Starting top down to work with the gravity of paint, the sky of my Vimy Ridge mural was completed first. Next up were the Sopwith Camel aircraft that braved the anti aircraft fire skies of the day as high tech RCAF planes.
Once the mounting boards and frame have been anchored to the wall, installing a mural painted on aluminum composite panels goes pretty quick. Just don't drop anything!
As this military mural is near 12 feet tall the studio was 8 feet tall, I painted the top mural panels first and then moved the bottom panels up. After painting the HMCS Niobe into place to represent the Navy, I added to the muddy landscape of Vimy Ridge.
Soldiers are painted scrambling through craters and mud under some of the black and white war photos I used for reference in the mural. While I typically use reference imagery it is especially important with military art to ensure uniform and regalia accuracy.
Installing an exterior military mural, painted on composite panels, first requires mounting boards to be anchored to the wall, then a metal channel frame, and finally a small drip channel at the top as a roof. It also helps to have great assistance from Brian Scott, and a mobile lift.
Vimy Ridge is briefly a quiet landscape painting before muddy artillery explosions are added to the mural. Atop Vimy ridge, one soldier said “"more of the war could be seen (there) than from any other place in France."
The final touches for this World War 1 military mural: priming and painting over the installation screw heads.