Feb 082010
 

The last couple of weeks have been kind of crazy for me. I have been caught up in the Shorty Awards frenzy and I have been preoccupied with establishing the business side of BZTAT studios.

What a ride! Yes, I remain a finalist in the Shorty Awards, and I am trying to find a way to get to New York City on March 3 so that I can attend the ceremony. More about that later.

As fun and gratifying as it was to have my Twitter following support me so enthusiastically in the Shorties, I am glad to get back to the business of painting and creating things. I never stopped, but I am glad to have it as my primary focus again.

What have I been working on? Well…

I have recently completed two canine pet portraits, which I will detail in future posts here. I am working on another pet portrait of three West Highland Terriers (Westies) and I am about to begin a cat portrait as well.

And I have begun work on the ultimate grand pet portrait, the “Downtown Cats” mural. The mural depicts the most famous downtown cats in Canton, OH—my own Brewskie Butt, Who, Slick and Noah—and will eventually be mounted on the building currently occupied by HEAP in Downtown Canton, OH.

The mock up design that is seen above is what the mural will look like when it is finished.

Currently, it doesn’t look like much, but it has entailed quite bit of work. here are some photos of the beginning stages. Please excuse the photo quality, as the studio lighting is set for painting, not for photography.

Buying-boards

Purchasing the MDO boards

Medium Density Overlay (MDO) board is a wood panel that is often used in the sign painting industry. It is recommended for use for outdoor murals. I purchased the boards at a local lumber and hardware store.

 cutting-the-boards

Kevin Anderson cutting boards to shape of a window

I am not particularly handy with power tools, but my friend Kevin Anderson of Anderson Creative is a wiz with them. He cut the boards for me into the shape of windows, simulating the windows on the building across from the place where the mural will be hung.

Four-panels-in-studio

In the studio

Each panel was primed with white gesso and then painted with a dark blue background. All of my paintings begin with a dark layer of color. I follow a process of layering subsequent layers of colors over a dark background, allowing the initial layers to define shapes as later colors are applied.

wooden-panel

Masking off and drawing in background

I masked off the window pane shape with painter’s tape and drew a sketch of the background design for my painting reference.

Downtown-Cats-mural-WIP

Blocking in the background design

I then began blocking in the shapes of the cityscape design with paint.

Downtown-Cats-mural-WIP

Developing background design

At this stage there are 3-5 layers of color applied. many more layers will be applied before it is finished to create rich vibrant color and visual texture.

Downtown-Cats-mural-WIP

close-up of background design

All of the materials used in this mural are those that are recommended for exterior use. The paint, board and gesso are all materials designed for exterior use and weather resistance. The final work will be coated with a weather and UV protecting sealant to ensure the longevity of the piece.

The “Downtown Cats” mural is obviously a very large project that will take a long time to complete. Completion and hanging of the piece is slated for July of this year. I will periodically update my progress on the piece as it develops in various stages.

Thanks for following along with me on this adventure!

Life is an Adventure!

BZTAT

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