WTFsUP Net Dwellers this my first Blog Post, about my first Mural and the process involved. A couple a weeks ago, myself and an old high school buddy Brendan Guthrie [website] got to work on a Star wars themed mural for Sydney's Small bar 'The SG' (previously Spooning Goats) on 32 York st, between Town Hall and Wynyard. You'll find it by the Star wars helmets in figurines within its below ground windows.
ABOUT THE SG: A month or two previous on a food and drink anniversary binge with my woman we slipped in and geeked out. Loved the dimly lit colourful atmosphere with retro 90's vibe and Sega Master System, arcade machines and Art covering the walls. a couple of nights a week we came back taste testing their ever-changing craft beer selection and Cocktails, crunchin out Sonic and pacman sessions, chatting to the staff. After discussing the art on the walls with the owner Jason I was encouraged to bring in some of my own shit. that led to a Dual exhibition with Brendan and to painting the wall to the entrance of the bar.
FIRST I took Photos and tape measurements of all the landmarks and defects of the environment, jotting them down on my treasured FIELD NOTES (Get your own HERE). Then mocked up a photoshop template to scale, to start playing around with ideas.
A couple of nights within the few hours after work, I came up with 3 designs, I was destructive with my work flow and have none of the others to show, but I landed on the design below. Initially I had ideas of a Sistine chapel-esque detailed space battle. But given the time frame we set for ourselves (Four Days) we went with a Glory of the Empire based peice instead, Because fuck Rebels.
The process consisted of a huge reference search, mainly using Pinterest, gathered 100 images an compared them to the 'canvas'. I liked the Idea of a heirarchy with ground troopers spanning the bottom layer building up to a greyed out massive Emperor, and the clouds building to the right with one of them pointing, leading you into the bar.
I merged different images together, dropped it into greyscale and did a paintover to fix lighting, add in extra details and unify the style. Tried out a few different colour schemes but landed on Red, to reinforce the Sith iconicism and to match the Red curtains they have hanging opposite to the wall.
Every Major Alteration I super-imposed it onto the wall to see if it worked in 3d.
Sent it to Jason, he dig. I gridded the file to scale and noted the measurements. Printed off 12 reference pages at Officeworks and hit Bunnings and Eckerseleys for Housepaints, brushes and everything else on the list.
DAY 1: 6am, Place Smelt like hobo piss, got my hand in it :( Gridded and sketched in the foundations with Markers until about Midday, We didnt mind being too rough with the Markers, once the tones were filled in, it would be easier to judge the proportional relationships.
Taped around Vader to overspray a Starscape with Red and Black. Filled in Big blocks of colour with Spray paint. We held rags to our faces and were covered in paint mist, Wrecked my outfit. Brendan set up his phone with extra battery packs with some disjointed playlist, keeping that bipolar energy high.
Traced around handmade paper templates for the lights on the box. Finished the first day at 3:30pm halfway through the base colours.
DAY 2: 6am, We pretty much finished the emperor straight away so we could get rid of the Ladder. Tried some sponge effects as an underlayer on the seat, Continued building up Tones on the troopers, and added some background effects. A friend ours Tom Krepak dropped by to lend his artistic hand for a few hours fixing up the guns and shadows. Finished up at 4pm.
DAY 3: 6am, Both started crashing hardcore slumping off the milkcrate seats and mindlessly slapping paint on. A couple of liquid gold coffees each and few hours were both back in the zone. Built up the boxes in a Cartoon style Weathering, easy to do, looks mad, love me some Extreme Highlights, Love me some Bevels. Tom helped out some more, Brendan stepped in Hobo pee barefoot. Finished around 6pm
[Shameless Self Promo]
DAY 4: 8am, Covered the peice in Black and White Fat Markers. Outlining, Crisping, Detail scratches, Highlights, Star flares, hiding bits of wall we missed painting. This is the best bit, Everything comes together, the vision starts actualising and you start to ease up. The feeling is similar to listening to Queen.
Some say Art is never finished. I say its finished when I cant physically keep going and im sick of looking at it. so when we got to that stage we did a Photoshoot. After a couple of Victory Ciggarettes and a good stretch we went up the street to Mitre 10, apparently Matte finishes have a chemical in them due to a lawsuit or something that darken the peice and go honey coloured over time. So we picked up 2 x 1L tins of Clear Satin Varnish, They covered the whole Mural and Dried in no time. Finished the job at about 5pm.
Heres how it ended up, I was happy it looked pretty spot on to the pre-visualisation.
We had around 10 or so people a day of different walks of life come down to have a look and a chat, a couple actually said they should come to the bar more often, so I'd say we did the job.
It really pays off to have Various A3 printed reference to pin up everywhere, I found the only thing different about painting a mural is Mo' paint, bigger brushes, thats about it. House paint has a really good consistancy, lays on thick, perfect and dries pretty fast. My favourite part is probably the Speed in which we did it in. I was speaking to a couple of people about it before we started and they warned me it was crazy to think we could get it done in 4 days, especially being a first mural. Apart from that, the Scale, I love huge peices, makes it look automatically better than it is haha.
So theres a bit of an inside look, Swing by the Bar and check it out, let me know what you think. Please support Disney/Lucas film for their incredible legacy.Thanks for Reading, Stay motivated.