Last week I began a relatively large project and a complicated exercise in perspective.
Through discussions with the client, an idea was hatched to transform the space seen below into an anamorphic view of Times Square, complete with subway station.
The descending stairwell leads to a theater room in the basement. The trick however was to paint the scene so that it would work visually from one point of view, at the top of the stairs.
A rough concept was developed which showed the general idea. Through further discussion this was refined and personal touches were added. The right hand wall would become the facade of a New york diner.
On the left, a lamppost would act as a visual break between the mural and the rest of the space.
Stage one of the creation of the mural is a two-person project. I stand at the viewpoint, at the top of the stairs and guide a colleague verbally around the walls, making marks which reflect the edges of buildings. The most important part of this phase is ensuring that the illusion of horizontal lines is achieved on the faces of buildings on the left hand wall. Though we want to create the illusion that we are looking face onto the scene, the wall is running at 90 degrees to that plane. Therefore, a line which looks horizontal in the image we are creating actually runs at a very different angle. Confused? Take a look at the initial sketch phase below for some clarification.
Here you can see some initial perspective work on the end wall, with the horizontals being drawn into the “faces” of the buildings on the left. Some work on foreground vehicles emphasizes the illusion below.
Over the next few days, the mural begins to take shape, little by little.
Over the next few blog posts I’ll continue to show the mural develop. Each stage emphasizes the illusion of depth and perspective.