Since prehistoric times – think cave paintings – humans have created spaces with surfaces expressing meaningful artwork and patterns. These murals can be found on all manner of surfaces, including walls, ceilings, floors and furniture. They have also been created with a variety of materials, including oils, acrylics, fresco plasters, egg tempera and more. We’re always so pleased to see murals created with the help of Modern Masters products – especially when, just like time and again in history, the imagery is so meaningful to the owners.
Amber Cunningham of Rare Bird Art has just such a project. She was asked by dear friends to transform the entry way of their newly remodeled lakehouse with a wall mural. The house is perched on a bluff overlooking Medina Lake in Texas and all felt that having swimming native fish art worked perfectly for the lake house. “I wanted it to have some elegance, but not too perfect or stuffy,” Amber explains. “The house is gorgeous, but it is still a pretty laid-back place! I chose the most commonly found fish in the Medina Lake, such as Big Mouth Bass, White Bass, Carps, and Catfish. I also included some of the other regulars of the Texas lakes for additional sizes, shapes, and colors.”
The talented Amber Cunningham of Rare Bird Art.
Amber started with a basic two color glaze using pearlescent and iridescent colors from our Metallic Paint Collection. She used a slight criss-cross strie technique to lend a bit of a woven but also watery feel. She then laid out all of the fish into a school and drew, outlined, shaded, and under painted each fish. She shares, “Initially there were only 65 fish, but I’m a bit obsessive and felt they needed more than double that! The total number of fishies was about 134.” Here are some of the pics of her process.
The two-tone pearlescent metallic paint wash and finish layout in charcoal.
Outlining the fish in an espresso brown acrylic stain.
Painting in ‘shadow’ fish for depth in the school. “You can see necessary outlaw fish in the corners,” Amber says. “You gotta have a few rebels straying from the stream.”
Starting to see Color!
More Modern Masters iridescent and pearlescent Metallic Paints added.
Some of the natural colors represent the fish and also mimic the colors used in the house and in the rock chosen to frame the entry way. It was incredibly important for Amber to make this mural for her friends special and we think it’s perfect!
To protect her work, she applied MasterClear® Protective Clear Topcoat with added glitter. “It doesn’t diminish the flash of iridescent color that creates movement at certain angles. It sparkles big time in certain light, but does not distort the details of the fish when you are looking at them straight on,” Amber says. We love the idea that the flash of the iridiescent and pearlescent colors can give the idea of quick fish movement. Many thanks to Amber for sharing her beautiful project with us! Please be sure to visit her Rare Bird Art website and her fab Instagram feed, where we initially saw this project. Also check out her additional Instagram feed, Scatter Birdie, where she shares her sculptures and other artworks, some created with our Wildfire paints. We hope you’ve enjoyed her incredible art as much as we have!
To purchase Modern masters products, head to our online shop or find your local retailer via zipcode. Please call ahead to assure of stock and if not in-house, it can be ordered in for you. Have an inspired day!