Friday, June 27, 2014

Theater Schmeater Mural-Materials

I had some concerns about the wall base coat when I realized that it was a semi-gloss. Generally, it is easy to paint on flat, satin and eggshell finishes; it gets tricky moving into semi-gloss and gloss. In those cases you would usually want lightly sand or prime first.  As this wall had only been painted a week before, the paint was still soft and I decided not to prime.

Artists acrylics work well for indoor murals and go a surprisingly long way. You don't need the best grade. Student grade is fine. For most of the colors I went with Amsterdam, recommended to me by Artist & Craftsman Supply. The colors went on smoothly but required more than one coat. 

They also recommended Daler Rowney graduate acrylic for the white. It's a big jar. It has a sticky consistency that dries fast. It can't be reworked. You have to let it dry and then lay down another layer. I did like the texture it created but I might go with Amsterdam white for the next mural.

Colors used:

  • azo yellow deep
  • Naples yellow red
  • yellow ochre
  • pyrrole red
  • yellowish green
  • ultramarine blue
  • permanent blue violet
  • oxide black

Daler Rowney 
  • white

  • Liquid Metal blue 

Finding the right kind of pencil to draw on the wall with took some trial and error. You want something that is water based so it will dissolve into the acrylics. 

Watercolor pencil seemed like the right choice and that is what I used for the grid. It didn't work well for the figures. When I used it wet, it skipped. When I used it dry, the tip left an impression in the still-soft paint. It did wash off easily. Regular graphite pencil also left a mark in the paint and didn't wash off. 

Shopping for more paint colors, I laid out my problem at A & C. The clerk suggested Stabilo All which is water based and writes on paper, glass, plastic and metal. I bought orange and blue.  I first used orange thinking it would be lighter and wash off more easily than blue. 

Then I saw a warning on the Stabilo website that some of the colors, including orange, could leave a stain. Sure enough, it does not wash off completely. It is still visible in the finished mural especially around Harlequin's head, which I redrew several times. I could have painted over it with the wall color but I like to see process in other artists' work.