Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Hand Painted Skies

It's a day of scattered clouds in the studio as Lena and Brooke finish painting a sky on canvas. 

Sasha, our new dog, presides over the proceedings.
We now have roughly 20' x 30' of sky available for your walls or ceiling in archival mural paper. I can also add it as a "ground" behind our Chinoiserie (MU2011).




You can have this Chinoiserie with literally any color or texture in the background. Customize your project with a paint color or fabric swatch as reference.

THE SKY IS THE LIMIT!



Thanks for reading / viewing & happy spring. Time to get a puppy.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Paysage Grisaille - Immersive Mural Papers


This is my second in a series about new scenic mural papers available from Zoë Design. All our scenic and figurative mural papers were originally painted by Brooke Sheldon and Lena Fransioli.

Technically, the word grisaille refers to the “grey scale”, but in art, over time, it has come to mean a painting done in a monochromatic palette, or a study of the relationship of values (light-dark) verses hues (colors). Thus, a grisaille painting can be anything from work all in white, gray, and black, to pieces in various sepias. In this case we have played with both “warm” and “cool” sepias, with the addition of just a hint of blue for water and sky, which adds life to the mural, while still letting it sit back in the room.

This French landscape in grisaille has a 530” repeat with more to be added in the future. 

Please enjoy exploring the GigaPan, or the photos below.


Cheers, Doug









Sunday, March 25, 2018

Immersive Panoramic Mural Papers

Today, I am talking about a cool site called GigaPan which hosts some exceedingly beautiful photographic work of enormous proportion. The images on this site create an immersive, high-resolution panoramic experience. You can find an image and zoom in, from a photo of the mountains to a man’s face as he stands across the valley. I am using this technique to record our murals and create Zoë Design mural papers.
I have several new additions to our line of scenic mural papers and I have placed the gigapixel images at the gigapan website. Today I will give you a quick lesson on navigating the site to get the most from the imagery. After you have seen our murals, I know you will enjoy looking around the site at the work of other talented artists. You can search by name, content or category.
Google “garrabrants gigapan” and click on any link starting with “gigapan”. From there, you can scroll through my images, mostly of Lena and Brooke’s murals. Find one you like and click on it. Or, better yet, go directly to our “Bella Donna Chionois”. On the right, you will see your image navigation, zoom in and out, full screen and zoom all the way out. I like to make it full screen, preferably on a large monitor. On the bottom left are “snapshots”, this is a good place to start, or just double click or use the + - navigation tools to find your own favorite spot to zoom in to. If you want to go back and pick a different image, click on my name (top left) . Feel free to leave a comment below the description.
If these links are just too much, here are some pretty photos, with out the "bells and whistles". This mural paper has a repeat at about 27'.
Entire mural








Monday, January 29, 2018

Landscape Murals for RBW



We have decamped from the glacial freeze of New England to paint a sky mural and install artwork which Lena Fransioli & Brooke Sheldon painted in our studio on canvas. This installation is happening in the Raised By Wolves lounge at the Westfield UTC, San Diego. The landscapes in the lounge will be in the Hudson River School style and the art in the retail space is based on the French artist Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot. Once all the canvas is installed on the walls, our artists will continue painting on them in oils, adding the glazes that create the depth and beauty of a classical painting.


The images above and below are three quarters finished, painted with acrylic on canvas. Artist's oils will be added on location to refine and enrich the art. These paintings will go on the left and right of a fireplace in this "invitation only" speak-easy, hidden through a rotating fireplace wall in the retail space.



The retail space, which anyone may enter, with out being a chosen "hipster", will have a sky on the ceiling which blends down into the murals depicted below. These murals are also only partially finished, needing the addition of artist's oils, you can see Lena in the process in the last photo. 



Thanks for reading and happy spring.



Thursday, December 21, 2017

Impressionist Panels

Lena and Brooke are painting three panels in the studio to be installed in the retail part of the Raised By Wolves lounge in San Diego. After this base coat of color which will serve as the background for the finished painting, Lena asked me to photograph it in detail before it was lost under many coats of paint. She thought they looked like French impressionist paintings and wanted to preserve the whimsical look. I liked the simplicity but saw the problems of using these images as a final product, since they were not painted with that in mind. After photographing, stitching and correcting the distortion, each of these files is a little over 10 feet high. Below is the end result.


Here are the problems & how I solved them. First, they painted a blue sky background color, but only to the upper part of the canvas. Not only is there a line across the image where the blue ends, but it contaminated the color of the upper part of the painting because it bleeds through the thin paint. The tree trunks transitioning from white to blue is an issue too.


I added the blue from the sky to the bottom half but the result was flat so I added texture mapping, which had the effect of lightening and creating a water like look. I made a mask for the top half of the painting and corrected the colors to match the bottom. The trees had blue sky color coming through them, so I added brush strokes to the trunks. The transition between sky and "ground" is now vastly improved and the color consistent from top to bottom.

This is the image I used to map the texture in the blue, with some added distortion and blurring.


Now I have three impressionistic panels in files that I can print 125”H. . Here are before and after my Photoshop “magic”. 

Lena and Brooke are very excited about this new technique and plan to paint lots more in this style in the future.

Happy holidays to all and a prosperous 2018!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Leaving On A Jet Plane

We are flying out to Sweden today to visit Zoë and, yahoo, Danielle is meeting us there. A mini family reunion in a beautiful place. 

We are wrapping up last minute work, Lena is painting a vent to disappear into the fancy wallpaper it is set in and I am shipping a mural paper I finished yesterday. Lena is standing in front of 4 of the 8 panels going in a 20 year old's bedroom in Manhattan. They are tacked to the studio wall to let them dry before shipping.
Thank you Jos for originally commissioning the girls to paint this beautiful mural.



Bon Voyage to us!


Saturday, February 25, 2017

Making New Portfolios

In February 2017 Zoë Design and Dessin Fornir formed a partnership for representation of our Wall Coverings, in their New York, Chicago and Los Angeles showrooms. Since then, I have spent my spare time making new portfolios for all our showroom reps to carry on the road. My first set of books is almost ready and I wanted to share what I have learned.

This is the Murals wallpaper portfolio almost ready for binding.


Each page needed to have all the information about the pattern on it, including name, description or inspiration, approximate repeat, substrate type and size of rolls. 

Below are the all new metallics and an architect's tube, for transport.


The book was getting so heavy and thick, we decided to split the work into three books. Mural Papers, Patterned Wallpapers and Metallic Wall Coverings. The metallics can be transported in an architect's plan case because they relax fairly quickly (see above). This means, with our 5 showrooms, I need to make twelve portfolios! One down, almost. By the end of the month, I should be a master at the art of book binding.

Here are all the pages of the Patterns book, sans covers.


The Mural Papers and Patterns folios are almost complete, needing only the back covers. 

Soon to be the back cover and inside liner of the Patterns book.



Tea Paper on silver, from the Metallics folio. We love this because, when the reflection is dark, it has light lines on a dark background and when the light reflects it has dark lines on a light background. In the photo below, the white back of the next sample is reflected in the left hand side.

Tomorrow, I will finish the cracked plaster samples and get the book assembled. After that, I can relax because I only have 12 more. 

Thanks for tuning in.