Sunday, 3 February 2013

" Going LARGE!"- mural painting at Braunton Academy

 Sometime's we have weeks in our lives that just make everything worth while. Last week was one of those. I had been approached by Lorna Britton, one of the art teachers from the Braunton Academy here in Devon, to work with their Gifted and Talented art students on a large mural.

This would involve working with Primary School age children up to Year 9 students. The brief was to design an image that comprised of  " Coastal Sports" that a lot of the children of the area enjoyed participating in. We chose Skateboarding, surfing, Surf Lifesaving and Beach Volleyball.This would then be fixed on the outside of the art building for all the world to see.

I began the project with a digital sketch on my iPad using the Paper app. Once this was approved by Lorna , I started working it up in much more detail in a wonderful app called Procreate, not a great name, but a brilliant art app.
 Using layers I built up an outline sketch that could be drawn onto the 8ft x 4ft boards of marine ply.

When that was complete, I worked into that using an iFaraday stylus and a separate layer for each colour. We then chose a selection of colours from the Dulux Weathershield paint range and that was our palette, from these eleven colours plus white we would mix everything that we needed, something that the students found really enjoyable and challenging.

After a quick chalk up by me to scale up the outline sketch onto the boards, the primary school children did a fantastic job blocking in all the main areas of colour.

After each day, I took some photos with the iPad and worked on them in Procreate that evening to prepare us for the next day's painting. So useful as you can experiment with different looks and colours before the children got the brushes flying.

 After the final class of art students on Friday feverishly finished their work , I sped around and tidied a few outlines up, but in all honesty I can say that they carried out 95% of all the artwork that you see in the finished paintings. I have to take my hat off to them , they were such a talented bunch, I learnt something everyday working with them, not too mention splitting my sides with laughter at some of their antics, they were real characters!

The project was funded by the Devon Guild of Craftsmen and Braunton Academy, both sterling ambassadors for the development of art in Schools! Thank you to everyone involved that helped this happen, especially Lorna Britton, Bridget Oliver and Zoe Bateman, they provided heaps of support and the best tea and cakes any starving artist could wish for and their humour made sure that the week rolled along with a smile, "Thank you ladies!" You can read Bridget's review of the week on her excellent blog "Skipping over Quicksand". Most of all a huge " Thank you!! " to all the wonderful students that made my week a truly memorable one. 
Enjoy YOUR mural!