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My day job in fast motion. Answered

I have my own business painting murals and doing custom art for clients in commercial and private spaces.

Here's a time lapse I did a while back. Thought it was fitting here in the art section.

This ceiling is roughly 16 feet by 14 feet in size, and the center of the ceiling is about 17 feet high. I actually painted this ceiling twice because the original owners sold the residence and the new owners wanted a new and different mural in the space, about twelve years apart. A master sketch of the whole ceiling was created, and then each main detail was sketched a second time as a close up so I knew exactly what was to be painted.


Its beautiful! How did you get started? My wife has been looking to get into painting murals, but we can seem to find clientele who either want murals, or are willing to spend the money for one. Did you ever consider getting a hydraulic or electric lift in there to go up and down faster, and for safety?

Yes, I've used those scissor lifts before, actually I used one of those on the very first mural I ever did in 1993, they're great, and they definitely do save time. I just don't have the space, or money for one right now. Safety is definitely an issue. I usually get about one job a year, that is high enough, that I get a little nervous. A few ceilings in the past were almost too high, scaffold sways a bit as you move... I hate those jobs. There's a point where regular scaffold, even with out riggers still sways when you are at the top.

As far as getting started, best thing to do, is to create some paintings, that would work well as murals, photograph them and put together a portfolio to show clients. I will say that mural popularity sort of ebbs and flows. Around the mid to late 1990's, I had more mural work than I could handle. However I think we are in an ebbing cycle right now... Also with the sluggish economy, less people are putting money into luxury goods like murals and art. Anyway, there still is work out there, just a little less and perhaps more competition for the same jobs. You can also do well by meeting interior designers... They will often use artists for murals and faux finishes, etc. 

I'm currently working on a new big time lapse, a mural job I started almost two months ago. It's being filmed one frame every five minutes, very different than this one and it's a long 46' by 6' foot wall. I should be finished with the job by the end of the month, then I'll edit everything together, keep a look out for it maybe mid September.

That's awesome, especially the perspective!!

That is quite a project. Very nice. Surprised you didn't do the Michaelangelo laying on the back painting the Sistine ceiling method. My neck hurts from just looking up while house-painting a bedroom ceiling.

How did you do the sketch design  of the the ceiling and how did you transfer it from paper to the ceiling?  How many times did you have to go up and down the ladder to view your work as you went along? Impressive.

I did several sketches for the client to get the main idea down, such as how the ceiling was broken up, where the statues would go, the scenes, etc. Next I did several more sketches of the details of each part. You can never do too many sketches on a big project like this one. That way you are right on the same page as your client, and no unexpected surprises appear along the way. A lot of the things were just reproduced freehand, however some of the decorative parts were sketched on paper and then transfered to the ceiling with carbon paper between the sketch and the ceiling. Then I'd trace over the lines to get an exact copy from the original sketch. This is one of many ways to transfer the sketch to a wall or ceiling. Yea, I did have to go up and down quite a bit to get an idea of how things were looking from below. I didn't really have a set method to this... I'd paint for a while, maybe an hour or two, and I'd then go down and take a look. One of the hardest parts was making sure that everything was absolutely centered correctly. If it wasn't and I had discovered that things were off later on... I would have had to repaint it again till it was right!

have you considered a mini cinema projector? they cost a couple hundred, but are pocket sized items... I know they're great for walls, not sure about cielings :)

Maybe invent and use your new fisheye lens as a projector to display on the ceiling to trace out. Still a lot of talent needed to finish the work.

That's amazing! I love how the angle really makes it feel like you're looking up through a tall spire into the sky, that's really brilliant.

Wow that's quite a project! Got a nice still picture to add? Embedding the video would make it even better :D

Fantastic, thanks! It's beautiful.

Thanks NachoMahma!