Creating this 12 foot tall school mural inside a studio at Qualicum Bay on Vancouver Island was a great time! Painting a mural to be lit by candles and lanterns provides a warm ambiance and adds to the magical mood with the wizards and fantasy boardwalk.
As a mural artist I strive to give a creative and unique vision of the world that is at once expressive and grounded in a reality viewers will identify with. When painting the architecture and towers of Australia's skylines, I used many reference photos to ensure the buildings are recognizable. While this school mural is in Edmonton, I wanted students to be able to visit a different hemisphere
Contemporary skyscrapers fade into a wooden boardwalk with shops in an Od English Tudor style architecture. As an inspirational school mural, the design was influenced by Daigon Alley in Harry Potter, the magical wizard shopping alley hidden in London. In my painting I borrowed from fantasy that students are familiar with and made it a starting point for many extraordinary real life elements.
The mural was developed and painted at my studio on Vancouver Island and installed at Aurora Charter School in Edmonton, Alberta. I am happy and proud to have been involved in a project with clients who invest in art as a means of inspiring students to make the world a better place! I'm not a teacher but a mural artist, and yet I'm convinced the more kids aspire to, the more everyone else benefits.
It's a cool experience when the mural dwarfs the mural artist! Here I'm adding paint to the Southgate Foot Bridge ending on a fantasy boardwalk with surfing students. Painting roads and walkways is a useful visual tool, as our eyes naturally follows a path and the characters on it.
A panorama of the front gallery at my studio in Qualicum Bay on Vancouver Island, BC. I try to have artworks on display while I'm painting a large project (especially incomplete ones), as I might have a good idea while doing the large mural and finish a small painting.
The outline of the school mural was done in markers; you can see the original sketch in my sketchbook, propped up against the mural on the floor. If you look closely you can see horizontal perspective lines curving with the buildings, and also vertical ones. The Tudor boardwalk has a curved 3 point perspective, which is a great challenge when brought up to the scale of a 12 foot mural!
Moses the studio goat comes by to help paint, but is let go after trying to eat brushes. Having a mural painting studio on a hobby farm was relaxing experience, with the animals always up to something. You can see the goat's alpaca buddy in the background.
Installing this Edmonton school mural at it's home in a school stairwell required scaffolding, three walls to work on, and talented help from Jasper Carlson. As this educational mural gives the viewer a 270 degree vantage point, I used a flat varnish to prevent lighting glare and make all sides of the artwork easier to see.