Wednesday, May 6, 2009

the sisitine chapel

one of the things i dread most as a mural artist is being asked " can you paint some big fluffy clouds on the ceiling in the baby's room?" i hate that!!! don't get me wrong. i'm not a baby them. they're .sweet, cuddly,mushy and adorable (mostly..reference the ugly baby episode on seinfeld) the thing i hate is ceiling work. it's labor intensive, backbreaking never get paid what it's really worth and you get paint in your hair (yes, i wear a cap), your eyes, and there isn't enough advil in the world to cure the pain you feel for the next two days. you balance on one leg, holding several brushes in one hand, a palette and /or rags/sponges in the other, trying not to fall off and to go up and down the ladder as little as possible. how did michaelangelo paint the sistine chapel? he must have been drugged beyond belief, tied to a scaffold, and fed chocolate and coffee til he confounds me..but back to the reason for this blog..i would like to teach those of you brave enough and foolish enough ( really , joking) to paint big fluffy clouds in the baby's room, or grandpa's room or any room you choose.
Materials: 2 bottles (large) white acrylic paint ( i love deco brand white)
1 bottle (small) baby blue acrylic paint ( deco, americana..anything at Michael's)
heavy duty plastic plates, 1 large sea sponge, 2 kitchen sponges, cardboard,
ADVIL, and the muscle rub of your choice (mineral ice is good)

ok, this is hard work, but it's easy to do........paint the ceiling the color blue that most reminds you of the sky ( use flat, latex paint )..let dry for two days.
while the ceiling is drying, practice making clouds on the big flat piece of cardboard.

pour some white paint onto the plate...dip the sea sponge in it, getting the paint all over the side going into the paint (wear some disposable gloves) press the sponge onto the card board and dab it so that you make a wispy, not round shape...use a softer pressure of the sponge at the edges so that it almost looks transparent. if the paint looks very dense and solid on the cardboard, you used too much gently to get a "mottled" want some blue sky to show thru the cloud ( for now, some of the card board)...use the kitchen sponge( wet it and wring it out ) to blend the paint you've put down so that it starts to look fluffy ( press or dab until it looks soft).......
when it's almost dry, put some blue in another plate, mix it with some white to get soft, almost white blue color...dab on the "bottom part of your clouds, following the shape, so that you get some dimension and shadow...when you feel comfortable practicing, ( come on, stop practicing) start your ceiling.

remember to keep your shapes irregular.and not too round like cartoon clouds....
.look to the sky for inspiration...try to place them randomly on the ceiling so that you don't wind up with a row of clouds in a stripe effect (have someone watch you and make suggestions of where the next one should go, and basically infuriate you , since you are doing all the neck-bending, back wrenching, hard work- it's good to work in pairs . ha!)
SO! climb that ladder, take a deep breathe, don't look down and release your inner michaelangelo...remember, you can always repaint the ceiling!! good luck and peace, leslie/stymiepie

1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness, you had me laughing all the way thru this. You write very well! Your instructions are clear and concise and I had no problem visualizing what the final outcome would look like. Great Blogging!!!