Meet Myrtle, The Ticket Agent

By Becky Moder (Boopaints) on April 9, 2010

Ever wondered exactly what steps are taken to paint a mural? Now's your chance to watch the birth of a mural from start to finish along with the plans, the goofs and the changes! First in a series for the clients and friends of Artistic Joy.

I do not take my creative ability for granted.  I know it's a gift. I can't sing, can't type without looking at the keys and can't speak a foreign language.  But I CAN paint and it truly is my bliss. My clients often ask about how a mural is planned and how the process happens.  I try to explain the but because most of them are usually at work or out of the house while I am painting, I decided to create some articles showing the step by step journey. So pull up a chair and have fun watching Myrtle take shape.

Step One: The Consultation and Rough Sketch

I listen to the client and we discuss what they are wanting. The clients and proud owners of Myrtle knew they wanted whimsical and wanted something painted on the inside short wall to their home theater. They thought having a bored ticket agent would be fun and once that was established, they allowed me freedom to play and create. I go back to my studio (aka garage and kitchen these days) and play around on the computer, looking for images of real pe ople in the right pose. I draw my first rough sketch and buy my supplies which include paint, new brushes and tape.

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Step Two: The Marking of the Wall

The actual ceiling height here is about 20 feet so we decide to bring the mural down to an easier height and I mark off the top with blue tape. Next I sketch the basic winodw design which you may be able to just barely see.  I use a white water color pencil that erases with spit.  I mean water.

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Step Three: Taping the Window

I tape this area because it's easier to paint without worrying about paint going out of the lines. The curved part will be painted carefully.

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Step Four: Blocking in Color

At this point I start playing with colors.  I love red because it draws attention to the mural so I use that for the back ground. The base paint on the wall is a solid dark sage green like the rest of the theater and I decide to make this area stand apart and add a metallic bronze wash to the wall. I base paint Myrtle and add some shading to her blouse and fiddle with her hair and the frame around the ticket booth. I don't realize it while I am painting but Myrtle's arm is much too long! It took me a couple of days to see it and when I loaded the photos I had to call the clients and tell them I will be redoing it.  They laughed...and of course noticed it too.

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Step Five: Details Added

I am still fiddling with the frame, paint a ribbon sign under her booth, a chalk board sign behind her that the homeowers can change anytime they want to and add more shading to Myrtle's blouse, vest and she gets a name tag.  Best of all she gets a face and red fingernails!

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Step Six: Fixing the Arm and More Details

I fix Myrtle's "rubber arm"...wow that arm would have been long.  It drove me crazy.  It wasn't hard to correct but took me an hour. I paint the THEATER lettering and add "now showing" to the chalk board. And I change her glasses to a gold metallic! Poor Myrtle, she really looks bored. I can hear her smacking her chewing gum and maybe she has a romance magazine hidden behind the counter.

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Step Seven:  All Finished!

Myrtle took me three days to paint, start to finish.  We all fell in love with her sassy, bored attitude and I had Vista Print make note pads for the clients with her face on them.  The pads read: A Note from Myrtle

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About 6 months later, the clients had me come back to add theater masks to the main room of the theater and I took a photo of Myrtle. She hasn't changed at all but her chalkboard sign has the movie playing now! "The Blob"!

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Related articles:
Arizona muralsit, Becky Moder, Phoenix muralist

About Becky Moder
I've loved to draw with colored pencils and color with crayons since I was a very young girl. Watercolors were my first paints and I graduated to Acrylics and Oils in High School. My natural style is a whimsical-folk art but I can paint almost anything I am asked to create. I don't remember a time I didn't have some sort of painting in progress and often people are reminding me I have paint on my face. It's okay, it matches my jeans!

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Comments and discussion:
Subject Thread Starter Last Reply Replies
Too cool! Trish Jul 15, 2010 8:36 AM 22
Thanks for the step-by-step sheryl Apr 11, 2010 4:17 PM 2
Vondeful! Aunt_A Apr 10, 2010 10:13 PM 2
This is a Great Read! nap Apr 10, 2010 10:11 PM 1
Loved it! Bubbles Apr 9, 2010 11:27 AM 1
cute as c an be. Ridesredmule Apr 9, 2010 7:03 AM 0
I love it! UniQueTreasures Apr 9, 2010 7:02 AM 0

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