able to pull the basics of why colors he suggested to use work very well together.
As I have always mixed my own blacks and grays landscape artist Warren Peterson suggested Paynes Gray as an addition to the palette. Although reluctant to do so I started painting the 15 minute thumbnails for the wall mural beginning with the sky.
I was truly ecstatic with the Paynes gray and really was amazed at how clean the color looked in the paintings when used correctly with Cobalt blue. It does make a great nighttime sky but I did add a touch of Cerulean blue (hue) to warm and kick up some intensity.
By adding yet another color to the nighttime palette of Unbleached titanium white which warms and pushes back the intensity of the Titanium white in the paintings. Although the painting is rough this is not the purpose of this thumbnail. What were looking for is color value and temperature. Just from what I see at this point I know I need another warm color.
Working with small paintings helps to understand why color works the way that it does. As I add in slightly warmer colors to what represents the treeline in the wall mural I immediately saw the next warmer color I needed to add to the nighttime sky and compliment the treeline. So now I have most of my colors chosen for the wall mural’s nighttime sky there is still one missing and for the next thumbnail I will be able to finalize my nighttime painting palette.
This is how I love to work out my designs and palette color additions to painting my wall murals. Painting whats called a maquette and getting to know why color works is important and makes these little 15 minute paintings valuable when studying color.
I saw by this thumbnail painting when using the warmer landscape colors which you do see at night that my next choice for the sky would surly be on the red or possibly orange side.
Although the 15 minute paintings are more of an impressionistic style than what the wall mural will be it still gives me the right direction very quickly. Although nothing really changes on my second palette when painting in the light I still have added a couple of colors from the nighttime palette to achieve color harmony.