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The Google Commission - Part 3 | The Painting Process

Part 3 - the painting process was my absolute favorite part of this project! I am so grateful to Google to have the opportunity to paint a painting - not a simplified mural - rather an in-depth painting on such a large scale!

When I paint, I love to MOVE! I play music on full-blast in my art studio and use the movement of my whole body when I paint. To paint a painting that's 8 feet tall and 10 feet wide means I could really get into it!

I first had to build the canvas. You can't just go to the art store and buy such a large canvas pre-made.

I ordered high tech stretcher bars lined with aluminum framing that allows the stretched canvas to be relatively light-weight, and square. To build the frame and stretching the canvas took 3 people and about 4 hours. Afterwards, I primed the canvas. I layered on 5 coats of primer.

* Pro-tip - when stretching canvas, often times as hard as you pull the canvas tight, there will still be wrinkles. To remove the wrinkles, simply paint the unprimed side of the canvas with water. When the water dries, it causes the canvas to shrink and tighten. This method is a life-saver when you are stretching your own canvases!

After I stretched and primed the canvas, the next step was to layer on Japanese rice paper. I do this because it's a way for me to honor my Japanese heritage and I also love the effect of painting on rice paper. The paper absorbs the pigment in varying degrees which not only gives the painting texture, it also gives it depth.

The next step was to sketch the outline of the painting. To do this, I used the mapping, or grid, method to enlarge the concept painting.

Then, I layered on hundreds of thin, translucent layers of color to build luminosity. This phase of painting took about 6 months of full days painting in the art studio. It was bliss.

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