Wednesday, December 19, 2012

9~ Mural 2012: Pattern for Banner

The barn was well on its way, but there were still lots of mini-projects to work on while the paint dried or while Brenda did some taping. There were several elements of the mural in various stages of completion. While Brenda would work on one thing, I'd work on another. Often, I had to stop to mix paint or sketch something so she could Kilz® it. (Brenda was strictly my base-coater and Kilzer®.) Sometimes, I'd just get too tired, standing on a latter, reaching over my head, what have you. I'd just take a break or work on sketches for awhile.
Gesture Drawings/Rough Sketches of Plane and Banner

One thing we'd added to the mix was a plane and banner. The plane was Brenda's idea, and once again, I had dragged my feet at first. There was not much over the pond except empty sky. We'd had to leave room for some brackets where a clothing rack hangs at Christmastime. It looked kind of barren and Brenda suggested the plane. The kids have a sentimental attachment to a particular plane: a local landowner who flies a small plane in the area, and they see it each day. If I added a plane, it would have to be cartoonish, and I'd already travelled away from a cartoon in my nature theme. I didn't want to detract from the mountain. Besides, "sunshine" was another prerequisite: it was one of the few guidelines they'd put in place when they asked for the mural. I'd already planned to add the sun just to the left of the mountain. Another thing we'd been trying to add was the class motto, a Bible verse from Philippians 3:14. It wasn't short, so I couldn't decide where to put it. I loved the verse and very much wanted it to be a permanent part of the mural, not just a framed plaque on the wall. There were several ways I could have done it: a painted sign, a hidden message in the greenery... All of a sudden it seemed obvious: a plane trailing a long banner would be a great way to add the motto, if it would fit. I tried it a couple of ways, but quickly settled on a long curved banner, trailed behind a plane that would be aiming for the sun. That seemed to fit the verse: "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."

The banner was easy enough on paper, but making a large, smoothly curved line for a big mural is something else entirely. I decided I'd have to make a full-sized pattern. I measured the space, then laid out some yellow paper on the floor and free-handed a large banner. I tweaked the curve here and there, then scribbled in the verse to see how large I could make the letters. Then I taped the pattern on the wall and sketched it in pencil. Brenda put on a coat of Kilz® for me. I didn't do the letters right away ~ I knew I'd have to find the right day to concentrate on a thing like that. Standing on a ladder and lettering up over my head, not able to step back easily and view the whole picture, would not be a piece of cake. I did take pictures of the banner and wrote into it, drawing arrows up from the mountain peaks to give myself some guidelines as to how to fit the letters. Here are the prepped surfaces and preliminary sketches:

Banner and Plane, Lightly Sketched on Wall

Banner Painted White
My one regret is that I've drawn it a little too close to the cattails. Painting it out and doing it over would have been a major pain, so I decided to leave it. Perfectionism does have its limits.

Printout of Mural Photo: Lettering Guideline

My photos and notes show that I worked on this project at the same time that I did the barn.


Mural 2012: September 24th - 25th, 2012: Sketching the Banner

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