22 October 2015

Mount Fuji mural

My friend Marceline recently asked whether I'd ever blogged about my Mount Fuji mural. I answered that I was sure it would be back in my blog archives somewhere - then I had a look myself and realised that I had painted my mural almost a year before starting the blog! And I didn't join Flickr until the year after that, so it wasn't there either! At least I had the good sense to paint the date on the mural, so I could actually remember when it was painted!
In 2006, I had been living in my house for about 8 years. The wall at one end of the brick shed had been painted white by the previous owners of the house, and I found it really annoying to have to re-paint it every couple of years when it started looking grubby. So I came up with the bold idea to paint a mural, which I hoped would not look so obviously dirty after a couple of years. I had thought that it would maybe last for 5 years, but 9 years later it is still looking amazing, with only a few areas that need touched up.
Here's a before picture of the wall - nice but plain.

Unfortunately there are no step-by-step photos of my mural - at the time I had no idea that I might want these sometime in the future for an un-dreamed-of blog! But the great thing is that I do still have the inital sketches and one of the inspiration pictures.

Here's one of my initial ideas. I knew that I wanted to have Mount Fuji, so I did this little watercolour as a first idea.
I wasn't entirely happy with the watercolour, so I searched online for woodblock prints by Hiroshige and Hokusai. I found this one by Hokusai, called The Inume Pass in Kai Province, which was just what I was looking for.
I did a small pencil sketch, taking my favourite part of the image and modifying it to fit the shape of the wall.
After giving the wall a fresh coat of white exterior masonry paint, I was ready to start. I think I drew the outline in pencil first, before starting to paint. As well as the white masonry paint, I used normal acrylic paints. Some of these I mixed with the white paint, and some I used straight out of the pot/tube. Some of the paints were Golden brand, but others were just cheap basic acrylic paints. There doesn't seem to be any difference in how the different paints have aged.
Just finished!

I have various acer trees in pots in the little seating area beside the mural, and I love how they look with the mural.
When I had my porch replaced last year, I had plain glass put in rather than the privacy glass that was there before, and was very moved when I realised that I could properly see my garden and mural from inside the porch!
Also last year, I painted the door and window frame a lovely teal colour, which ties in well with the mural, and this year I had the old corrugated asbestos roof (which leaked badly) removed and replaced, and I painted round the trim with the teal colour.
The mural makes a wonderful background for many of the self-portraits that I take in the garden. And it was also a fantastic setting for my Totoro snowmen!
I hope you've liked hearing about my mural. It was really fun revisiting an old project like this, and while looking for the drawings I found an abandoned comic drawing project that I hope to pick up again now, which will be interesting. I hope this post will give you the courage to try painting a mural of your own - it's one of the best home improvement projects I have ever done!

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...