Adding Details to the Mural

The design for the Seward Mural looks great when printed out small enough to fit on a legal sized page, but as I began to enlarge the drawing it is clear that the details are missing. The devil is in the details. This stage of the drawing will take some time, but will be well worth the effort when enlarged to the 8’x34’ surface.

To eliminate confusion when the muralists begin to paint, I’m going to assign each color a number, and number the master design so that the painting process will be similar to “paint by number” art. Working with this system I feel confident that the mural can be painted by 20-25 muralists in one day. It has taken a bit of thought to come up with a plan that I feel good about, but I think this idea will work out just fine.

So, for the next few days I’m enlarging the design and adding detail, then I will create a mockup with colored markers and assign a number to each color. I may do a finished version with acrylic paint if I can’t find colors in the markers that satisfy me. Once I’ve made a color list I will match the colors at the local paint store and have a can of each color mixed in advance. I think organization and planning are key to the success of this mural.

I am excited about the design. It depicts a garden of wildflowers, actually a wild iris garden with a scattering of lupine, fireweed, chocolate lily, forget-me-not, dogwood, columbine and more. I can only imagine how nice it will look on the side of the building during winter when the landscape is covered in ice and snow. It will appear as a little window into summer! Perhaps it will provoke a smile or two and a pleasant memory as people in this busy community pause for a moment to look at the mural before continuing on their way.

Gail Niebrugge, Alaska Artist

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