What goes into a mural? For artist Bryana Fleming, mural art begins with research and ends with the varnish. Several of her murals have included famous historical buildings and sites. The design process Is lengthy and occasionally more complex than the actual execution of the mural. For Bryana, the most crucial element to mural art is the manifestation of the clients vision.
One example given is her mural For Highland Children’s Development Center in Oakland, California. Funded through UC Davis CalFresh nutrition program and envisioned by the teachers and the artist, this mural depicts nutrition, love, physical fitness and friendship.
After one or two sketch revisions, the final design is submitted and approved. Bryana Fleming begins by cleaning the mural wall with trisodium phosphate and sanding away any old paint if necessary. She then applies two layers of primer. Mural artists have several methods for beginning their murals, but Bryana generally transfers her small sketch onto the mural wall by use of a projector or a grid system.
After drawing the mural design onto the wall and making sure that everything is to scale, she begins to add the paint. The first layer of paint is a ‘blue wash’ consisting of phthalo blue or ultramarine blue. Next she adds flat, thin layers of colors to lay down the foundation. After a few layers of paint, the mural is ready for rendering final details and touch ups.
Once the mural is completed to her satisfaction, Bryana adds two-three layers of UVA, UVB waterbased polyurethane varnish to protect the mural.