I’m switching from watercolor to oils as I paint a 4′ x 8′ wall mural for the new Washington County Library. I accepted the commission because as a child I was strongly influenced by the murals on the walls of the Los Angeles Public Library. Now I have a chance to return the favor.
I met today with Douglas Alder, the Chairman of the Washington County Library Board, and Brenda, the library director, to go over the initial sketches for the library paintings. They were pleased with the concepts, and had a few additional suggestions.
I ordered Claessons Oil primed Belgian linen and mounted it on a tempered masonite panel using Demco’s archival adhesive. I then hung the panel on the wall of my frame shop. I used a red pencil for the main outlines, since it smears less and I can see it better under the paint.
When my outline drawing is established, I begin work on the figures first to establish their main values, leaving the background buildings for later. Once the figures are almost complete I will work on the background and return for the final detail work on the figures last.
The figures are now pretty well established, so I move on to the background. I rub in a thin underglaze of burnt sienna on the buildings to establish an even value. While I’m confident in the research on three of the buildings, I still have some questions about the Lyceum Reading Room.
I do a little more fiddling with the figures, changing the look of the girl on the left. I then move on to the background and buildings. On top of the red underglaze I begin to build up the structure, working from loose to tight. Details will come later after the first glazes dry.