CHRISTMAS MURAL -PART 1
FOR COBURN UM CHURCH, ZANESVILLE, OH
A Christmas mural is being prepared on canvas. The completed mural at 6' X 11' will be finished in acrylic paint and varnish. It will hang from a rod in the church sanctuary during selected days beginning December 2017..
The canvas surface was prepared with three coats of gesso. The scale used is 12"X12" for the grid.
The border was the first object to be attacked. I designed it to be 6" wide. Once decided, it was drawn on the canvas with three layers of gold paint applied. I didn't want to add white to make it opaque, but wanted three layers of the translucent paint to reflect light within the layers. The primary painted gold section of the border is finished and awaiting application of shadows and shading. I want to work on the blue border background before shading the gold.
It took much contemplation to decide how I wanted the border. I used a sketch book to make thumbprints of different ideas. My sketch book with original thumbprints is shown to the left.
As I worked through ideas, I wrote them down in the sketch book for future reference. I determined that the scroll design would be more cohesive to bring the mural shadowing into focus. Ideas and sketches progressed.
The scroll design was first laid out with ideas coming and going. At first I wanted a deep red or burgundy color in the scroll border. Drawing it in the sketch book I found the red/burgundy color was incorrect. It didn't look correct. As you can see in the sketch book image, I changed it several times. The final one is listed there with colors of blue pencils used off to the right side.
After the border sides and top were drawn onto the canvas, I had to determine what to do with the corners. I worked on the corner design for quite a while to determine exactly how it would be placed. I put it in the sketch book first. To the left is an image of the sketch book and a close up of the sizes used. This design was transferred to paper, laminated for transfer to the canvas so I wouldn't have to remeasure for each corner. As of 5 July 2017 the border scrolls are completed with the primary gold painted. The shadowing on the gold and blue borders/sides of the mural, top and bottom will have shadowing to show that light is emanating from the body of the Christ Child. Therefore the darkest parts of the scrolls and corners will be on the outside edges of the mural.
The blue will be the next part to be painted. I want a deeper blue than is in the sketch, a deep teal with blue washes to create a glow of color. I expect three washes of color will create a translucence to create depth within the painting. The blue will be painted with using primary paints to save money for the church.
I am not charging for this work since this is my church. I cannot offer them much in the way of funding, but can offer my time and artistic talents provided by my Heavenly Father and years of intense study. Our church is not wealthy, so the paints I would normally purchase for this mural will be curtailed. I will work with the primary colors and gold, mixing to have the desired outcome.