I see murals, all the time. Even when they are not there. I see walls that could just be so stellar transformed by a mural. It creates a mood, an environment.
But sometimes, there’s a different way of looking at the wall. And that’s finding the perfect piece of canvas art to do the same job as a mural.
Which brings me to a recent commission. The inspiration photo for the piece captured so many things perfectly. The stance of the two sisters, intent on their hike; the feeling of independence, holding no adult hands! And for me, the protective gesture of the older sister guiding her little sister.
I knew where this piece would be hanging, in a room filled with gray and bunny pink. So I chose to paint the picture in grisaille ( French for tones of gray ) letting the details come alive in light and dark shades of gray.
I chose a 36″ x 36″ stretched canvas with a profile of 1 ½”. A circle within a square is a format that always appeals to me, and in this case, it gave me the perfect area to add the four scroll cornerpieces. At this point, I had drawn in the two figures and started working on a loose background of the woods. The limited palette made it easy to evoke a whimsical fairytale like forest.
Scrolls completed, enough background and I was ready to target my main subjects.
I’m in love here. Have to admit, I am not going to want to see this piece leave my studio. Knowing the end is approaching, I continue to complete the girls. Capturing the hair was perhaps as much a challenge if their faces had been visible. The fact that there are no faces gives the composition a timelessness.
The finishing touch, adding the pink to soften it even more.
I’m not ready to stop climbing ladders and scaffolds, but I must admit, I loved the isolation of working in my studio and creating this canvas, this story, this world.