Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Great Blue



Here is the back side of my "Great Blue" banner. It's a painting of a great blue heron. There are lots of herons in the waters around Nanaimo - including downtown. So I think it fits the theme "Creative Cities."

I am showing the back first because the back side, which faced the mall, shows the colours as they will appear in daylight outside.

Here is the front side of "Great Blue" - with my signature. You can see how different the colours look - even though the actual paint was the same on both sides. It is quite hard to paint when the colours look so sdifferent!



This banner is much smaller than my "Dee-licious" and "Dee-licious Too" banners. In fact it is a kid-sized banner - painted by an adult - me - because not enough schools painted banners this year..

I completed it in 2 days of really hard work - plus my design day. I think it looks pretty good - but a little too cartoonish. Mike says it looks electric (as in static)! Poor bird - with its feathers all poking out. They were supposed to be graceful!  If I had more time I would do more creative things with the black outlining - to give it more of a Norval Morriseau look. It will be hung somewhere downtown by the end of June.


BTW, I am wearing my James Cook University hoodie .

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Another banner

The Banner Festival is now doing another set of banners - mainly small ones for the waterfront and other parts of downtown. The 6 week time allotted for the program's first set of banners was based on the requirements of a grant that they didn't even get. So now they are open for 2 more weeks of banner painting.

I decided I would like to put into practice what I learned from my first two banners - good design, good colours, don't sweat the small stuff, and not too much time wasted on shading. I'm now signed up to paint a Great Blue Heron which are fairly common in Nanaimo. Here is the design:

Great Blue Herons have very long loose feathers on their breasts and upper wings - so I made the image very wispy. The drawing is pretty well anatomically correct - but stylized. The colours will be: a pale blue background with green-blue in the foreground, light blue-grey upper wing section and darker blue-grey lower wing section, pale yellowish-orange neck and breast, bright yellow beak, black cap and green eye. The reeds will also be green - to pick up the green eye. There will be no shading but the outline will be in strong black - the way it is drawn.

It took me a long time to get the design right. I will paint on Monday and Tuesday. I hope the colours turn out OK. I am calling it "Great Blue" so it will mainly have a blue look.

Banners on Display

The Nanaimo Banner Festival put up all the banners last week - just before the Victoria Day weekend.

My banners are on a light pole on Commercial in downtown Nanaimo - just across from the Nanaimo Harbourfront Library. I think they look great and - since I was executive director of the VIRL for 10 years - I love the location ! I never actually worked in Harbourfront - but I often went there for meetings and so on. I wonder if anyone at the Library will notice my name on the banners and, if they do, if anyone still remembers me.

I learned a lot just looking at the banners that I had watched people working on. I realized that the details get lost when the banners are way up high. It is most important to focus on a good design and good colours. Don't sweat the small stuff and don't get carried away with shading. NEVER try to shade more than two colours (e.g. turquoise to blue or yellow to orange is as far as you should go).

Don't the banners look great against the trees!