Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Children's Library Mural - Creating the Rough


I am still working on my mural design for the new Wakefield Library. I have scanned in all the most interesting creatures the children drew during the illustration workshop, like this badger and flamingo. I've kept everything at low resolution for now, so my computer doesn't grind to a halt:


I explained to the children that my plan was to create a crazy chase through the library, so some of them drew useful sundry objects in the background of their illustrations, things like shocked librarians, flying books and library signage: 


These were all very helpful to add a sense of the location and to help create extra chaos. I had to find a way to incorporate this great staircase too:


As I expected, some simple graphics behind the creatures was needed, to tie the whole thing together. I decided to make the perspective really wonky, to add to the fun and to help the staircase fit. I pulled the colours from the colour scheme of the library furniture. 

I had to flip and resize a lot of the animals in Photoshop. I spent ages moving them around to try and fit as many in as possible: 


I wanted to add one or two bits of mine too. The dragon from Dragon's Dinner was an obvious choice. It was the book I used to kick-start the project, since the story is one big chase, and made a great counter-point to the massive dragon on the left: 


The library has a thing about crocodiles (there's a stuffed one under the floor in the museum downstairs), so I balanced the croc from Kangaroo's Cancan Cafe onto a computer. There's a couple of my other animals tucked in there too.

There's a big sceen mounted in the middle of the wall in the children's library, which I had to bear in mind. I thought it would be fun to use that as a prop too (though there is a risk it will be so well camouflaged by the mural, punters may not realise it is there!). 

This is just a rough by the way. I will boost the colour and strengthen up the outlines of some of the animals before I re-scan them, then get rid of fold lines and smudges in Photoshop. 


I thought photo-montaged books spines would be a fun wat to fill the bookshelves, the same as I'm doing with the computer screens (spot my website!), so I've been scanning in the books from my shelves at home. Picture books are very skinny though and only hardbacks have enough spine - even stretched, they don't fill much space. I've now run out, so will have to borrow some to fill the bottom shelf. That's why I am going for ordinary adult non-fiction to fill the end bookcase. I'm still half way through:


I will use this low res version as a template when I up the resolution. I want to do the real scans at the actual size I need them, without messing around in Photoshop (otherwise you lose quality), so the plan is to scale up the template in manageable sections, then measure the size of each item, scan it to fit and simply drop it in. In practise, I doubt it will be possible to get them exact, but at least things should only need a single tweak.

4 comments:

WET PAINT Studio said...

wow!! what an amazing piece of work. I'd love to see it

Linda said...

This is an amazing project! Thanks for sharing all the intricacies of putting it together. It's gorgeous! I love kids art!

Mary Walker said...

Looking good!

burun estetigi said...
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