Wednesday, December 26, 2012

37~ Mural 2012: Cornices on Bay Windows

All along, I had planned pedestal pieces to go under the bay windows. I never found an exact term for those, but the closest I came was "cornices." These elements came very easy in the gesture drawings, but now I had to define them: solid lines, gradient, tonal surfaces, and functionality. I knew they'd be hard to draw, but I had put it off too long. I did consider leaving them out, but the bay windows did look awfully blunt without them. I had hoped to put a little baseboard of scrollwork between the bottom of the bay and the cornice, but the bench bit into that space. I had to go with just the cornices. Here are a couple of the early gesture drawings, where I had sketched in cornices (easy enough to sketch them).

Two Cornice Designs for Bay Window (Mural)

My final cornice design didn't look exactly like either of these. They had to be shorter. The space was limited. Notice, also, that the finial-thing disappeared from the roof. That was also because of compressed space. At home, I had drawn my cornice on yellow paper, cleaned up the design, and cut it out. On Tuesday, I sketched the pattern on the wall and started painting. It would have made sense to basecoat the entire piece and then paint it, but you can see by these next photos, I just started painting details. Here, the wall color is still showing in the center of each cornice:

Cornices in Progress (Mural)

I had to lie on the floor to do this. Getting down and back up was no fun ~ I'm glad we don't have a video of it. I didn't have cushions for my knees, so I improvised with wadded up paper, folded jackets, and purses. Hey, whatever works! Once again, this simple gesture turned into a massive pain. I had worked on the research and pattern for hours at home. It took about three more days to finish them. I had to tape up the pattern and draw them both, figure out how many tones of white I'd need, and paint them, figuring out the best gradation of color as I went. The whites were hard to mix ~ the differences are so subtle, and they looked so much darker on the palette. That happens. I didn't work straight through, but I did work on and off for three days. During that same time, I finished putting copper touches on the scalloped roofs I'd started. I also painted a simple fire-department sign (for the fire extinguisher area). Doing that at the end of the day was a mistake. I was tired and it looked shoddy.

Bay Windows Before Adding Cornices

Finished Bay Windows, With Cornices

Mural 2012: Tuesday, November 13, 16, and 17, 2012 (Cornices on Bay Windows)

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