Monday, May 20, 2019

Painting My First Mural (Hayate x Nagi)

We had the concrete fence walls outside our house repainted with pure white recently and my mother had this idea of having me paint a mural outside of my own design.

Now this seemed like a pretty challenging idea since the biggest thing I’d ever painted so far was a 12x16” acrylic portrait of Nagi. Still, I’ve been doing digital art for over a decade now and in all types of traditional painting media such as acrylic, oils, and of course, my favorite watercolours, so I didn’t think it was beyond my capabilities at all. Of course, I had to think this through carefully if I were to go through this project, such: what kind of design would I paint? What kind of paint should I use? What do I use for making an initial sketch in order to ensure that the actual painting is accurate? These were all questions that I needed to have a ready answer to if I were to paint my first mural.

Painting The Scale Model
Watercolor scale mdoel

To ensure that I had a handy reference to paint from, I first painted this 9X12” watercolor version of what would become the mural. Since I didn’t bother with taking the measurements of the wall, I’d be painting on, I wouldn’t be using the grid method for painting the actual mural. I actually didn’t need to make the mural a 1:1 copy of this one, so this was just made for handy reference.

Day 1: Starting With Chalk

So to start off with, I wanted to be able to freely sketch things, so I used chalk. Like the kind of chalk that teachers would use on a blackboard. I did some initial testing on the surface first to make sure that I could easily erase the chalk, but that it would actually stay for a while without flaking off even if I were to leave it overnight.
Naturally, I would draw mai waifu first

I started with a basic sketch of Hayate and Nagi. After that, I decided to paint Nagi’s outlines with black first. I thought about using colored outlines like I usually do with my watercolour works, but then I reconsidered since this is a mural and I need the colors to stand out at a glance and be more intense. I managed to color most of Nagi’s hair and even her red vest (from the ending of the manga) for this first day.

I used a combination of cheap acrylics from National Book Store (50 php so about 1 USD)  and artist grade Reeves acrylics as well as white latex paint. I just used ordinary water to thin out the paints – which worked ok for me.
At some point, some neighborhood kids came by to watch me paint and asked me if they could grab some of the bougainvillea flowers from the house. I let them in the front gate and hacked a few of the flowers off for them. They were doing this for the Flores De Mayo (which is an annual Catholic Ritual here where kids offer flowers to the church for the Virgin Mary in exchange for candies and other goodies)

Day 2: Finishing Up?

So for the second day, I finished coloring Nagi and then quickly went to work on rendering Hayate. Fortunately, the chalk held up from yesterday, so I could still see the original outlines. It went a bit faster this time since I’d gotten used to painting in this scale a bit from yesterday. I also managed to actually finish the background after getting Hayate done quickly … but there was one problem…
Looks ok until you focus on the hands

The Hand Dilemma

I know many artists like to complain about how hard hands are to draw – but personally I’ve never had a problem with them – until now.  I didn’t realize it until I took a picture with the neighbourhood kids from the day before, but the hands were in an impossible position and their thumbs were in the wrong places altogether – naturally, this haunted me in my sleep.

Fixing Things

Fortunately, titanium white solves everything and I had a good tube of Sakura Koi Acrylic Titanium White left. I quickly erased the previous day’s blunder the first thing in the morning on day 3 and after that, I just let it dry for a few minutes (acrylic dries quickly) and then proceeded to add the varnish.
And finally, it was done, my very first mural. Have to say, I’m quite proud of it. The hands are still a little bit awkward, but they’re none too noticeable and they’re not exactly in an impossible position now. I don’t think I’ll be going back to fix this.
Looks ok now... I'm proud of it either way

Another One

Since then, I’ve finished another mural on another span of white wall right next to the Hayanagi painting. This one just took me under 2 hours to finish. This is Killua from Hunter x Hunter as requested by my niece from Canada.
This is my mother in the picture btw
Over-all it was a fun learning experience and it really gave me a sense of accomplishment to have finished my largest paintings to date. Still, I prefer painting on paper or canvas rather than on a wall.
It was nice interacting with the neighbourhood kids (who made themselves at home playing with my new Billiard table when I let them in and even playing a few games on the PC) and I even got to chat a bit with the adults in the area who were curious about what I was doing.

Anyway, I just wanted to share my experiences with you guys. For now, this is lordcloudx out. Thanks for watching and see you next time for sure.

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