Monday 9 February 2015

Designing My Children's Library Mural:

On Friday afternoon, I emailed my mural design to Wakefield Libraries - hurrah! It's looking really fun, as the children's drawings were even better this time around. This is a section from the middle:

The drawings weren't all finished and some were a bit wishy-washy, but I found it rather soothing, spending a whole day touching them up, colouring-in with my big tin of Derwent pencils. Then John helped me out by scanning everything (just low-res for now).

I abandoned my original plan of designing it in 3 sections: I needed to see the whole thing as one, with all 4 walls strung together into a long, thin template. I used the plans I drew a couple of weeks ago. 

With over 100 drawings, it was hard to know where to begin. I had calm, library-like details as well as crazy, tiger-infested ones. This gave me the idea for the layout: the tigers could be bursting in from one end, so the other end would still be normal, for contrast. This is the far left, the calm end (with just the odd hint of tiger-trouble): 

I established a horizon line early on, to stop things floating, and started to import the drawings, creating little groups and gradually building it up. It didn't look enough like a jungle though, so I introduced big fern-like shapes and tree-covered hills in the distance. Here are the first 2 stages:

I did my best to include everyone's work, though it got fuller and fuller! I did have to admit defeat before I fitted in every drawing, but I squeezed the vast majority in there. This is the tiger end, with my tiger from Open Wide, starting things off:

As with the first mural, in Wakefield Central Library, I was asked if I could pop some of my own characters in amongst the children's. There are quite a few dotted through this one. 

Here is the section which joins onto the one above, as the tigers work their way into the library. My little trio of bats-in-hats are from When You're Not Looking! of course. I love some of the detailed and surreal shelving systems the children devised:

I hope you are impressed at how I managed to shoe-horn the Romans in. This was a requirement, because Castleford is an important archaeological site. In the end, it was a fun addition to have them bursting from the history shelves:

It was such a massive job that I had to spend all week glued to the computer, working it all out, but it was good fun and John had to virtually drag me from my chair at about 7 o'clock each evening.

I haven't yet included Henry Moore (Castleford was his place of birth), for want of a copyright-free image, but my idea was to add a hill in the background, with one of his massive sculptures on it. If necessary, I have a couple of sketchbook paintings I have done at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

Here's the whole thing. It should enlarge to a size you can see properly:

Cross-fingers that they like it, after all that work! I'll let you know.


Jagoda said...

I like it very much and I am so impressed with how you managed it all! You actually managed to make all these kids' work into a real piece of artwork.

Marjorie Crosby-Fairall said...

Lynne, this is brilliant! So much colour, animation and story telling. Love, Love, LOVE.

M J Muir said...

Wow! This is spectacular and it is wonderful to see children's art celebrated and respected like this. They will be thrilled to see their work like this. You are amazing Lynne Chapman!

Lynne the Pencil said...

Thank you! I am really pleased with how it is turning out. I can't wait to see it at actual size, as the tigers will be BIG :-)

Anonymous said...

Hi Lynne, this is fantastic- will it be printed and placed on the wall? Can't wait to see the finishd thing!

Lynne the Pencil said...

It will be printed onto vinyl wallpaper and pasted onto the walls. We did it for my previous mural in Wakefield Central Library and it worked a treat.

Unknown said...

This is amazing. I have been thinking about painting a mural on my daughters wall of dinosaurs because even though she's a girl and only 2 she is obsessed with her dinosaurs. However, I'm not sure I could ever make a mural nearly as good as this. I love the idea of painting on vinyl wallpaper and then pasting it to the walls.

Faye Fowler @ Master Copy Print