Making of ‘Migration’ Mural

This hand painted mural was commissioned to brighten up an outdoor living space. It features the much loved Swallows and migrating White Fronted Geese that can be seen in the local area each summer.

When I create a mural the first step in the process is to visit the site, get a feel for the area and what will be the surroundings of the painting. I met with the client and she explained what she had in mind. Swooping swallows and migrating geese were the primary focus. Also in the brief was a nod to the topography of the area with several local hills to be depicted in a more abstract way.

Measurements and photographs of the space were carefully taken so that the next step – making some sketches, could begin.

With the brief discussed and the area measured up, sketches could be made to scale. First a very rough idea and then a more detailed design drawing which I transposed onto the photographs of the blank wall to give the final impression.

This preview shows the client how the final painting will look. It also makes it easier for me to make slight adjustments to the size and positions of the birds to suit tohe site.

Reference to the nearby mountains was made with the addition of contour lines across the whole background in a pale magenta and the meandering path of the local river was also added.

Ready for the painting to start!

A canopy was erected to keep the painting space dry. I used a scale-grid marked up on the wall and on my design-drawing to sketch out the painting using crayons and light washes of paint.

Its amazing how quickly paint brushes wear down on a rendered wall!

Once the underpainting is done I can start to build in detail – my favourite part!

When the weather dried up I could paint without the temporary canopy and see the whole painting coming together.

Detail painted in on the geese next and the painting was complete!

So satifying to see the painting being enjoyed

Doris was fabulous company for me while I painted