Planning the Mural

After visiting the site of the proposed Seward Mural last weekend I’ve been pondering many ideas and compositions. The Mural Society would like to see wildflowers incorporated in some way, but have given me complete freedom to paint whatever I want!

The landscape in Seward is so beautiful that trying to duplicate nature in a painting on the side of a building would be pointless. All anyone has to do is look to the right or the left, up or down and gorgeous scenery is everywhere. So, I think I’ll put together a composite of images that will show the spirit or essence of the landscape, and incorporate wildflowers as part of the design possibly as a collage. When I think of Seward I think of the magnificent mountains surrounding the town, so mountains definitely have to be included.

This afternoon I will begin producing thumbnail sketches and doodle ideas in pencil. Tracing paper will allow me to lay one sketch over another and help me visualize ideas without redrawing everything each time. Once I have a rough composition in mind I can begin to formalize the sketch to fit the dimensions of the mural.

Many versions of this idea will be generated before the concept is complete enough to consider color. I will create color comps using markers, and many will be made before I am satisfied.

The designing process is critical to the success of the painting. Another phase of the design is to establish a template designating the colors of the background so that the muralists can prepare the surface in advance.

So, my work begins. I will keep you posted as the project progresses.

Alaska Artist, Gail Niebrugge

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