It may be too late to order these for Mother’s Day here in Europe but the murals by The Portable Mural Company are a great gift for Father’s Day or birthdays. I got two of the children for Christmas and I know they will become more precious as they get older.
1.??????Brendan, I’m delighted with the murals I got from you for Xmas. For me, they are so much more than just putting a picture of my children on the wall. I know they will be even more special in years to come as the kids grow up. Can you explain the process behind creating one of the murals please.
?It is great to hear such positive feedback.
We take great pride in our work and it is lovely to know how much pleasure people get from the art we produce. Children?s portraits are particularly special to customers and we understand how important it is to achieve a very high standard of work especially when painting children. We aim to catch the likeness, the spirit and the personality of the child which makes painting children?s portraits all the more challenging and rewarding at the same time. However we can only work from the photographs we are given and it is important to send us the best photograph possible in order for us to achieve the best results.
The process itself is a fairly simple one.
First we take a piece a sheet of plain brown MDF board, we prime it with our special primer and we cut it to whatever size we need. Then we draw whatever image is required onto the board. Then we cut out the image with a jigsaw cutter.
Depending on the particular image there may be two to three layers of board involved.
We put on small blocks on the back of the cut outs to give a drop shadow, 3D effect.
Finally we begin to paint.
For our portraits we always start off underpainting with acrylic paint and build up layer by layer until we are ready to use air brushes to achieve the final tonal effects.
Lastly we protect the work with spray varnish or lacquer.
With the portraits there is a lot of work involved mainly in the drawing and painting. The drawing takes time as it is the most important part of the work. Without a good foundation to work from it will be impossible to get a likeness.
I use acrylic paint and both water-based and solvent based airbrush paint which requires mixing and masking and layering to achieve my results.?
2.??????When did you start painting murals?
I have always been an artist though I have had no formal tuition, ever since I was a child I have drawn, but seldom painted until about five years ago.
I became disillusioned with my career in the construction industry because I found that although the money was great I was not happy. I was living to work and I wanted to do it the other way around, so with a grant from Meath Enterprise Board I built my art studio and began to paint, I haven?t looked back since. It is hard to say exactly when I started to paint murals in their present form as my style has evolved over the last number of years. At first my work was quite basic but I learned more with each painting I finished and strove for perfection all the time and I am still on that journey today.
3.??????Do you do just people or other things too??
We are happy to paint absolutely anything, in the past we have created murals of parrots, horses, dogs, dinosaurs, giant tree men, wizards, seven foot werewolves, vintage cars, pipe smoking tractors and a host of children?s fairy-tale and storybook favourites, there is very little we haven?t done to date.
As an artist there are two very different tiers to my work, my commercial work which I do on a commission basis and the really creative, imaginative art which I do for love.
I could quite happily spend my life painting fantasy art but I?m afraid the market would not permit that in Ireland and I have to pay at least some bills, hence the commercial side of things.?
- What is the most unusual mural you have painted
It would have to be the fantasy mural i did for our local school in Ballinacree, ST Fiachs N.S. It was 18 feet across and 11 feet high., featuring a magic tree and 50 other elements ranging from a T-rex to flying saucers, bi- planes,??birds , butterflies a monkey, a giant book worm and lots of other stuff. I had a ball with that one. It took six weeks from design to fitting and was made in several sections which fitted together like a jigsaw. It looks impressive I have to say.
5. How much time should someone allow for you to paint one from start to finish? What do they need to provide you with?
I work on a commission basis. So It would depend on how busy I was really. It would be best to get an urgent order in for a birthday or special gift in in plenty of time to allow for this. At busy times of the year like Christmas or Father’s day for instance, order early to ensure your art gets to you on time.
I need from my customers the best possible, well lit, carefully chosen, nicely contrasted and colourised photographs they can provide me with. The better the photograph I have to work with the better the portrait will be.
I love to see photographs with a hint of mischief, a real glint in the eye, interesting backgrounds and nice colours.
?6.To me, the wonderful thing about your murals is that they can be hung on a wall, moved from room to room or house to house.??Do you also paint on walls if clients want?
?Yes, that?s the beauty of my work. They are murals that hang like pictures but expand beyond the frame as far as your imagination wants them to go.
They are also portable, hence the name of my business.
I don?t paint on clients walls. All of my work is done here in the studio. I create 3D portable murals with depth and shadows and light, much more than just flat art.
Do visit Brendan’s websites to see see more examples of his portable murals and consider them as a gift with a difference. He does cows too!