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Thursday, July 30, 2015

The boy roos are chasing the girls so spring must be just around the corner!

Must be coming towards Spring. I was inside drawing up the Pug portrait and there was a hell of a ruckus.. The pack of male roos had a female cowering under the front verandah trying to get away.
The biggest male was under there with her grunting and fighting off others.The whole verandah was shaking!I hope the air conditioning unit survived.
I went out and yelled at him and threw my hands at him from the safety of the verandah and he hopped off a bit but soon came back. He was pretty single minded so I decided to play it safe and leave it to them.. Luckily it's died down now.

 Above - the pretty cause of all the ruckus

Monday, July 20, 2015

Day 12 - the final day on the mural- redoing the main bullocks head

Above -  The finished mural. I decided the main bullock looked a bit boring from across the road ( it looked ok close up) so I decided to add a few white markings.
I also narrowed it's face. After many hours of searching I'd  found a suitable photo of a
 bullock 's head from a similar angle to help. I highlighted his nose , ears and put a few white areas to help balance his face.
Below - how it was.

 I think he looks quite wise now..lol's.

 More pics of the finished mural. I could have fiddled with a few more things  but it has good impact so time to call it quits! It should look great for another 10 years..

Below- The earlier head. I quite liked it but it lacked impact.I want the mural to look great closeup ( the colours really stand out from the footpath) but also be eye catching as people drive past.

Below - his new markings

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Day 11- Changing the main bullocks face- lightening the grass and logs- almost there

 Well it's looking pretty finished but I still feel the grass needs a bit more impact and the logs need some more colour and lighter shades on them. That was my aim for the day but the first thing I decided was that I didn't like the main bullocks head. Above is how his face was first thing ( RHS front bullock).

 The original reference photo is very dark and you can't make out any detail.

 As a result I'd done my own version and changed the angle of his pose a bit as well. I decided I'd change him to give him more form. 2hrs later I still wasn't very happy but he looked semi decent..grr. On my usual smaller  portraits a change like that might take 10-20 mins if I get it right- much longer on this bigger version.

 Above - this is one stage I went through and I wasn't happy with him at the time and kept going..I may have to go and fine tune him again. I'll have to get some decent photos of a bullock/cow head from the correct angle to make it much easier than guessing.
Still if I can stop obsessing over little details it looks pretty good!
 Here it is on the side of the building to show you the size- 3.3m x 9m

Below -  The sun is just starting to come around and hit parts of it.After this photo was taken i did more changes to his face and lightened the grass and logs.

 Below - In this detail shot you can see the lighter flicks among the grass to help bring it to life. The logs have more orange and some white highlights . I'm happy with this area - it is finished!

This is where I got to today. I suppose it could be finished but I want to suss out options for subtly altering his face. Once I have a plan it shouldn't take long to make the changes and then it will be finished! One option is to extend the white areas  to cover more of his face..

Day 10 - Using a trestle to reach and repaint the sky and background trees

Today was all about bringing it all together. The sky had lost it's warm mauve tones over the years and was too green blue so I repainted it with the original colour but a bit lighter to make the bullocks stand out more.I started with a ladder but couldn't reach the top so changed to the trestles and plank. I'm not real keen on heights and the ground wasn't flat so they were a bit wobbly at times. I was glad to get back onto the ground!
I was going to take a photo looking down from the trestle but I didn't want to clamber up with the camera.
 You can see the mauve blue from the LHS. I'm hanging onto the guttering more from a confidence thing than anything else as it wouldn't take my weight!

 Here I've decided the first sky colour I started was too dark and I'm going back over it in the same colour but a lighter shade.
About this stage I decided a roller would be a lot easier and went up the road to get one.

 The above photos are taken when the mural is in the shade of a morning - the next one is when the sun hits it of an afternoon- It looks much better!
 Moving along to finish the sky.

It's now overcast - look at the difference the lighting makes to the effect. I'm now tackling the tree belt. I'm going to grey/blue it off so it sits back in place and doesn't look like it is coming forward. Below - tree belt finished. This is where I got up to on the day.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Day 9 - Finishing Peter, brightening the grass , redoing the kookaburra and starting on the sky

 Above- I've painted Peter's shirt and hat. Although it doesn't show very well in the photo he now fits into the scene better.
Every mural in Kurri has a Kookaburra in it. Some are easier to find than others. This one is easy. Here I am starting to restate him a bit darker. I love playing around with the rear parts of the mural as they can be painted in less detail and suggested. Here I'm just suggesting a Kookaburra I later come in with some lighter and darker accents and refine him a little.

Below - Here he is with a more accurate shape and more lights and darks.
 It's hard to tell here as now the mural is in the sun- what a difference it makes to the colours! Much better . 
Here you can see the background has faded to a green colour ( reds gone). I'll replace it with more of a blue grey tomorrow which will make him stand out more.
 Note how here he looks more intent on getting that worm with his head angled in a typical Kookaburra way. I don't have to put every detail in to have him look like a Kookaburra!

Now I'm starting to work out a colour for the sky. The original sky was a warm / mauve blue that complimented the bullocks. The reddish tones had faded out leaving a green blue which was a bit stark.

I ended up making this new blue lighter again than here.

Below- Starting to come together - sky , trees and fine tuning needed tomorrow. Note how much better the colours look with the sun on it.

 Although I like the trees they are too yellow green and bright and appear to be coming forward too much.I'll fix that tomorrow with some blue grey colours.

The end of the day - you can see my colour test patch of blue sky to the left of the first bullock.

Day 8 on the Bullock mural - repainting the bullock driver

Above -  Here is the mural as it was end of day 7 . 
The bullocks are all roughly done. The man and trees and sky all need to be redone and everything bought together. This photo was taken first thing in the morning.
It's hard to get a decent photo of the mural in the morning as you are looking into the sun and the mural is in the shade and looks much darker.It comes to life in full sun of an afternoon so plan a visit for then to see it at it's best!

The bullock ' driver' is Peter Avery of Mulbring.
 He was the last one to have a working bullock team in the Watagan mountains. When I first painted the mural in 2005 they had just been retired but were still going out for public displays and had even been in a shot for a scene for the film Oscar & Lucinda.
 Here I am repainting the dark colours on his body, face and whip.
 Below - the darks done .

Now I've started to paint the slightly lighter colours - the browns.I'll keep adding layers of lighter colours ( 4 in all) to build up the form / realism.

 Now some lighter 'pink tones/ colours.

Below -  I've redone his face.
 The lighter 'pink/yellow  of the original mural had faded to a yellow green and I ended up being able to use this as my lightest colour - leaving the wall colour to show for the highlights . Over the years Red/ pinks / oranges are the first colours to fade and disappear with sunlight . The mural faces West and gets the afternoon sun so it gets the harshest exposure of any direction.

 I've redone his shorts but his shirt will have to wait for tomorrow.You can't see it in a photo but it was mainly the yellow green wall colour and a bit too bright to fit in the painting.As things get further away they get duller and greyer and this colour was too bright for the distance he was away.

Below -  Here is the mural as it was at the beginning of the day- Peter and the whip faded.

Above - At the end of the day - Peter and the whip almost finished and sitting in place better. The trees are still too bright and need to be dulled / blued back a bit to give the painting depth.Tomorrow as I need scaffolding to reach the top of the mural and I need to redo the sky colour first.