I’ve been asked to show some of the critters from the Monkey Mural (posted December 14, 2007). I’ve picked out just a handful from the approximately 50 in the mural. I won’t post them all at the same time. This is the first of three postings.
Please forgive the quality of some of these snapshots.
Each of these drawings includes some “easter egg” (personal reference) for the owners of the mural with a couple of personal ones of my own thrown in.
First, we had to start with the traditional “barrel full of monkeys.”
The cowboy hat is for the Texas roots. They’re flying a kite that looks like the Texas flag. The kid monkey imitates Chim-Chim, from Speed Racer.
On the cape is a replica of a family coat of arms.
The liederhosen represents the family’s German heritage.
The plane gives a nod to Southwest Airlines.
This is one corner of a mural that went completely around a room which served as an office. The design was geometric in most places but on other walls was more free flowing. The four stripes on the left and three stripes on the right merged into other shapes and designs on the adjacent walls.
Here are two walls of a mural that completely encircles a baby’s room. Each wall has its own theme but is connected to the adjacent walls by color and technique. The colored flowers are consistent on all walls and match the drapes, bedspreads, etc.
The first image shows about half of one wall depicting a desert scene (the mural is in Phoenix). To the left of the ground squirrels (out of the picture) are a covey of quail and a hill that rises to meet the next wall that features a fanciful castle.
On the right is a waterfall and stream that flows (out of the picture) into a more green and pastoral pond and shade tree.
A photo of the corner of both walls.
The kid wanted a jungle on his wall. Mom wanted to match the linens. So we used the plants and colors in the drapes and bedspreads to come up with this jungle mural.
The column on the right borders a window.
This mural has two sides; the left side shows a savannah environment; the right side depicts a jungle. The trees from each side meet to offer a “canopy” above where a bed will go. The owner of the house is called “Daisy” so, as a personal touch, I added a few daisies along the bottom of the painting.
This is not a new mural but it has an interesting story. A few years after I painted it for my niece, my sister’s family moved away and sold the house, mural an all. A couple of days later I got a call from my former college roommate. He began to describe the mural to me over the phone. Turned out his sister-in-law had bought the house from my sister and he had recognized my work.
Almost twenty years later I got another call from my ol’ roommate. That family was moving but had deep regrets because they would have to leave the mural behind after raising several kids in that room.
The finished mural has 49 monkeys (and a frog). Most were drawn to illustrate a variety of activities that the parents will be able to discuss with the child as he grows up.
There are too many to show much detail. If you’d like to see something up close contact me and let me know. There are also several that have special personal references for the parents or, in some cases, just for me. Hey, artist’s license.
With the line drawings in place I added all the solid colors. Once the colors were done, fine details, shading and highlights were added.
With the mural complete it was time for other folks to add the window treatments, bed coverings and so on and to wait for the baby to arrive. But that was out of my control.
After the planning was over I put the drawings on newsprint and toted them to Phoenix. Using the room sketches as a guide I taped the drawings on the wall and transfered the images using plain old carbon paper.
After some minor adjustments I made line drawings on the walls using an acrylic paint pen.
Assignment: Paint a mural of a bunch of monkeys doing a bunch of different things on three walls and entry way of a baby’s room. Since the walls were 1,100 miles away the planning needed to be good. There was lots of emailing going on. The room, it’s windows, furniture, etc. were measured and graphed at 1 foot units. Various sketches were made of the monkeys. After changes, computer illustrations were made to give an idea of what the room would look like.
The image on the left is an initial sketch. Many changes were made after that. The middle computer image was done from scanned drawings placed to scale on a wall and then skewed to give the appearance of the corner of the room. The third image superimposed the scanned drawings over photos of the actual room.