Saturday, 7 December 2013

It's not a sign, but it is hand painted.

I received a call from a production company wanting some scenery for a set. They needed a 5' x 8' waterfall painting from a reference photo they had. The turnaround was tight, only one week, that included picking up the materials / prepping the panel, and finalizing artwork and details. But hey, that's what a good challenge is all about. The substrate I used was Alum-Panel (same as Dibond), which was available in a 5' x 10' sheet.  I decided to use artist acrylic due to to tight deadline, plus I like painting with them. The beauty of working with acrylics is the speed that they dry, plus they're water based and have great color.  The reference they provided was reasonably good, but it's only the starting point. Once you start, the painting takes on a life of it's own.

 I start by sanding and priming the panel with B/M Fresh Start. This product is designed to adhere to the enamel factory finish on the panel. The next step is to do a rough layout so I can block in the values. For this step I use black gesso. I picked up this technique from a workshop I did with a well known Canadian artist named Mike Svob. Just click on his name to check out his website.

Now that I have the basic layout and values established, I can start to add color. This is where the fun begins. The nice thing with using artist acrylics is the speed you can work , and on this project, I can use all the help I can get. It's also amazing how far a small tube of paint can go when pallet mixing.

With the color added, it starts to take shape. One important thing to keep in mind is the end use of the painting. It will be used as background for a scene being filmed, not a fine art painting for a gallery or home. You still have to make it impressive, but careful not to get bogged down in detail. It's always a fine line when doing this type of work. Paint the big picture and add detail as time allows. It helps to take some of the stress out of the job.

The finished painting. Overall, the job went off without a hitch, and was ready for pick-up on the promised date. Although I enjoy the process of painting the artwork, I also enjoy watching it go out the door, as that means it's time to get paid. I'd rather be a working artist instead of a staving artist, I've tried the starving part, and it wasn't much fun.

 A shameless promo shot to give you a sense of scale. All in all, it was nice to do something other than signs. It never hurts to challenge yourself. No gain. Thanks for taking the time to drop by.