So far this year, the mural has definitely been going really well! We’ve been able to move along quickly and get a lot of work done on the piece as a whole. The planning process took around two after school sessions, and then we were able to sketch the geckos out as well.
Part of the process in designing a mural is the fact that we needed to be very deliberate in our actions and how we would approach the process of designing a HUGE piece of art…with ten people. We knew that we would have to create a cohesive piece of art that looks nice. We had the basic shapes of our three geckos sketched out, and then we had to think more about composition and how we would be filling up the empty space. Part of the reason why we are making this mural is to reflect the community we’re in here at SIS, which is why we drew the geckos. But we needed to go one step further.
This is when Ms. Morgan and Coco were talking and they realized that there’s not only the national flower of China (the peony) and the national flower of Shenzhen (the bougainvillea), that we realized that we literally had exactly what we needed to fill up the space. So we began to draw. But after we started…things were slightly wonky.
The geckos were already slightly different and didn’t look very united, and with everyone just drawing what we wanted to draw, we had to pause and go about this in a better way in order to accomplish a truly successful end product. We needed to specialize and trade our skills to get the job done.
We all then were allotted different tasks that would recur throughout the entire piece (ex: Tiffany was wholly in charge of drawing one type of peony, while Spencer did another, and Anna did peony leaves, etc.) It was through this that when we stepped back to look at the mural as a whole, it was actually looking really cohesive. By being able to pinpoint commonalities between the different objects throughout the entire mural, it makes it seem so much more elevated because there is an evident flow to the piece.
After we spent more time sketching (we ended up shifting the times of our meetings from Friday after school from 3:30-5:00, to 3:30-6:00), we had to begin the process of elimination. Like all things, quality over quantity! This meant that before progressing in our piece and going into doing colors and markers, we had to decide what we would eliminate. We wanted to use compositional rules that would make the mural as aesthetically pleasing as possible (S-Curve), so that meant that we had to begin erasing some really well crafted drawings to ultimately make the mural as strong as it can possibly be. Sometimes you just gotta give up some really great things to move further in life!
Very recently, we began the process of thinking about how we can add color to our piece. Ms. Morgan suggested that we use watercolor techniques to add subtle notes of color throughout the piece, as acrylic paints might be too vibrant and saturated for the delicate flowers and patterning of the gecko. We all discussed as a group, and agreed that that would be the best choice. So like sketching, we divided and conquered! Painting as a group, we all took on different roles and start to get the painting done. We’re still in the process of finishing the painting, however, it shouldn’t take too much longer, and then we will go over all of the lines with markers and add hatching details throughout. One of my favorite art techniques. I’m super excited to see where it goes from here.