So at the start of this project I was approached by the husband of one of my clients, with a request to paint a mural in his wife’s restaurant. It was to be a surprise and fill up an empty wall that needed some pizzazz! As much as I love murals, and the current mural in their restaurant was a real beauty (painted by Mike McMath), I decided to suggest that the painting be done on large canvasses. That way it wouldn’t directly compete with the existing mural’s style, and it could be moved if needed. It would also allow me to work in secrecy, and hang the final piece quickly for the surprise.
My good friends at Golden Gallery & Custom Framing provided the custom canvas frames for the job. They built 3 panels 5 feet tall, and totaling 15 feet in length. I then stretched the canvass over the frames and got them gessoed. When it was dry, I put a coat of whatever blue paint I had a bunch of. Now for the fun part.
I sketched out everything using soft willow charcoal, it works great because of its high visibility, and you can paint right over it. I used cheap hardware store interior acrylic to put my base colors on. I picked them up for cheap, and they work well for large areas. I worked across all 3 panels to provide continuity of color as I went.
With crappy weather setting in, I moved the operation into my too-small dining room. I built a light from an old vanity to provide adequate illumination as I worked. It was at this point I got my hard deadline of the end of the week, so I really ramped up the painting.
The final piece before blacking the edges and hanging. I use a high quality interior acrylic house paint in black for doing my edges. I go through a lot of it, and this saves me money. Most hardware stores will have mis-mixed paints you can pick up for cheap. Home Depot typically sells gallons of premium mistake paint for around 10$. Great for underpainting large pieces, or adding base colors.
The painting was finished, and ready for hanging. My father and I delivered the piece, and secretly hung the painting. When she saw the piece she was super excited, she said it took her back to the Philippines where she grew up. I was happy that she loved it, it was a long labor and I was glad that it made her happy.
If you are interested in seeing the painting in person it is installed at Asian Noodle in downtown Bay City Michigan. The owner Susan is one of the nicest people, and she loves cooking and taking care of her customers. I recommend the Sizzling Sissig if you stop by, (Pork Belly, Chicken Liver, Onion & Peppers on a hot plate and topped with a sunny side up egg) It is a transcendent experience!
I am always interested in doing commission work, I specialize in larger pieces, and would be happy to quote any job. Contact me if you are interested in discussing your needs.