My latest summer mural project took place in Ponca City for a local business owner’s beautiful home. The property is located near the city’s beloved pioneer woman statue and the property contained a very old building that was originally owned by the Marland family estate, which was fun to get to tour through and see all the history there.
The home owners had a newly built home with a brilliant open floor plan design and they wanted to create an emphasis on the living room fireplace and large picture windows. Not wanting to use the traditional window decor of curtains or drapes that would hinder their spectacular view of nature, I offered the clients another decorative option; painted stone windows.
Pictured below are the before pictures that I began my work with.
We decided the windows would be painted in the “Trick the eye” style, also known in the art world as Trompe L’oiel (tromp play). This is a technique of using light and dark paint to create an illusion of depth on a flat surface. After meeting with the clients, I always create a set of full color sketches in watercolor. These sketches are important for many reasons. First they give the client an actual physical representation of my plan so they know exact placement, colors etc. so they don’t have to just imagine the ideas I am presenting. The process of making the sketches is when all the details and possible problems are worked out. Throughout the project, the sketch is my “map” that guides me from mixing colors al the way to adding the last shadows at the end that make it pop out from the wall.
With the information the client gave me, these are a couple of the sketches I presented the client.
With my trusty map and the client’s green light, I began the project. The colors and texture of the existing fireplace were mimicked to create a stone window facade with an open niche area above each window. The niche was painted to appear to have several terracotta pots with beautiful ivy flowing out and cascading around the area and off the ledge of the window. The choice to use terracotta pots was very purposeful as it also brought out the color of the bricked area of the fireplace to give the windows and the fireplace a unified look. Faux decorative shutters were painted to give the window a charming wood component that matched the wood in the surrounding area of kitchen and trim. The painted wrought iron detail also corresponded with the various areas of actual wrought iron that is present on the home’s brick exterior. All of these little decorative and artistic choices come together to create an illusion that for at least a tiny split second, a visitor to this home would think that the windows that surround the fireplace were built as real as the fireplace itself.
The living room area walls were painted with a faux finish that gives the wall a textured stone look that I call a mottled stone effect.
And with everything said and done, this was a wonderful and relaxing project to work on and it was fantastic to get to work with these wonderful homeowners.