Deeper into the Jungle

Part of the complete Jungle mural
Part of the complete Jungle mural

Levien residence, Corvallis, Oregon.

Scroll down to view Day 1 to 16, or jump to the end and scroll up.

Day 1

The entire design is sketched in pencil on all four walls. These lines will be obscured and drawn again as the paint covers. Short and tall plants and trees will be layered in front of the waterfall and monoliths.

A suggestion of plants in graphite on wall painted with white acrylic eggshell.

Day 2

First layer of green begins to climb up.The first blocks of mid tone greens are added. At the top of the stairs a light sky is added as far as I could reach. The wires will become vines in various shades of green (unless someone moves them to a new location). Sky is added to the top sections. It’s hard to reach the top area without scaffolding. I enlisted Kyle’s help for the East side.

First layer of green in the mid tonal range is applied on all walls.

Day 3

Cool colors of rocks are applied to all walls.More mid-tone greens are applied, as well as a bit more sky, cool rocks, and mist above the canopy. The cave begins to show in a cool blue.

Up to this point all color has been laid down with a large natural sponge, allowing transparency. At least one more layer of green and cool blues and purples will be laid down with a sponge before brushing begins. The sponge texture is currently swirls and straight wipes, which may show through the last layers to add texture and interest.

The monoliths in the distance begin to take shape.

Monoliths in the distant mist begin to show form. Cool colors of rocks are applied to all walls.

Day 4

I was craving detail, so I improved the monoliths with trees and more mist. Then added foliage to the middle and foreground on just one wall. Still need to get the ladder to finish the sky and tops of the waterfall and cave scenes.

In front of the monoliths is a forest among more rocks. The foreground is in shade and has many kinds of plants. Monoliths are shrouded in mist.

Day 5

I refined the Day 4 foliage and added more to the foreground. I began to work on the orangutan and the tree she’s hanging in. There is much more contrast and a feeling of cool shade down below and warmth at the top near the cliff. I’m finally using masking tape to finish off edges and make less mess.

More foliage is added to the foreground. The orangutan is beginning to show herself hanging from the tree.

The orangutan is beginning to show herself hanging from the tree.

Day 6

The lively flowers and leaves are brightening up the foreground below the hand rail.

This is Marca (femine for Marco), named by Quincy, the youngest Levien. Her hands and feet are not done, but the face and body are. She’s got a friendly gaze.

Day 7 and 8

I’ve officially lost track of the days, so this is a guess. It took 2 or 3 days to get the bamboo and waterfall completed. And on day 11 I decided the middle waterfall needed help, so I’m revising.

The cave recedes behind the tree.

Day 9

I added giant bamboo stalks and foam to the bottom of the fall. These touches add depth. The crack in the rock where the stream falls now recedes into the distance.

Day 10

I washed this corner fern off three times and may do it again!
I’m finally able to work on the other wall, now and like how the composition is holding up.

There’s an environment evolving downstairs!

Day 11

I refined the details of the right falls, middle, back, and some foreground. Played around with the left falls again to improve the middle fall.

Day 12

I added detail to the bottom right panel and began to climb the wall, so to speak, on the inside right panel.

Day 13

Now we’re getting somewhere! I’m continuing the background textures up around the right panel and adding more red flowers. It’s time for the banana trees and bird of paradise flowers. I’ve got five more days of vacation, will I run off to the beach, or stay and paint?

Day 15

I’m finally able to resume painting and am nearing completion. The high foreground is coming together and the low foreground backdrop has been laid. The atmosphere is hazy above the canopy and dark and cool underneath, amongst the birds and lizards.

Day 16

After taking at least 2 weeks off from painting, I saw the last work with new eyes. Either I’m attached to it, or it looked just fine. So I began to add birds, bugs, and lizards.