Friday, June 29, 2012

Moose Crossing at L.L. Bean!

This year is the 100th anniversary of L.L. Bean! They're celebrating in many ways, with sales and events at locations all over. 

The "Hometown Celebration" is happening here at the flagship store in Freeport, Maine from July 4-7

I was commissioned to paint a photo stand-in board of a moose (you know, for folks to stick their faces in and take photos with?). It's a large piece and was a last minute assignment, but I'm excited to be working with L.L. Bean, it was a lot of fun and went along really smoothly! I thought I'd share the project with you here on the blog:

First I went to Lowes and picked up a giant piece of plywood, and had them cut it down to 3' x 5' at the client's request. Seemed pretty big at the time, but after getting it home, I almost wished it was 4' x 5' to have more room to play with–I mean, a moose can't be too big–but it all worked out just fine!

I primed it white with a few coats of gesso, then laid in the basic background colors for the sky and ground using acrylics, and I painted some "happy little clouds". I really enjoyed this part, working big and freely, it's so different from what I normally do; it was an enjoyable change of method and material.

Most of these pretty clouds got covered up by the giant moose, but that is the main attraction, after all!
Once that layer dried, I used a projector to transfer my loose sketch. I like working at large scale sometimes, but I tend to get wonky with my proportions if I'm free-handing this big, since I'm so used to drawing small. Using a projector takes some adjusting to make it fit just right, but well worth it and a huge time saver. This was how we did the mural at the Community Counseling Center, too.

If you're wondering why our little Moose is levitating, it's because I had to place him where the face opening will be! I measured a standard face size for the opening and made a stencil to match up with my sketch. I wanted to make sure it was at a height that children could reach, as well as adults comfortably on a knee. The hole will be cut when it's all finished by the people with the power tools, best not for me to attempt that part! 

(This photo is totally unnecessary to the story, isn't it.)

Once the general idea and placement were drawn in with pencil, I started painting the moose. I intended on taking more progress shots of the stages as I worked, but I finished the majority of the moose in no time, which was a nice surprise. I had to work quickly with the warm weather and the paint drying, since I wanted to be able to blend it for tones. Here's the moose and some little friends, about 3/4 done. Still needing to finish the ground and legs:

Still needing some refining and bottom portion, but almost there!

Details of the antlers and our friends, the chickadees:

This one above is my favorite little nook of the whole piece :)

From there, I worked on the bottom area, refining the legs a bit, adding some ground, trees, and marshy grasses.  I think it's going to be really bizarre (but comical!) to see a face in there where a moose snout should be haha looking forward to seeing this thing in action!

So be sure to keep your eye out for my moose if you head out to the festivities at L.L. Bean! I'd love to see your photos if you pose as the moose face! Let's see 'em on my Facebook page or Tweet them to me @Fazillustration.

 It was really fun to work on, and I'm now inspired to do more custom photo-op boards for birthday parties and events, it's a comical little extra that everybody loves (if you're interested, get in touch)!


Dianne Fazio said...

Too much fun! Love how you planned the height for both kids and fun-lovin' adults. We'll try to see it in action at the celebration. M&D

AJ Smith said...

Can't wait to stick my head in it next time we're up at Bean's. Looks great!!