Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sky Ceiling

I have been busy working on a painted sky ceiling in the heart of Oliver Cromwell country near Huntingdon.
The property dates back to Cromwell's time and it is rumoured that he may have even spent a night there.

As you can see from the photo I have been working from a scaffold tower to paint the ceiling on which I stand on as opposed to laying down. Everyone assumes that such murals are painted laying down.
In my youth I did paint my first ceiling in that manner but found it to be too restricting on the arm movement and there was also the problem that any paint drips would end up in your eyes or up your nose - I would not recommend it - even Michelangelo stood on his scaffolding when he painted the Sistine Chapel ceiling (I must add here that I am certainly not comparing my ceiling to Michelangelo's).

I start with a white base when painting a sky ceiling. I then gradually add subtle washes of light blue, pink and purple to help form the shapes of the clouds and the blue sky beyond.
This method prevents the clouds from taking on the form of lumps of cotton wool and also creates some fantastic pinky greys when you wash one colour over another.
I describe my sky painting method in more detail with a step-by-step project in my first book - 'Trompe L'Oeil Interiors'.

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