The office manager wanted a 4-wall wraparound mural that recreated
the feeling of the idyllic Elven paradise from "The Lord of the Rings," complete with waterfall and lots of sun. I instantly
pictured standing under a canopy, looking out at the cliffs, trees and fantasy architecture on all sides.
I also saw the 3-D "trompe l'oeil" quality that would lead the eye into the facing wall as one enters the front door.
One of the fun challenges was making this scene work
within the structure of the room itself. There was a large window and door that took up most of the front wall, and on
the right wall, the entrance into the main shop, where science lessons are taught.
I rough-sketched the arches first, then the railing and where it would recede into the scene ahead (far
wall), having placed the angle of the sun. I blocked in the ends of the cliff ranges and drew the "birdcage" rotunda, where
romantic moments might be enjoyed (left wall). Finally I defined the dimensions of the "veranda" to the right under the
roof, through which one enters the workshop (right wall). Then I mixed a LOT of brown paint and filled in those cliffs!
The cliffs, descending foliage and waterfalls took a bit of time, because I kept building up the layer tones,
and inserted them wherever they looked needed. Often, natural patterns followed the decidedly uneven texture of the walls--
not a painter's friend. The most time was spent probably on the buildings in the distance, particularly the blue
one at the front left corner. Blocking in the nearest structural shapes (ahead view) was pretty easy. I couldn't wait to get
to the railing and the ceiling!
First was all the foliage around the base of the landing, and some winding walkways/ bridges that stretch
great distances. Then mixing up a big batch of the magenta/plum that covers the right wall and railing. The proprietor
decided to remove the interior door from its frame, which allowed the whole painting to be seen and opened up the