But okay, I never pay attention to how long a piece takes, so this time, I decided to document the whole process. Now everyone gets to suffer through the whole tedious business as I relate the details. What larks!
If you read the previous post, you'll recall (or not, depending on how faulty your memory is) that I decided to paint this picture from Good Omens on my dining room wall.
DAY 1: I enlarged the drawing on the wall by printing out an 8x10 inch photo and marking a grid of 1/2" squares.
Then I drew in a bigger grid on the wall.
DAYS 2 through 4: I painstakingly drew what was in each small square on the photo into the bigger squares on the wall. I edited out the excess stuff on the sides to simplify the background, but it still took a long time. The faces were especially difficult.
DAY 5: I realized that it was simply too large, taking up the entire wall. I'd enlarged it to 4" squares, and it really should have been 3" squares. This made me rather unhappy. I suppose I could have painted it that big, but I knew it would be Too Much, so I made the painful decision to erase it all and start over. I spent the entire day re-drawing the grid to 3" squares and redrawing the entire picture.
DAY 6: I had used acrylic paint before, though not that much, and I didn't like the way it dried within minutes. So I had invested in a new type (Golden Open Acrylics) which promised to stay wet for hours, allowing for better blending. Having never used them before, I tested this out on an apple:
The longer blending time worked well, and I felt encouraged. So next, I tackled the background, which proved trickier. The brush I used made the paint look streaky, and no other brushes worked well. It needed to be smoother. I tried using a sponge, which did not work. Then I tried letting it dry more, and then adding a thinner layer of the same color with a paper towel, sort of rubbing it over and in to blend it smoothly. That worked!
DAY 7: Spent another day finessing the background, and adding white over it where the tree branches and leaves were to go.
DAY 8: An entire day on the Earth. VERY HARD! Had to use the paper towels again, plus do several bits of layering and glazing and repainting everything multiple times. Gah.
DAY 9: More touching up on the Earth. Painted Aziraphale's shoes (the angel character on the left).
DAY 10: Did Crowley's boots (the demon character) and part of his wine glass.
Aziraphale's spiffy shoes, which I adore
Crowley's snakeskin boots
DAY 11: Painted Aziraphale's head and blocked in part of his coat. Painted his shirt and vest.
DAY 12: More of Aziraphale's coat. Painted Crowley's head.
DAY 13: Lots of touching up on the faces. Painted the tree and the snake.
DAY 14: HANDS! Hands are extremely difficult, at least for me. It took all day to paint four hands, plus the white and gold china teacup and saucer the angel is holding, and I also finished the wine glass.
It was challenging to paint the reflections, and the part of the hand that's visible through the wine glass.
DAY 15: Clothes! The clothes were a bit easier overall. Basically, I just mixed up a whole lot of the main color, plus some of a highlight value and a shadow value, and then painted the whole trousers, for example, with the medium value first. Let it dry just enough before adding in highlights and shadows and blending them in.
DAY 16: Finished the clothing, and that was it -- all done!
Whew! The finished mural is 4 x 5 feet. I learned a lot about working with the new acrylics, and while it was frustrating at times, the results were definitely worth the effort.
And now if anyone asks "how long did that take?", I can confidently state, "16 days unless you don't count the first 4 days when I drew it the wrong size....plus a few decades of training and practice, of course!"