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Folk Art Mural for Dr. Alyx Iared

Last month I finished a mural for Dr. Alyx Iared for her Clovis, CA office. This is the finished piece, it is 4.5 x 7 ft. I created it on 1/4 pine that is three pieces seamed together. It also has a framework on the back side which we used to hang it with

This picture is a little blurry. This is Fabio, Alyx's husband, and my husband John, hanging the mural, with her friend Pete helping.

We had to build a special mural holder in the back of my truck. I didn't want any dust getting on the mural. The varnish was dry, but not cured, so we made this special box.

This is what the finished box looked like with the mural inside. It had a wood lid, and the mural was surrounded by plastic. The plastic did not touch the surface of the painting.

While I was painting it, it sat on the bench from our dining room table, and against my bookshelves in my studio. I had to get into many awkward positions to paint various parts of the mural. I only fell off of the bench once......and I didn't get hurt or have to slow down my focus, so it's all good.

This is how I ended up deciding the rough sketch for the mural. It doesn't seem like it, but even folk art has some perspective rules that must be followed. I usually do between 10-30 thumbnails when I am planning a painting or illustration. I did so with this piece. But: when I transferred the drawing using the old fashioned grid method, it looked wrong! So I had to just go for it and draw big. I used kraft paper taped together and chalk because it was easy to wipe off if I wanted to refine a part of the drawing. I would have burned through so many erasers if I had tried to use pencil. Once I finished this drawing, I used the grid method to transfer to the actual surface. I drew the buildings and people on smaller pieces of tracing paper, once I like them I transferred them to the painting and based them in. I tell you, I've been getting spoiled with using Photoshop to size elements of my illustrations and smaller paintings. What a workout to use the old tried and true methods of centuries past, but I do think that it is totally necessary to have real life drawing and sizing skills.

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