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Old 08-29-2009, 04:52 PM
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Mural Advice Needed

I was contacted by a potential client who saw my work and wants me to do a mural in a large rec room. I told her that I was not a mural artist, but may consider doing the project once I did some research on the subject. I also let her know that since I have no experience as a muralist that it would take me much longer to do than it would a professional muralist. She did not seem hindered by this and is eager to meet with me later this week, when I will get to see the space, take measurements and ultimately decide if I am willing to take on the project.

In our conversation, she mentioned that "when" she moved, she planned to cut the mural out of the wall and take it with her. I realized then that this needs to be a portable mural. I know that some people paint murals on rolled canvas, then transport them to a site where they mount them. But I have no room in my house to work on something that scale. I am thinking of mounting removable panels onto her wall and then painting the mural on site. Has anyone done this before? If so, what type of material did you use for the panels? ...and how did you mount them? Thank-you in advance for any advice you can give me. I like to be prepared and informed as much as possible when I meet with a client.
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Old 08-29-2009, 07:16 PM
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Re: Mural Advice Needed

Hi Steff ~

Yeah - a canvas would be a lot more portable than if she cuts out the dry wall!

Here are some links you may find helpful. Other artists with more personal experience will likely stop by soon to answer questions directly.

Glad to see you in our forum ~~ we'd love to see your work! Sue Ann


http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/show...t=mural+canvas


http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/show...t=mural+canvas

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/show...t=mural+canvas

http://www.truefresco.com/dcforum/DCForumID47/1.html

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/show...t=mural+canvas


http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/show...t=mural+canvas

http://www.truefresco.com/dcforum/DCForumID47/1.html
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Old 08-29-2009, 08:03 PM
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Re: Mural Advice Needed

I am currently, and have in the past, painted murals on polyflax canvas. It is so easy. It is already primed, does not shrink. I have just taken down some paintings and stapled the polyflax up, on my wall. I left the hanging of the canvas up to the experts. I am sure you could have the canvas installed before you paint it, though. Good luck, and please post pictures here! Pat
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Old 08-30-2009, 08:00 AM
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Re: Mural Advice Needed

Sue Ann,
Thank-you for all the informative links! That has really helped me to learn what possibilities I have available.

Pat,
Thank-you for your suggestion to use the polyflax canvas. If I decide to take the commission, I am leaning heavily toward going with the polyflax.

I do have a few concerns before I make that choice. If I have a professional wallpaper hanger install the polyflax with a removable wallpaper adhesive before I paint it , would the moisture from my painting cause the polyflax to come off?

When I search the internet for polyflax canvas, I noticed that it comes in 55" widths. The wider sizes available were polyflax/cotton blends. (Jerrys Artarama) If I used the blends, would I have a problem with shrinkage once I started to paint on the surface?
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Old 08-30-2009, 05:13 PM
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Re: Mural Advice Needed

Steff,

I don't think you will have a problem with disrupting the paste once you begin painting. The polyflax is sort of vinyl-like, wouldn't you say, Pat? I don't think that anything will really penetrate it. It's not cottony, like canvas.

Did you check out www.lakearts.com and www.indianacoatedfabrics.com? I would start there, as they have a large selection of sizes.

As far as painting in advance and then having it installed, I don't know if you have available to you someplace other than your own home in which to work? One time I was able to paint using a large wall at a relative's house. Studio space was also offered to me by another artist who didn't mind sharing and charging a small fee.
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Old 08-31-2009, 03:52 AM
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Re: Mural Advice Needed

Yes, you should be able to get Fredrix polyflex, in many sized rolls, from Lakearts. After my Mural was installed, I had to add a few elements, then top coat it. There was no problem.
Sue Ann, I agree, I always like to paint off-site, whenever possible. I can paint when I want, not have to clean up the whole area every day, and not have the client watching me in progress!
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Old 08-31-2009, 06:40 PM
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Re: Mural Advice Needed

Thank-you for the info on the additional websites where I can find polyflax. I wish that I could paint at home and then install the finished product. If that were possible, I wouldn't hesitate to take the commission. I do not relish the idea of the homeowner watching my every move, especially since this will be my first mural! Unfortunately, I do not have any choice unless I decide not to take the job.

If I do take the job, you can be sure that I will frequent this forum to learn as much as possible about murals from you experts! I have been reading as much as I can on this forum and now everything is a blur. I do know that there is some wonderful work here. In one of the articles someone suggested buying the three primary colors and mixing your own pallet from that. They recommended a specific brand of latex paint that is thicker than most and gave some other clever hints. I wanted to go back to the article to reread it, but for the life of me I can not locate the article again.
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Old 09-02-2009, 03:04 AM
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Re: Mural Advice Needed

I don't use Latex paint except for a base coat. It is really chalky. Most of us use Acrylics. A couple of the Artists that post here recomended Nova Acrylics to me, and I love them. They have the quality of Golden, but they are less expensive. As for using only primary colors, that's fine if you have eons of time to mix. Why buy 3 pints of blue and 3 pints of yellow when you could buy 1 of a green etc. Ofcourse it is up to you but let the company do some of the mixing. Pat
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Old 09-02-2009, 03:43 PM
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Re: Mural Advice Needed

Hello Steff, and Welcome to Decorative Arts! (sorry, I'm a bit slow at the welcoming! )

You've gotten really great advice so far... this thread from Ruth is a good step-by-step of the process she uses to attack a mural... She's the one I think you're referring to about using house paints and mixing her own colors, though I can't seem to find that particular thread at the moment, sorry.

