This is a real brief post showing the process of making my Lucidity Mural. It’s an abstract, yet illustrative, graffiti-ish piece that I made after moving into my condo. It was a lot of work, and took a really long time to make, but I feel very accomplished and proud. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do every single day/night. Who knows, maybe someone will hire me to start doing murals for them, too? Also, huge thanks to Artist and Craftsman Supply – you guys are awesome.
From when I saw my condo still being finished, all through the (unbearably long and frustrating) process of closing on it, and moving into it, I envisioned some sort of Dream-Like Mural, representing consciousness and experience, on this back wall.
I wanted it to be graffiti-like, but not too ghetto; I wanted it to have my cartoon style, but not be overly character based; and I wanted it to be abstract and whimsical, yet full of clear, related representations… This is the digital Version.
My “Bedroom” awaiting a dope Mural.
First stencil layer done. Right Panel.
First stencil layer done. Left Panel.
Second stencil layer cut and ready to spray.
Second stencil layer cut and ready to spray.
2 layers for each canvas, and then some extra stencil details and overlays, the spray-painting was complete. It was a huge project, and I wanted to give up so bad doing it, but stepping back this far and looking at the completed b/g, I was extremely happy with the results, despite the imperfections, but hey, this isn’t a digital illustration, anymore…
Next step was to create the letters. This time, I stuck with plain old, large, white paper taped together. I made a grid again to help reference my “sketch” printout.
As I was drawing the (humungous) letters, I realized I was spending hours on each letter alone. I was just going to cut out the shapes and paint inside the space onto the canvas, but then thought, with all the details going into drawing these letters, I should use them for the art!
This was easier said/thought, than done. I used plain old glue sticks, and it was more of a project than stretching the canvases and spray-painting the stencil designs. No, it wasn’t, but it was damn near close to driving me insane. The glue wouldn’t work in some areas, some edges kept peeling up, and I was going crazy trying to make it perfect. I finally got the letters all glued down and was happy seeing it this far along. I was stressed from all the work and frustration, but happy, nonetheless.
The next step was to paint the letters a matted, but very intense, solid white. I mixed some ceiling paint with some Titanium white, and a whole lot of water… I was hoping that this would also help seal the letters onto the canvas when the paint dried. As I painted the paper letters on the canvases, I noticed how watery the paint really was, because the paper kept bubbling up, and I wasn’t sure about how it would turn out.
I kept putting more and more paint on the letters, probably about 4 or 5 full coats on the letters, and I even tried to push and scrape down the folds and bubbles, to no avail. I liked that there would be some texture, but I didn’t want it to look deformed. After the letters dried, though, the letters were smooth and stuck to the canvases and brilliant looking.
I was onto the second to last step: Adding the black outlines and details to the letters. This, again, took a few hours for EACH Letter! No joke.
It was amazing getting to this stage, so I wasn’t stressed about it. I just kept telling myself how amazing this piece was coming out, despite all the hurdles.
Once the letters were finished (after dozens more hours of work), I added the little scrapes, swipes, and noise around the letters and the “enemy” signature and the Mega Face Logo. After these were done, I wanted to bring everything together with a Matte Finish, so I sprayed each canvas with a Spray Matte Varnish. I used one full can on each canvas, and to see all the colors, the letters, and textures all come together to the same finish was really when I got pumped to be done with this piece and hang it up. And I mean that in a completely wonderful and joyous way.
OK, the final, FINAL step was to hang it up.
It is awesome to see the image from my mind come to realization and part of my home finally after all this time. It truly was an amazing feat that I feel incredibly proud of.
wish doing stuff like this was my full time job. If it was, it probably only would have taken me a month or so to do, instead of 11 months.
I honestly think between the digital illustration, the canvas stretching, priming, stencil making, cutting, spraying, letter making, cutting, painting, finishing, and hanging… this whole project was at least 100 hours of work over the course of 11 months… and it was worth every minute.