Last week, I started a trompe l’œil on the side of a barn. The wall is 15.4m long x 3.5m high ( to those of you who prefer old currency, that’s approx 50 ‘ x 11’)
I made 9 final designs to show the clients , ( although all in all I must have made at least 20 or so drawings).
The requirement was all based on the same theme : a continuation of their newly landscaped gardens. When designing , as the ideas started flowing, each design also became interchangeable, i.e. I mixed the wisteria idea with the ruined arch etc etc.There has to be something to the right of the design to conceal the garage door. This is the design that was finally chosen:-
I must confess I ended up using photoshop. In the past I would draw and draw, sometimes ‘layering’ with tracing paper, and using a light box so that I could see how the shapes interlace. This time, having had some instruction in photoshop, from a friend, I put it to my advantage. It felt like cheating though, stupid isn’t it? The first drawings I made were on my art app on the mini ipad, so I was TOTALLY cheating! (Incidentally some mini-ipad drawings and paintings are for another, future post).
We had to get a builder in to re-render the wall first, as there were some hollow sounds when tapped , and cracks here and there. Then it had to be left to cure for a month, which was enfuriating because we have been having gloriously sunny weather, perfect for painting!
Typically, now that rain is promised, I can start work!. Graham has set up all the scaffolding, and polythene protection over the garden. We then painted 2 coats of primer over the entire wall. The 2nd coat of primer I tinted blue above for the sky, and ochre below as a good base to work on.
You can just about see me behind the sunglasses and cap, it was boiling hot that day. After that, I sketched out with chalk on a stick, using my design as a reference, but also ‘playing it by ear’ using the elements of the existing newly planted garden. I want to get a feeling of perspective, so I add a few rounded box bushes to help create distance. After running back and forth drawing with chalk, I finally block in the cypress trees, because I cannot see where I have drawn them from one end to the other!.
This is how it looked when I left in on Friday. Since then we have had howling gales and torrential rain, so I am dreading what will have happened in the meantime, I shall see on Monday. Hey Ho! Below, the view behind me as I work. I can never do it justice!
A couple of weeks later, the painting on the barn wall progresses, especially now that the weather is better; it is tiring though, I feel I am hurdling as I continually flit back and forth across those terraced walls, and up and down the ladders, standing back to check how colours and tones balance; oh, I am not complaining too much, “c’est bon pour la ligne” !
A little bit of daily life:- We heard the first cuckoo on Tuesday, and we have a new resident in the water butt; she has been since been married, we believe, as we see another frog has joined her, we presume he is male, because he is smaller, awaiting tadpoles as I write.
If you want to see some posts again, or maybe you have missed the older posts, you can always click on the ‘see all comments’ button, this takes you automatically through to the blogsite , and its archives.