I tried getting my local Sherwin Williams to mix primaries for me but it didn't work out, I ended up with a gallon each of bubble gum pink and turquoise blue before I gave up on the yellow. The girl doing the mixing didn't understand what I wanted and she used white bases. I didn't really know what to ask for, either, so it was just as much my fault So learning from that experience, I tried some Nova Acrylics based on a recommendation and seeing some of the murals created with it, and I haven't look back since. I love the intensity of the colors, and even with ever-increasing shipping costs (the factory is in CA), it's still a great value. I'm not saying get them (no, I don't work for them!), just saying I experimented till I found something I really liked, and I do mix my own colors. I'm still experimenting with my basic split pallette (2 each of red, yellow, blue, and white, black and earth tones like burnt umber, raw sienna, trans red iron oxide etc), but that's generally all I buy. I don't buy secondaries, because I PERSONALLY prefer to mix, it gives more depth, and I'm learning a lot about color theory. Besides, I can then afford to buy the larger sizes of the primaries, and it's cheaper to buy larger quantity

I use Nova's exclusively now, for murals and for canvas work... but I've tried lots of different brands, and it was the best for me. You gotta play, that's kinda the fun part about being an artist, and another good reason to learn mixing and color theory, so you can afford to buy just a few of each brand to test out... just my personal experience

Best of luck, can't wait to see what you end up doing!!

Michele
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Old 09-02-2009, 05:18 PM
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Re: Mural Advice Needed

Thank-you Pat and Michele some more great advice! If I take the commission, I will follow your advice and use acrylics.

My other hesitation about taking on this commission is that I don't work in acrylics. My normal mediums are watercolor and pastels. I have also used oils in the past. I only used acrylics a few times, but was not happy with them. I really never gave them a chance. So this afternoon I decided to give them a try again to see if the commission was even feasible. I looked through my art supplies and came up with a very limited pallet. 2 kinds of red, a large tube of basic blue, a tiny sample tube of paynes gray. I had no white. But I finally located a bottle of craft white acrylic.


I spent two hours on the painting. (a 30 x36 canvas) My normal style of painting is very detailed. This is loose and doesn't look anything like something I typically would do.I would refine it more if it were for a client, but it was just an experiment is acrylics.

What I found out is that I can paint the mural in acrylics, but only if the client is happy with a rather loose painting and does not want a highly detailed one. I also realize that it will take me way longer than either some who works in acrylics or an experienced muralist. If I do the commission will I be biting off more than I can chew? I would say probably yes....or at least more than I can chew in a reasonable amount of time. But I have always heard that it is good to stretch your limits. Is this stretching them too far?

I will post a picture of the painting I did today if I can figure out how.
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Old 09-02-2009, 05:41 PM
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Re: Mural Advice Needed

Here is the painting. I know the client wants her dogs included in the mural, so a dog was the most obvious choice to practice with.
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Old 09-02-2009, 08:48 PM
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Re: Mural Advice Needed

WOW Steff!! That is gorgeous!!! I love it!

I'm not sure what your difficulty is with doing detail in acrylic...? If you can explain, maybe we can help.. I find acrylics very good for detail because you can go over your existing painting with smaller and smaller detail. Of course, I love the way you did this, I'm always trying to loosen up!

You can use mediums to make acrylic do what you want... slow the drying to be more like oils (for blending), you can add lots of water to it to make it behave more like watercolors... the catch with acrylics is that once it's dry, it's permanent, unlike watercolors where you can reconstitute it if you want to change it. HOWEVER, that being said, you can always put a coat of base over something if you don't like it and do it again, that's the beauty of acrylics... I love their versatility and fast drying, but it does take some getting used to...

Michele
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Old 09-02-2009, 09:39 PM
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Re: Mural Advice Needed

Love that dog! You put some beautiful colors in there.
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Old 09-04-2009, 02:21 PM
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Re: Mural Advice Needed

I met with my potential client today. Boy was I surprised when I walked into her rec room and there was already a mural there! It was a mural after Cassius Coolidge's dogs playing poker and had four of her former dogs in it. She wanted me to add her two current dogs to the mural. I was quite hesitant about doing that, because I didn't feel that the artist who did the mural and I have similar enough styles to make it completely believable.

To my relief, when she saw my hesitation, she offered to have me do a smaller mural on the side wall. It will be in a style similar to Cassius Coolidge, but will be my own design. If the design and the price are agreed upon, then I will start the mural.

I still need to give her an estimate on how much the project will cost. In order to do that, I need to have an idea of how much the supplies will cost me. Since I don't usually work in acrylics and have not done a mural, I was hoping that someone here could advise me on how much paint I need to purchase to do the job. I want to have enough paint to do the portrait but I do not want to go overboard with the paint and buy way more than I will ever use. The mural will be 7' x 6' 6". I plan on painting it on polyflax canvas. How much paint would you estimate I need for this project?
Thanks so much for all your help.
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Old 09-05-2009, 12:28 AM
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Re: Mural Advice Needed

Hey Steff, fun project! I would recommend you read through this thread if you haven't already, and if you don't find the answers you seek, let us know and we'll try to help... it's really pretty hard to estimate, not knowing what colors you'll be using etc... of course, if you mix your own from primaries, you'll use less in the long run

Michele
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