Typical problem to solve with an art dealer and representative:
"1 have a particular commission in mind that I believe you could handle," says an art dealer. "My clients have organized a new country club. They are building a beautiful clubhouse. They want two mural decorations for their new dining room. The woodwork will be done in ivory, with a slightly deeper tone of ivory on the walls. There are two doorways into the dining room, over each of which there will be a lunette. The lunettes are half-circles, the radius of each being five feet, making the base or span of the mural ten feet, five feet in height at the middle point. The club is to be closed between the months of October and May for the winter, and, since the club activities start in May, a spring mural will be used over one door and a fall subject over the other.
"The subject selected for the first lunette is awakening spring. A reclining figure lies upon the woodland soil, amid wildflowcrs that have burst into bloom, blossoming bushes', and trees. There are small animals about, such as squirrel, deer, rabbit, and birds. The figure is in the act of awakening and about to rise. Her hair is long, and perhaps there is a garland of early spring flowers about her head. The figure may be partly covered with flowers.
"A female figure lying down to rest for the winter is the fall subject. Brilliant autumn leaves are falling and haye drifted over the figure, cov ering it partly. In the hair are drooping and wilted flowers. A squirrel with an acorn in its paws, a rabbit burrowing down into the soil, birds flying—all may be shown. The grass is brown and dry; perhaps some red berries are on a branch. The thought that is conveyed is that summer has ended and Nature prepares for winter."
Make many rough pencil compositions. Do not only fill the space with the figure stretched stiffly across it. Proceed to work up some small thumbnail roughs in color. Then pose your model, make studies, or take camera shots. It would be wise to make some studies of trees and foliage in the woods. The little animals should also be studied. The subject could be given modern, simple treatment. When your preliminary material is ready, l>egin the sketch you will submit. This sketch is called a cartoon. It should be done well enough so that it can be squared off. You may then work from it, if necessary, directly upon the walls, or on a canvas mounted to fit or to be glued into place.
Since the room is light and airy, the paintings should be keyed fairly high, rather than dark and heavy. Gray your colors a little so that your picture will not jump out of the wall like an advertisement. Treat the flesh delicately and simply. Do not try for brilliant or even strong light and shadow. You will gain valuable experience if you will paint these subjects on a small scale.
Was this article helpful?