I really enjoyed watching this tree swallow develop in the studio. I don’t often share progress photos, but this is a particularly good example of how a painting evolves.
The first stage of my painting process is drawing out the basic shape and then blocking in values. Although I love how the finished bird looks in the mural, this is still my favorite photo.
Stage two is building up form and detail by studying more carefully how each line flows and where smaller areas of dark and light fall. I make corrections in the original drawing continually.
In stage three I add the last and brightest layers, touches of near-black for the darkest shadows, and then the highlights. This is where a detailed object really starts to pop off the canvas.
The bird was cut out, glued to the mural, and then sealed in thoroughly before I added the shadow. The shadow separates the bird from the mural, creating a slight floating effect and a transition from viewer to painting.
Finishing a mural in October is setting yourself up for delays. Sometimes scheduling makes life challenging! But that’s alright, it all works out in the end. I planned to add the last elements days and days ago, but low temperatures and rain kept me from it. I’m very grateful for the beautiful weather yesterday that allowed me to finish up. Now the Brockport DPW Mural is varnished and ready for winter!
Here’s the location if you haven’t had a chance to see the newest public art in Brockport!