The owner also wanted to honor his own father, who had started the company, and was a huge baseball fan. How lovely an idea is that? We chose to do an old fashioned stadium and figures from the 1940’s- perhaps the way a game would have looked when his dad was a young man enjoying the sport. Once we chose a vintage time frame, I thought it would be fun to do the painting in sepia tones, or shades of brown, like an old photograph.
To include the owner’s dad in the mural, I obtained a photo of him from the owner. I scanned this on my computer and turned the colors to sepia tones, and enlarged it to be almost life-sized. After I printed it on regular copy paper, I decoupaged it to the wall. Photo paper cannot be used for this technique, because it would be too thick and would stand out on the wall. The decoupage has to be done very carefully and gently- it is a wet application and will smear the photo unless you work quickly and carefully. I use Mod Podge for the decoupage. I have had great success with it and have never tried any other product. When the decoupaged photo was dry, I painted all the details around it, like little bits of hair, and of course, the rest of the figure.
Working in the brown tones alone was really interesting- everything had to be portrayed with just subtle variations of color. I expected the hundreds of tiny dots representing the crowd in the distance to be very tedious, but it actually came together very quickly. My favorite part of the mural was choosing the period outfits and hats for the figures. I always really enjoy working on another time period.
The rest of the room was faux finished in a 3-color wash technique. Three shades of gold helped to highlight the mural wall while keeping the antique style throughout the room.