Andy Lloyd's Murals 2
I was set a rather unusual challenge this summer: to paint a train emerging from a tunnel...on a garage door. The door was painted in green gloss and needed priming with white gloss primer and then re-primed for acrylic paint. The garage is set slightly off the road and if I could get the engine facing exactly right I could achieve the effective of a steam locomotive charging down towards the road.
I had some source material to work from, but really just fragments which needed to be pulled together: the front of an engine in an old black and white photo, carriages from a different picture (at a completely different angle), fragments of a bridge...well, you get the picture. That's not to mention the uneven surface of the garage door itself, which added several extra dimensions to the work. All in all, a challenge!!
I started by creating the front of the engine, determined that I could build the rest of the train onto it. The first picture here was based upon a black and white photo, and I set the garage door handle into the metal work at the front of the engine to disguise it. I then set down tracks and sleepers to give the train the correct direction when seen from the road, and added on the rest of the engine and carriages after that.
Around that I created a bridge. I decided that it would be a better idea to use the garage itself to be the bridge, and make the tunnel very short. That way the train could be set back from the tunnel, in full sunlight. Otherwise a dark engine would be emerging from a dark tunnel; too much darkness! This also gave the opportunity to create some depth in the picture. I'd be able to set the tracks back into the picture, to show rail embankments and another tunnel in the hills behind. The difficulty was playing around with all the different components of the picture, to create consistency. Fortunately, I used steam to fudge various awkward bits around the wheels... Here's the result:
The owner of the garage, Mr Goldie, who commissioned the mural, is on the left, and I'm on the right of the picture. If you want to see the mural it is on Sandhurst Lane on the approach to Gloucester. Look out for it on the right as you leave the countryside and enter the city boundary. It has certainly been noticed by local residents...
I'd love to try creating a mural of a sports car sat in a garage, if any Gloucester resident would like to commission me to have a go! It would look cool having a virtual Porsche sat in your garage, wouldn't it?
Then, in 2009 Mrs DarkStar decided that it would be nice to turn our unsightly gas meter box into a tub of flowers:
I reproduced a Cotswold Stone tub we had on the other side of the door, and filled it with colourful petunias, busy lizzies, geraniums, and marigolds. The effect provides a good trick of the eye (trompe d'oeil). The painting should look quite bizarre during the winter with all these summer bedding plants on permanent display outdoors.
Spiderman Mural 2006
This bright and exciting mural now adorns the bedroom of a 5 year old boy in Longlevens, Gloucestershire, who is naturally a big fan of Spiderman.
Spiderman really seems to come out of the painting, doesn't he? This mural took me about 8 hours to create, and covers about half of the wall.
People often write and ask me how much I charge to paint a wall mural. A rough guide is about £2000 per wall, but this will vary if I have to travel outside Longlevens, or if the subject matter is particularly complicated.
A Fantasy Landscape 2006
This fantasy landscape covers two walls of a room. The first shows a meadow containing an enormous dragon, and youngling.
The second wall takes the viewer to a beach full of mermaids. The dragon is really eye-catching and rightly dominates the whole scene. I was strongly influenced by some wonderful illustrations by Peter Scott.
The dragon has since gained girlie eyelashes and a big smile, and looks fondly at her baby dragon, who is about to bravely try out his breath weapon on a psychotic-looking rabbit.
Elements of this composition were, quite rightly, chosen by the bedroom's owner, who particularly wanted a fairy castle in the background. This worked well in the angled alcove of the room, creating a distinct and cut-off part of the mural for the fairy princess. A gallant prince thunders along on horseback towards the unsuspecting dragon, as can be seen in the above detail from the mural.
As the mural turns the corner, it is connected via the distant mountain range with a beach and cliffs. Here the mural becomes more relaxed in form, with lots of small characters sat around, as if on a family summer holiday.
Some characters were taken from cartoons, whilst others were created or built upon other influences:
I've tried to keep the more fun elements in the lower portion of the murals, at eye-height for small children. As the viewer gains height with age, the details in the pictures become more studied and of more adult-interest, containing light effects on the sea during a sunset, and so on.
Hopefully, then, the mural will appeal to all ages and maintain its interest over many years. Right now the highlight is definitely the starfish!
Bathroom Waterfall Mural
In September 2011 I painted a mural onto a bathroom wall in a house in Brockworth, Gloucester. The mural is a 3D 'Trompe d'oeil' effect of a complex series of waterfalls cascading into a lake.
I managed to successfully integrate aspects of the existing bathroom into the mural to give the feeling of the room extending out into the mural. The clients were also keen for me to include a monkey from one of their holiday photos.
The mural is painted in acrylic and bathroom paint. The four protrusions on the wall that can be seen in the right-hand picture are where the bathroom's towel rail will be installed, so the mural also needed to work around them.
Once installed, it should give the impression of a fence in front of the viewer.
Renovation of a Philip Meigh Mural
Philip Meigh was a cartoonist who is best known locally for founding the Bird and Deer Park at Prinknash Abbey, Gloucestershire. He created some excellent fine art murals, and I was recently asked to renovate one in Painswick. The mural is located in a house that had been left empty for some time, and water had got in through the roof and extensively damaged the plaster the wall was painted onto. The couple renovating the house loved the mural, and wanted to see it retained. However, the bottom metre of plaster had to come off, and other patches of plaster here and there had blown and the paint was flaking off. They asked me if I could help.
The first image below shows Phil Meigh's beautiful mural prior to the renovation work. At this point I took some photos and some accurate measurements of the lower section of the mural in order to repaint the mural as close to the original as possible:
The second image shows where the bottom portion of the mural had been carefully chipped away, re-plastered, and then painted white in preparation for my work. After just less than two days work, including renovation of the areas of blown, flaky plaster to the top left, the mural had returned to a very close copy of the original. Mr Meigh's painting style is quite different to my own, and I tried as best I could to recreate the same painterly effects he achieved in his original work.
I was very pleased with the result because this fine work by Mr Meigh had been saved from a rather more destructive alternative as a result of the extensive water damage it had sustained. My clients, Peter and Tina Murphy, are delighted as this fine mural will continue to provide an impressive trompe d'oeil effect in their hall for many years to come.
Nursery Murals in Gloucester
Here's a delightful nursery mural I painted for an expectant couple awaiting their first child. The mural is based upon a watercolour illustration by Anita Jeram, which appears in a popular children's book featuring Little Nutbrown Hare, written by Sam McBratney. The book is entitled "Guess How Much I Love You". The mural is about 1.5m across, and is painted in acrylic. I've tried to reproduce the feel of the original illustration, recreating some of the watercolour effects using acrylics. Obviously, it cannot be a perfect representation, as the medium is different, and this is painted onto a wall rather than paper. But hopefully it provides a fine tribute to this beautiful illustration, and will bring a lot of joy to the new-born baby when s/he arrives.
I painted a second mural in Brockworth, onto a nursery wall belonging to a little 1 month old lad.
The mural is based upon artwork featured on the cover of 'Lost and Found' by Oliver Jeffers.
Montpellier Bandstand Mural
I was asked to paint a mural of the bandstand that stands in Montpellier Gardens, Cheltenham. The mural is based on a painted scene in a pub in the town. My rendition of this scene takes centre stage in a large kitchen-diner in a house in Charlton Kings. The muted colour tones of the piece go well with the rest of the decor in their kitchen.
This was an enjoyable painting to create, although there was a lot of detail to get right in the metal work and woodwork of the bandstand, and the surrounding wintry foliage. i also tried to recreate the watercolour effects of tones and shades in this acrylic mural.