Sometimes a high degree of difficulty can make my mural painting more fun – which was the case with a motto I recently painted on the brick wall of a Boston restaurant!
Given the different types of work I do, it might seem like painting a motto would not fall in the high difficulty category – particularly given the fact that I was supplied with the quote design, font, etc. that I just needed to match. This would be true – except for the variable of the brick wall on which the motto was painted! Think of trying to create many accurate, smooth lines on a wildly un-smooth surface. First is the challenge of creating a consistent line from the relatively smooth surface of the bricks to the seams at the edge of the bricks to the very rough surface of the mortar in between the bricks. Beyond this, however, was the challenge of the inconsistency of the bricks themselves. This is an old Boston building, which means it is a very old brick wall – with all of the diviots, cracks, holes and chunks in the bricks that come along with the age. Some of the recesses were as much as an inch deep!
After drawing out the letters, I addressed this challenge by drawing the lines of the letters into all of the 3 dimensions of the cracks in a way that would look straight in 2 dimensions – which required a lot of standing back and scrutinizing. With this done – I was on to painting, which I did in 2 coats to get good even coverage. To address the roughness, I found that using my tiny, thin brushes worked best – painting every edge of each letter as if it was itself a smooth 1/16” thick line. With the edges addressed, I then just needed to push my brushes into the crags to make sure that the black covered all of the area of the letters. Working with my client, we also chose a high-gloss paint to really make the lettering stand out.
In the end, everything came together – and the quote looks like it has always been on that wall! Following is a picture of the motto, plus a couple of close-ups to show detail of the craggy surface.